Peaceful waterways and thriving natural wildlife might not come to mind when you think of London, but waterways charity, Thames21, is working to change that perception of our capital city.
Taking place 27th June – 3rd July, London Rivers Week is a new annual event which aims to get Londoners, and visitors to the city, more involved with exploring and looking after local rivers and waterways which provide a vital ecosystem for wildlife.
Debbie Leach, Chief Executive of Thames21, said: “London Rivers Week is all about bringing people and nature closer together. We want to inspire people to connect with their local London river by attending one or more of the many events that environmental organisations have planned across the capital, which will showcase what makes each waterway special, the challenges they face and new ways to connect with them. We hope this will motivate more Londoners to help make the future of our rivers a healthy one.
“It is no secret that our waterways suffer from flooding, water quality issues and uncelebrated habitats, yet many are unaware that the river restoration work happening around the capital is a key part of the solution.”
Since 2008,17.5km of restoration on London’s waterways has been delivered through urban regeneration projects, catchment partnerships and flood risk schemes.
Led by the London Rivers Restoration Group, London Rivers Week will focus on the rivers in London that have been redeveloped; such as rewilding projects in Lewisham on the River Ravensbourne, and in Carshalton on the River Wandle.
Events such as; guided walks, community picnics, informative training days and organised clean up sessions will be taking place.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s rivers enhance our city by providing precious natural spaces to enjoy and for wildlife to survive. It is vital we all work to protect and appreciate these wonderful waterways.”
Find out what events are going on near you throughout the month here: thames21.org.uk/events