Thames21 is the voice for London’s waterways, working with communities to improve rivers and canals for people and wildlife.
We mobilise thousands of volunteers every year to clean and green the capital’s 400 mile network of waterways.
Thames21 aims to transform neglected waterways into areas that everyone can use and enjoy, by using innovative and tailored community approaches.
Thames21 works hand-in-hand with local communities to improve and maintain our waterways by
- Engaging people of all ages, abilities and from all parts of society in their local waterways
- Removing litter
- Creating new habitats for wildlife, flora and fauna
- Controlling non-native invasive species
- Introducing reedbeds to tackle pollutants
- Creating sustainable drainage solutions to improve water quality and reduce flood risk
- Promoting safe and equitable access to waterways
- Undertaking monitoring and research into the health of our local rivers
- Deliver environmental education to children and adults
- Campaigning against waterway pollution and promoting sustainable behaviour
- Accrediting and training community groups to deliver safe and sustainable waterway improvement events
Thames21 engages approximately 7000 volunteers in waterway improvement activities across London every year. Details of how many volunteers, the number of events, hour and how much litter and debris they collect can be found in our Annual Reviews, published on our Publications page.
Thames21 developed from a partnership programme supported by Keep Britain Tidy, the Port of London Authority, the Environment Agency, Thames Water, British Waterways, The Corporation of London and 19 local authorities. The charity is now independent, and is funded by a wide variety of charitable trusts, companies and public funding. It has a growing and diverse programme of water improvement projects across London. For more about our history, please see the back of our Five Year Plan 2016-21.