Fixing Broken Rivers

Thames21 began working in the Lower Lea Valley in 2009, it wasn’t long until we discovered that the rivers in this area are heavily polluted. We started our Love the Lea campaign which works hard to tackle these issues by educating local people and encouraging action to be taken.

There are three key strands that make up the ‘Fixing Broken Rivers’ project;


1. This is your River

Connecting young people to their rivers through:  

  • River workshops
  • Water quality testing sessions
  • Waterway Ambassador training
  • Waterway Discovery Days
  • Online educational resources
  • Pop up stalls
  • Exciting outdoor events

If you are a teacher, parent, a group leader or a young person below the age of 25 years and would like to know about these free educational opportunities then please contact Edel Fingleton:

Thames21 and Museum of London Docklands invite your class to join us for half a day of river discovery. Read more about This is Your River week here.

2. Project Reedbed
Reedbeds remove pollution from rivers, provide habitats for wildlife and improve the aesthetics of an area.
With the help of HSBC staff and local volunteers we will;

– introduce new reedbeds to rivers in the catchment
– improve existing reedbeds by removing litter and invasive plants

Join the Project Reedbed mailing list for progress updates, volunteer opportunities and how you can be part of our Reedbed Adoption Team.

For more information contact Ben Fenton

3. Green Sponges (SuDS)

With the help of HSBC staff and local volunteers we will be creating new ‘Green Sponges’ or ‘rain gardens’ (Sustainable Drainage Systems).  These are natural drainage systems that capture polluted water running off roads and car parks. They can also cut the number of sewage overflows by reducing rainwater entering the sewer pipes and overloading them.

If you are interested in joining the mailing list to hear about project updates and volunteering opportunities, please contact Ben Fenton


The ‘Fixing Broken Rivers’ project is a key part of the Love the Lea campaign and is funded by the  HSBC Water Programme.