Litter Free Jubilee!

Supported by Old Mutual plc

Volunteers to makeover the Thames ready for the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant

When: Friday, June 1, 4.30pm – 7.00pm

Where: Meet at top of the stairs to river, close to Globe Theatre, South Bank, SE1 9DT

Photo opportunities:

–       Hundreds of people preparing the foreshore for the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant and taking part in games and activities

–       Plastic bag from Queen’s Silver Jubilee (1977) dug out of Thames foreshore by a volunteer in March – still in good condition

Volunteers are set to give the River Thames a final sweep for unsightly litter ahead of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, as part of the Big Waterways Clean Up 2012. People of all ages and abilities are invited to enjoy a unique perspective of the Thames, the focus for millions on the historic Diamond Jubilee weekend.

Hundreds of volunteers and visitors will descend on the foreshore to clear the area of litter, explore the Thames and take part in a range of fun and educational activities.

Thames21 Chief Executive Debbie Leach said: “Hundreds of Londoners are volunteering to help clean up the River Thames ready for the Queen, and Thames21 has been loading up the van with welly boots and litter pickers so that everyone can join in on Friday evening.  It is also a fantastic opportunity for Londoners to enjoy this amazing open space, right in the heart of the city.”

A spokesperson from the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation said: “The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will be an unforgettable day of activity on the Thames in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Thames 21s contribution to making the Thames look its very best for this remarkable day is very important.”

Murad Qureshi Chairman London Waterways Commission said:
“2012 is truly a unique year in which our waterways will be on show to the world. Once again, I would like to praise the effort and commitment of the Big Waterways Clean Up 2012 which have organised this event in preparation for the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. Events like this will bring together families, help local communities and will help create the legacy of sustaining clean waterways for years to come”

There will be activities for all ages, including river dipping, a ‘weird litter’ table, an archaeologist on hand to help identify interesting finds, river wildlife experts, a story teller, and a few more surprises.

The event is supported by Old Mutual plc through donations from employees and friends which will be matched by the Old Mutual Foundation. Thames21 is the charity chosen by Old Mutual to support through their Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The Thames has a long history of hosting the Queen, and the river still shows signs of festivities held along its banks. An almost perfectly preserved plastic bag from the Silver Jubilee Festival was found in the mud by a volunteer at Thames21’s Deep Clean in March. This highlights both the central role our river plays in the UK’s celebrations and the need to be mindful with our use of and disposal of plastic.

London’s waterways will be centre stage this summer, as millions of eyes focus on capital and the Olympic Park, which is intersected by a network of rivers and canals.

The Big Waterways Clean Up 2012 is a partnership campaign led by Thames21 to connect East Londoners to their waterways and to London 2012, with a wide range of volunteer-based river and canal activities. Over 600 volunteers have already taken part in 32 events to clean, tidy and improve the canals and riversides in East London as part of the campaign.

These volunteers have collected over 900 black bags of litter and invasive plant species from in and around our waterways. They have also planted 80 trees, 5 wildflower meadows and 1 reed bed to help to transform these areas into safe and fun places for people and wildlife well into the future.

Thames21’s Litter-Free Jubilee will take place on the evening of Friday, June 1, ahead of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday June 3.

This event is also the first opportunity to find out more about Your Tidal Thames – a year-long project looking at a community approach to river management. Come along and tell us your views on the tidal Thames.


Media enquiries, images and interviews: please contact Chris Coode, 07813 799 757


Notes to Editors:


  • Big W­­­­aterways Clean Up 2012 partnership
    The Big Waterways Clean Up 2012 is a partnership campaign delivered by environmental charity Thames21 under the aegis of the London Waterways Commission, with the support of Environment Agency, British Waterways, London 2012 Changing Places programme, Greater London Authority, London Legacy Development Corporation, Port of London Authority, London Councils, City of London Corporation, and the Inland Waterways Association.