Cleaner Thames Challenge 2013

Press Release for immediate release

London’s leading waterways charity joins in International Coastal Cleanup
Volunteers needed!

Londoners are again being urged to challenge themselves on the foreshore this September and help clean-up the capital’s great river.

London’s leading waterway charity, Thames21 will work with volunteers to clean-up some of the dirtiest stretches of the Thames at the Isle of Dogs and Hammersmith Bridge in the Cleaner Thames Challenge, supported by M&G Investments.

These sites are plagued by embedded plastic bags, shopping trolleys, traffic cones, tyres and all sorts of debris that end up in our waterways. Litter such as plastic poses a direct threat to river and marine wildlife which can ingest, choke on or become entangled in it, causing injury and death.

The annual Cleaner Thames Challenge makes year on year gains in tackling this build up. Over 260 volunteers took part in last year’s challenge, removing 8 tonnes of litter from three badly-littered areas of the Thames.

This year, Thames21 has joined the movement for ‘Trash Free Sea’s by being a part of the 28th annual International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest volunteer effort to help protect our ocean, lakes and rivers. Last year, more than 550,000 people picked up more than 10 million pounds of trash along nearly 20,000 miles of coastlines.

Chris Coode, Senior Programmes Manager, Thames21, said: Volunteers in our annual Cleaner Thames Challenge have dramatically reduced the build-up of harmful litter on the foreshore. This is your chance to have a direct impact on the health of our capital’s iconic river and be a part of a global movement to clean up our ocean, rivers and lakes.”

A spokesperson for M&G Investments said: “We are delighted to support this very worthy initiative and to help in the fight against the build-up of litter in the Thames and along its foreshore.  Great progress has been made in this regard in the past and the Cleaner Thames Challenge will build upon those successes to help ensure a cleaner Thames for the future.”

The Cleaner Thames Challenge is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Volunteers can help out as little or as much as they like, with full equipment, supervision and support provided.  Please wear old clothes that you do not mind getting dirty, and which are suitable for the weather conditions.
Under 16s require adult supervision.
Please let us know of any access requirements. Please contact us in advance if you are coming with a group of more than 10 people (no dogs or children under 5 years please!).

For more information, contact: Chris Coode 07813 799 757

Friday 20th September:
Isle of Dogs
8.00am – 11.00am
Nearest Tube: Island Gardens (DLR)

Sat 21st September:
Hammersmith Bridge South
10.30am – 1.30pm
Nearest Tube: Hammersmith

Sun 22nd October:
Hammersmith Bridge South
11.00am –  2.00pm
Nearest Tube: Hammersmith

Media enquiries, images and interviews: please contact Emily Braham on 020 7213 0166 or 07827 352675 or

Notes to Editor

Thames21 is an environmental charity (registered number 1103997) which works with communities to improve their rivers, canals, ponds and lakes for people and wildlife.

  • Follow Thames21’s updates on and Facebook
  • Plastic and other litter poses a direct threat to wildlife, causing death and injury to marine and fresh water fish mammals and birds through entanglement and ingestion. At least 267 different species are known to have suffered from entanglement or ingestion of marine debris including seabirds, turtles, seals, sea lions, whales and fish(source: ‘Plastic Debris in the World’s Oceans’, Greenpeace.)
  • Thames21 supports the Break the Bag habit campaign which is calling for a charge on all single use carrier bags
  • M&G launched the UK’s first mutual fund in 1931 and has continued this history of innovation ever since
  • M&G offers investors a wide range of funds across equities, bonds, property and multi asset.
  • Ocean Conservancy educates and empowers citizens to take action on behalf of the ocean. From the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico to the halls of Congress, Ocean Conservancy brings people together to find solutions for our water planet. Informed by science, our work guides policy and engages people in protecting the ocean and its wildlife for future generations