Thames21 awarded a major grant to plan revitalisation of the River Roding





Environmental charity Thames21 has been awarded a development grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to plan a 3.5-year project called the Roding Rises that will kick start the revitalisation of the River Roding, which has its source in rural Essex and flows through East London before joining the River Thames at Barking Creek.

Thames21 will work in partnership with organisations and communities from Essex and East London to improve the health of the river Roding and encourage future environmental stewardship by the diverse communities that live alongside it.

Historic modification of the river channel, together with pollution from sewage, agriculture, industry, and roads have all had a significant impact on the wildlife of the River Roding and people’s enjoyment of the river.

Plans for the project include physical river restorations and citizen science projects to improve the river habitat and encourage the return of brown trout to the river, a programme of activities to encourage locals to access and enjoy the river, including guided walks, wildlife talks, art workshops and sporting events, and improve infrastructure including signage and waymarking to Roding Valley Way. There will also be multiple volunteering and training opportunities for local people, enabling them to develop skills as well as contribute to improving the River Roding.

Development funding of £167,811 has been awarded by the Heritage Fund to help Thames21 progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant of £1,486,508 at a later date.

Chris Coode, CEO at Thames21 said: “The River Roding is London’s third longest river. It has a rich history and serves as a vital natural space for people and wildlife alike, physically linking the communities of rural Essex with those of urban east London. Unfortunately, the river has suffered from decades of neglect that has led to a decline in its health and the diversity of wildlife it supports. The Roding now goes by largely unnoticed compared to many of the other tributaries of the Thames and this project presents an opportunity to start a major, whole-river transformation of the Roding.

“Therefore, we are thrilled to have received this support from National Lottery players. The Roding Rises project will encourage a thriving, wildlife-rich river landscape and rekindle local people’s connection to their river. Working with key partners and communities we will begin to improve the river’s biodiversity, as well as maximising social and cultural opportunities along the River Roding.”

The project will be delivered through working with key partners from the Roding, Beam and Ingrebourne catchment partnership including the London boroughs of Redbridge, Newham and Barking & Dagenham, the Environment Agency, the River Roding Trust and the Roding Farm Cluster.

Stuart McLeod, Director England – London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We know how important helping to protect our natural heritage is and are pleased to give our initial support to Thames21 and their Roding Rises project. It’s through projects like these that we can make a real difference and offer people a chance to connect with nature on their doorstep and help with its recovery. We look forward to working with the project team to progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.”


About Thames21

Thames21 connects people with rivers by putting healthy rivers back at the heart of everyday life. We improve and restore rivers, educate and empower the community and campaign for positive change for the good of people and the environment. | Registered Charity No. 1103997

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

The National Lottery Heritage Fund grant applications over £250,000 are assessed in two rounds. The Roding Rises  has initially been granted round one development funding of £168,000 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £1,486,508 million.

As the largest dedicated funder of the UK’s heritage, The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s vision is for heritage to be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone, now and in the future as set out in our strategic plan, Heritage 2033.

Over the next ten years, the Heritage Fund aims to invest £3.6 billion raised for good causes by National Lottery players to bring about benefits for people, places and the natural environment.

The Heritage Fund helps protect, transform and share the things from the past that people care about, from popular museums and historic places, our natural environment and fragile species, to the languages and cultural traditions that celebrate who we are.

The Heritage Fund is passionate about heritage and committed to driving innovation and collaboration to make a positive difference to people’s lives today, while leaving a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

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