London Rivers Week

After two successful years, London Rivers Week will be back in 2018, running from Saturday June 23 to Sunday July 1.

London Rivers Week was first staged in 2016 to celebrate river restorations across the capital, with 350 people attending 34 events put on by 11 organisations.  In 2017, the week was an even bigger success, with 862 people attending 34 events put on by 15 organisations.

London Rivers Week aims to inspire people to take pride in our waterways, understand the challenges they face and come together to create a healthy future for our rivers.

Run by the London Rivers Restoration Group on behalf of the Catchment Partnerships in London (CPiL) we are busy planning walks, talks and seminars for the 2018 campaign, with the focus on “The Value of Water”.

The week was conceived to celebrate reaching the London Plan target of 15km of rivers being restored between 2008 and 2015. In fact, 23.5km, or 14.6 miles, of rivers have been restored up to the end of 2017, from that starting point.

In 2017 there were wildlife open days, openings of new project sites, walks by enthusiasts as well as environmental organisations, project demonstrations as well as chances to join clean-ups and even a reedbed installation.

There were also seminars such as one at the London Assembly’s City Hall, entitled, “Why Restore Rivers?” at which developers had the opportunity to listen to the benefits of including river restorations. A brief document called How River Restorations Enhance Developments in London, outlining some of the benefits of such work, is now available. Examples of developer-led restorations include Ladywell Fields, Lewisham, where the opening event for London Rivers Week was held in 2017.

If you are looking for great days out, why not read about and then visit 23 projects at places you can visit to escape the city and get beside rewilded rivers, including developer-led restorations of Firs Farm and Woodberry Wetlands.

London’s rivers are often peaceful, natural places, where we can escape city life. They are havens where we can relax by the water, watch swans nesting or if we’re lucky, spot a flash of blue as one of Britain’s most beautiful birds, a kingfisher, speeds across the water.

London Rivers Week is a chance to celebrate the capital’s many rivers, and all the work going on to rewild and restore them. This includes bringing them above ground (daylighting); creating or restoring new wetlands, or breaking them out of concrete channels.  Londoners all across the city are helping reclaim, rescue and restore our rivers, and we urge you to join them!

Catchment Partnerships and environmental organisations such as Thames21, ZSL, London Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency and the South East Rivers Trust are putting on public events, walks and talks at special river sites.

In 2017, we gave individual enthusiasts the chance to hold talks about their favourite stretch of river, on any aspect that fascinated them. We called it “Tales from the Riverbank”.

In 2017, the week was sponsored by Thames Water, who  want to know what’s important to you. Customers are being asked to be part of the planning process and help define the delivery of future water services: Your water future.

London Rivers Restoration Group is a sub-group of Catchment Partnerships in London, a coalition of organisations working to improve London’s rivers.