Catchment Partnerships

We see rivers as a whole, not just the section in front of us. Rivers capture water over large areas (catchments), flowing through many different landscapes, used for different purposes, owned by a variety of landowners. What happens upstream affects what happens downstream; we need to consider the whole catchment in order to protect river health.

Guided by the Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) our Catchment Partnerships seek to improve the health and natural functioning of a wide variety of interconnected water environments and river systems, putting people and wildlife at their heart, to meet the national goal of: ‘improving the environment within a generation and leaving it in a better state than we found it‘  (DEFRA 25 Year Plan )

Thames21 hosts or co-hosts ten out of 28 catchment partnerships covered by the Thames River Basin Management Plan, six of these in Greater London. In terms of catchment partnerships hosted, Thames21 is the largest River Trust in the river Thames district. Working closely with our CaBA host neighbours we also chair the River Partnerships in London (RiPL) group to share knowledge and experience; and support collaboration and effective coordination amongst CaBA hosts.

London’s catchments are uniquely challenged by the fact that they sit within the most urbanised area of the UK and the largest city in Europe. We prioritise on-the-ground local and strategic improvements to river catchments: to protect and improve our shared water environment, its wildlife and essential ecosystem services; and benefit communities across the River Thames Basin.

Our approach to CaBA catchment partnership management follows four core principles:

  • Engaging stakeholders
  • Project identification and development to the point of delivery
  • Fundraising for projects
  • Information sharing and knowledge/evidence building

Working closely with Local Authorities, LLFAs, charities, water companies, local urban and rural communities and individuals, we  establish new projects incorporating nature based solutions, building connections with expert knowledge and support for a wide range of water environment challenges and improvements. These include: natural flood management, road runoff pollution pathways, sustainable urban drainage (SUDS) and constructed wetlands and restoring river habitat and natural processes to increase resilience for biodiversity.


Catchment Partnerships we host and co-host:

Brent Catchment Partnership

London Lea Catchment Partnership

Lower Thames (from Maidenhead to Teddington) Catchment Partnership

Ravensbourne Catchment Improvement Group

Marsh Dykes & Thamesmead Catchment Partnership (with London Wildlife Trust)

Roding, Beam and Ingrebourne (RBI) Catchment Partnership (with Thames Chase Trust)

South Essex Catchment Partnership (with Thames Chase Trust)

Your Tidal Thames Catchment Partnership (with Thames Estuary Partnership)

Cherwell and Ray Catchment Partnership (with Berks, Barks and Oxon Wildlife Trust)

South Chilterns Catchment Partnership (with Action for the River Kennet and Chilterns Chalk Stream Project)


For more information:

Contact Will Oliver, Catchment Partnerships Development Manager