Catchment Partnerships in London

There are nearly 400 miles of waterway in Greater London; the same distance as that between Brighton and Edinburgh.

The Catchment Partnerships in London (CPiL) group is chaired by Thames21 and brings together all organisations who act as hosts or co-hosts for the London river catchments plus others actively involved in Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) work within Greater London.

As the largest Rivers Trust in the greater London area, Thames21 works hard to help develop and deliver the CPiL shared vision for protecting and improving the health of all London’s urban rivers. Many of London’s catchments are characterised by serving and meeting the challenges presented by the most urbanised area in the UK and most populous city in Europe, its communities some of the most culturally and economically diverse and affected by some of the most complex environmental issues. The CPiL group exists to provide mutual support, consistency and collaboration in tackling complex issues and common areas of concern for water environments across the capital. CPiL meets regularly each year to identify where their combined voices can achieve more together than separately on priority issues.

Building on the 2009 London Rivers Action Plan, renewed aspirations (termed Noble Causes ) were co- developed by the CPiL group in 2018:

  • Connecting London – to enable the migration of fish and critically endangered eels
  • Urban Diffuse Pollution – to improve water quality by a variety of means
  • Urban River Restoration – to improve habitats and river processes, support more resilient ecology and access to healthier riversides
  • Tackling London’s problem invasive species –  to work together more efficiently to increase biodiversity



Since 2016, the London Rivers Restoration Group, which is a subgroup  of CPiL, has organised the annual London Rivers Week.This is a coordinated programme of events and activities for London’s residents and visitors to discover and celebrate London’s 600km (373 miles) of accessible blue green space.It highlights the benefits of connecting with healthy water environments, showcasing more than 30km (20.5 miles) of restored urban rivers and wetlands, raising awareness of the challenges they still face and where there is still work to be done.

We were delighted to go ahead with London Rivers Week 2020 in October half term, with adaptations for Covid-19. This very popular event coincided with the launch of a new report highlighting the positive impacts of river restoration across London rivers over the past 20 years.  You can read the headlines for River restoration in London: A 20 year review here. 

To highlight all the wonderful opportunities to get out and walk along London’s many varied waterways and discover historic and recent sites of river restoration, we created a new interactive map highlighting walks along restored river reaches

For information about the Catchment Partnerships in London group or London Rivers Week 2020, please contact Debbie Leach.

Organisations involved in CPiL include:

CPiL draws on the advice of the Environment Agency, the Greater London Authority and Thames Water in delivering its goals.