Marsh Dykes and Thamesmead

The Marsh Dykes and Thamesmead Catchment Improvement Group (MDTCIG) is a group of organisations working together to drive improvements to the water environment in this south-east London catchment. Thousands of people live or work by these rivers, canals and lakes, which are also home to a variety of urban wildlife and plants. Our goal is to help to create and manage waterways that are healthier and more attractive for both local communities and wildlife.

About us

The group was created in 2016 and is co-hosted by charities Thames21 and London Wildlife Trust. It consists of local organisations with the aim to gather local knowledge, identify strategic issues and opportunities, bring together multi-organisational expertise and implement best practice in planning and delivery of projects.

Our work is summarised in the Marsh Dykes and Thamesmead Catchment Plan.

Map of Catchment area

The Marsh Dykes and Thamesmead Catchment

The catchment is formed of the natural drainage area for rainfall between Erith Marshes in the east, Shooters Hill in the south and Woolwich in the west. The water bodies within the catchment are highlighted in the map above.

Our Catchment Vision directs our work:

Sustainable wildlife-rich waterways for future generations

This Vision has been developed to guide the work of the MDTCIG. It spells out our core purpose, to ensure we concentrate on projects that fit the Vision’s aims. It underpins the Catchment Plan, which sets out in more detail the projects and strategies for partner organisations to achieve this Vision.

The Vision and its key themes and priorities have been developed in partnership with the local community. In January 2019, a workshop was held with community groups, landowners and local authorities. An online survey was also sent to local stakeholder and community groups, asking people what they valued about the waterways and which areas they would like to see improved. 27 people from 10 different groups and organisations attended this workshop.

The key themes which emerged from this process are: engaging people and raising awareness; improving amenity and accessibility; integrated planning and reducing flood risk; and improving and creating habitats and space for wildlife.

Floating habitat islands look lovely and provide space for pollinators, fish and birds

Projects Within the Catchment:

Examples of the activities delivered by partner organisations within the catchment to date include removing plastic and other waste from canals and lakes in Thamesmead, and creating green space to enhance the canal and lake habitats.  In 2018, 280m2 of floating habitat islands were installed by volunteers and members of the local community in the Thamesmead canals and lakes. This project was delivered by London Wildlife Trust and Thames21 in partnership with the Environment Agency and Peabody.

Volunteers and Peabody staff help to install floating habitat islands in Thamesmead

Catchment Partners:

The following organisations are partners in working towards the objectives of the Catchment Plan to realise the Catchment  Vision:

Thames21

London Wildlife Trust 

Environment Agency 

London Borough of Bexley 

Royal Borough of Greenwich 

Peabody Housing Association 

Thamesmead Town Angling Club 

Thames Water