The River Ravensbourne catchment & Ravensbourne Catchment Improvement Group (RCIG)
Located in south east London, the River Ravensbourne has 41 miles (66km) of rivers and streams, serving a total catchment area of 111 square miles (180km²). Rising from spring sources at Keston, Locksbottom and Croydon, the river Ravensbourne and its tributaries the Rivers Pool, Quaggy and Kid Brook flow through the London Boroughs of Bromley, Lewisham, Croydon and Greenwich, eventually joining the River Thames at Deptford. As a tributary of the River Thames, the River Ravensbourne forms part of the Thames River Basin District.
The Ravensbourne Catchment Improvement Group
Our partnership work is led by the Ravensbourne Catchment Improvement Group (or RCIG), which formed in 2012 in order to represent a wide range of local stakeholders with a shared interest in improving the whole River Ravensbourne system to benefit local people and water-dependent wildlife.
The RCIG meets regularly throughout the year to work together proactively, bringing together ideas and energy guided by a strategic agreement. Members share information and build knowledge about sustainable water and river management and identify opportunities to improve local river sites across the whole Ravensbourne catchment.
We are one of several catchment partnerships hosted by Thames21, and part of a network of catchment partnerships across the country. Formed as part of the UK Government’s Catchment Based Approach initiative, catchment partnerships help implement obligations for protecting and improving water environments under the Water Framework Directive. This is our overall vision for the catchment:
To improve the rivers and to provide wider benefits for people and nature at a catchment scale.
What we do
Our catchment vision and objectives are summarised in our Ravensbourne Catchment Action Plan. To progress our action plan we focus on championing, fundraising and developing projects across the whole Ravensbourne catchment that will help to improve:
- Habitats and wildlife resilience, by improving water quality and reducing non-native invasive species;
- Greater access to the network of rivers, streams and wetlands within the interconnected Ravensbourne-Pool-Quaggy catchment;
- Public perception and awareness of environmental pressures and opportunities for improvements;
- Flood storage and resilience, to reduce the risks of flooding to homes and businesses;
- Collection of data and evidence, including citizen science, to record changes over time;
- Opportunities for positive changes through planning and development.
Our new partnership Action Plan is a collaborative ‘live working document’ that will be reviewed and updated at regular intervals.
The River Ravensbourne has a long history of river restoration, improvement projects partnership working and citizen science. Ongoing projects include:
- 3 Rivers Clean Up – an annual three week programme with partners delivering numerous volunteer events around the catchment to manage invasive species.
- Quaggy Links – a collaborative vision, led by the Quaggy Waterways Action Group, for improvements in river habitats and biodiversity, and access to the River Quaggy between Chinbrook Meadows and Sutcliffe Park.
- Chinbrook SUDS Healthy River Challenge – will see the creation of a constructed wetland to treat the polluted Grove Park Ditch before it enters the River Quaggy, working closely with the Friends of Chinbrook Meadows, led by Thames21 in partnership with Lewisham Borough Council and the Environment Agency.
- Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (RMI) – a community run citizen science initiative monitoring pollution-sensitive freshwater invertebrates.
The Ravensbourne Catchment Partnership network
The Ravensbourne catchment partnership includes local authorities, NGOs, water companies and local community groups. Some of the key catchment partners are:
Thames21 (CaBA catchment partnership host)
Friends of Sutcliffe PArk
Friends of the River Pool
If you would like to get involved with the river Ravensbourne, have questions or project ideas we’d love to hear from you. Contact Lucy Shuker