The River Ravensbourne catchment and the 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 sources at Keston, Locksbottom and Croydon, the river Ravensbourne and its tributaries the River Pool, River Quaggy and Kid Brook flow through the London Boroughs of Bromley, Lewisham, Croydon and Greenwich, eventually reaching 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 objectives are summarised in the Ravensbourne Catchment Action Plan. In order to realise our vision we focus our championing and project work across the whole Ravensbourne catchment on the following themes:
- Habitats and wildlife including water quality and non-native invasive species
- Improving access to the rivers, streams and wetlands
- Public perception and education
- Flooding and flood storage
- Collection of data and evidence including citizen science
- Identifying opportunities through planning and development
An updated catchment plan will be published soon.
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.
- Chinbrook Healthy River Challenge – the creation of a constructed wetland to treat the polluted Grove Park Ditch before it enters the River Quaggy. Managed by Thames21, supported by Lewisham Borough Council and funded by 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)
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