London Rivers Week 2020

** London Rivers Week 2020: 24 October – 1 November  **

Join us to learn about rewilding rivers in London – through films, walks, clean-ups, talks and hunting down secret rivers. 

London Rivers Week

London has nearly 400 miles of waterway – that’s the same distance from Brighton to Edinburgh. Much of it is still trapped in concrete but over the past 20 years more than 20 miles has been ‘rewilded’ or restored. Rewilding can involve simple actions such as adding woody material to a river, or removing concrete and metal from its banks. It can also mean giving rivers more space to flood over water meadows, or creating new wetlands beside them. It can even mean daylighting stretches of rivers – bringing buried rivers into the light once more. London has examples of all of these, and you can find them through the map below.

London Rivers Week helps us all reconnect with the many tributaries of the Thames through a series of free events including walks, talks, seminars, citizen science and interactive family events. This year the festival involves a mix of COVID-safe socially-distanced riverside events, online events and a range of digital tools to help you find London’s secret and rewilded rivers. We hope you enjoy grabbing some time in blue-green space this autumn half term!

Post a picture on your favourite social media with #LRW2020 and tag us @thames21 on Twitter and Instagram. You can also use the downloadable sheet below to note your findings and share them with us!

London Rivers Week Events

London Rivers Week Map

Restored rivers, events and guided walks

Discover the events taking place this year using the map above. Click on an event from the list (on the right hand side) and the map will zoom to the location and a pop-up window will show with more info.

Click on the ‘River restoration sites’ tab to explore rewilded river sites. If you click on the time slider icon (top-right) you will see how much river has been rewilded in the last 20 years.

Self-guided walks: click on the ‘self-guided walks’ tab to explore the walks that you can take along London’s rivers. Many of them will take you to some of the restored river sites.  Click on a walk or on a restoration site from the list (on the right hand side) and the map will zoom to the location and a pop-up window will show with more info.

London Rivers Week Podcast

Enjoy this podcast featuring four key environmental expects from across the Thames, discussing the main messages of London Rivers Week. Topics include: habitat restoration and green infrastructure, health and wellbeing and the successful return of species into the estuary.

Self-guided Walks Directory

Bentley Priory, Harrow: A circular walk through Harrow’s Green Belt

Beverley Brook Walk: 6.5 miles through Wimbledon Common, Richmond Park & Barnes Common to the Thames

Brent River Park: follow the river to explore eight beautiful green spaces

Jubilee Greenway: a 35 mile circular walk joining the Thames, several of London’s parks and waterways including the Grand Union Canal and the River Lea

Dollis Valley: 10 mile walk between Green Belt and Hampstead Heath taking in the Dollis Brook, which eventually joins the Mutton Brook to form the river Brent

Grand Union Canal Walk: Walk the London sections only or take time out to do the entire walk from Brentford to Birmingham!

River Moselle Walk: From the northern heights in the west to the river Lea in the east, the route of the Moselle river connects nature reserves and green spaces and is responsible for the saying ‘Highgate’s rain is Tottenham’s pain’

Hogsmill River Walk: Walk in two sections from its source at Ewell to Tolworth and from Tolworth to where the Hogsmill joins the Thames at Kingston

Lea Valley Walk: six sections tracing the river Lea between Waltham Cross and East India Dock

Mills and Thrills, Lea Valley: 4 mile walk taking in the river Lea, world’s oldest surviving tidal mill at Three Mills and the cathedral-like Abbey Mills Pumping Station

River Ravensbourne: This illustrated walk covers approximately 4 miles from Catford to the Thames

Stanmore Country Park: Here you’ll find the Cloisters Brook, a headwater stream of the river Brent, plus great views over London

The Thames Path: 79 miles, divided into four sections on both the north and south bank: from Richmond’s lost floodplains to the Dickensian stretches of the eastern marshes

Three Hidden Gems, Lea Valley : 2.5 miles from Canning Town to East India DLR: visiting the Lea, Bow Creek Ecology Park, Trinity Buoy Wharf, East India Dock Basin and the Thames

Urban Oasis, Lea Valley: 3.5 miles taking in Tottenham Marshes, Pymmes Brook and the River Lea

Wandle Riverside History Walk: 4.5 miles long, this walk takes you past historic pubs, notable industries and to the spot where the Wandle joins the Thames

The Wandle Trail: From East Croydon to the Thames

Discover the Source of the Wandle: 1. Carshalton

Discover the Source of the Wandle 2: Croydon

Discover the Source of the Wandle 3: From Carshalton to Croydon

Read our latest River Restoration Report

Share your adventures with us

Click on the image above to be linked to a downloadable pdf you can use when out and about and share to your Instagram or Facebook story

Use the Thames21 spotter sheet to help you find and identify the wildlife on our waterways

Help fish migrate across London

View the fullscreen version of Fish Migration map at fishroadmap.london

Read more about our top rewilded river oases

Guide to the capital’s dragonflies

Interactive soundmap

Check out this interactive sound map of London’s waterways – where you can click on a placename to hear its sounds and read about the recording.

Restoring the River Brent video

Watch our Restoring the River Brent video – all about the history of the Brent and the restoration work we are doing to bring it back to life!

Now in its fifth year, London Rivers Week raises awareness of London’s network of rivers, how they benefit us and how we can protect them.