London Rivers Week

London Rivers Week 2021 will take place between 23 October and 31 October.

Hundreds of you joined us during last year’s campaign to learn about rewilding rivers in London – through films, walks, webinars, online tours, and clean-ups.

Our partners are planning lots more exciting events for our sixth London Rivers Week, along the theme of access to nature, wellbeing and climate resilience.

The Covid pandemic has highlighted just how much people value access to nature for their health and wellbeing. However, it has also demonstrated just how fragile those green and blue spaces are when faced with a range of pressures, from climate change to pollution in various forms.

We’re aiming to showcase not only what has been done to restore waterways, but to urge you to take part in helping to protect London’s treasured blue and green spaces, via a mix of online and public events. We know you’re keen to help nature, so come and learn how you can get involved in regular volunteering or evidence gathering through citizen science.

There will also be new data shared during the week on opportunities for river restoration across London and we’re planning a conference with speakers on health and wellbeing. Our map below will be populated nearer the time with events.

In the meantime, why not do two things?

Firstly, save the date and spread the word that London Rivers Week will be happening in late October.

Secondly, continue to explore some of London’s great blue green spaces by enjoying our self-guided walks that were put together for London Rivers Week 2020.

London Rivers Week

London has nearly 400 miles of waterway – that’s the same distance from Brighton to Edinburgh. 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 Map

Restored rivers, events and guided walks

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 past 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.

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

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 sixth year, London Rivers Week raises awareness of London’s network of rivers, how they benefit us and how we can protect them. We look forward to seeing you for London Rivers Week 2021!