There are numerous ongoing projects in the Ravensbourne Catchment, and a range of plans for the future. Today, the Ravensbourne boasts many celebrated stretches of river regeneration, whose parks support a broad range of plant and animal species.
The rivers and riverside green spaces are very popular with local communities who, along with river-based NGOs, play an important role in their upkeep.
The Ravensbourne Catchment Plan 2015-2021 included celebrating regeneration projects that had been completed during the previous 20 years, as well as setting out a project schedule of restoration and upgrade projects that the group would carry out to improve the rivers Pool, Quaggy and Ravensbourne.
These projects are aimed at carrying on the great work that has gone before along the catchment to remove as much hard engineering (such as concrete channels) as possible, create natural habitats and improve the public amenity of our waterways without compromising our capacity in dealing with major rainfall events. Good examples of such work include regeneration schemes for Sutcliffe Park, Chinbrook Meadows and Ladywell Fields.
Within the Ravensbourne catchment, we now have sustainable drainage (reedbeds) projects such as at Chinbrook Meadows in development. The River Pool project, funded by Lewisham, addresses biodiversity and hydromorphology.
These projects have been accelerated since the very wet winter of 2013-14, when parts of the Quaggy and Ravensbourne flooded.
Projects waiting to be funded have been developed for Well Hall Stream, East Beck and Petts Wood.
Apart from these projects, the catchment has an active group of volunteers carrying out regular clean-ups and managing bankside flora.
There is also the Riverfly Monitoring Initiative, inspecting the sampling the waters regularly to gauge water quality. This project is run with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), with the data assessed by the EA and Thames Water.
Volunteers have also worked with ZSL in completing an Outfall Safari, mapping and photographing the pipes and outlets coming into 30km of rivers, to inform pollution-tackling work.
The 3 Rivers Clean Up, which tackles non-native invasive species along the rivers Ravensbourne, Pool and Quaggy, celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018.
Run in June each year, the 3 Rivers Clean Up is an annual, intensive series of volunteering events that aims to improve and maintain the three rivers that flow through Lewisham, Greenwich and Bromley.
Over the years, 8,000 volunteer hours have been spent ridding rivers of invasive species, mainly Himalayan balsam but also giant hogweed. This hugely popular event enables local people to get in the river and experience the benefits of nature as well as make a lasting difference to the habitat.