Thames River Watch: Citizen science in action

The river Thames is a fantastic resource to be celebrated and enjoyed. But it needs our protection.

It faces sewage pollution, oils and heavy metals from roads, the growing problem of plastic litter, invasive plants and the impact of drought and flooding.

These dangers don’t just impact the Thames and its wildlife. They threaten us too; our quality of life and our city’s prosperity.

Thames River Watch gives us a way to come together as Londoners and communities to protect and monitor the health of the river Thames. It does this by training Londoners to capture vital information on Thames water quality and the types of litter that is collecting on the foreshore.

Together we are creating a far larger data set than would be possible otherwise and are contributing vital data to the existing understanding of the Thames’ health.

This data is enabling us, alongside others, to campaign for its better protection. Our latest reports have helped to raise awareness about the issue of plastic packaging in the river and build the case for action.

Become a citizen scientist with us

You do not need any prior knowledge as our free one day training course covers everything you need to know. All we ask is for you to commit to monitor the River Thames at least six times in the year after your training.

We are launching community hubs in Hammersmith, Battersea, the City of London and Greenwich/Isle of Dogs to act as focal points of activity for Thames research.

The next set of training sessions under Thames River Watch are yet to confirmed. If you are interested you can register your interest here.

Thames River Watch empowers:

  • Individuals through water quality and litter monitoring trainings;
  • Community groupsrecreational groups and youth organisations with bespoke trainings;
  • Primary and secondary schools in close proximity to the Thames with an outdoor learning experience;
  • Businesses who wish to lead their own waterway clean ups.

If you have any questions please contact:

  • AJ. McConville on 07585 302624

Or email:


Want to learn more about your stretch of river?

We run ncfe accredited training days to help people learn about rivers in London, and how to run safe enjoyable clean-up events on them. We can also teach you how to boost river health through creating green spaces and removing invasive species.


Thames River Watch is generously funded by Tideway.