What we do

Thames21’s vision is to put healthy rivers at the heart of community life – and we’re taking a four-pronged approach to get there.

Through our education programme, we are empowering people; our environmental enhancement work is transforming rivers; meanwhile our pioneering research and advocacy work are paving the way for sustainable change. All of this is achieved with the direct engagement and support from a wide network of dedicated volunteers.


Environmental improvements that transform:

We help communities reclaim their rivers through rewilding projects which improve river banks access, increase biodiversity and beautify waterways. We help clean rivers and reduce urban flooding by creating rainscapes and reedbeds. And we wouldn’t be Thames21 if we didn’t work alongside local communities to organise regular clean-ups where we transform a river in just a few hours.

Education that empowers:

Our education programme teaches schoolchildren, individuals and communities of the value of our river networks. We are nurturing generations of people through our accredited trainings, school outreach, outdoor classrooms and informal community education – supporting and enabling them to become future guardians of our waterways.


Pioneering research that influences: 

Coupling the latest technology with tried and tested methods of data collection puts us in a robust position to understand the health of our rivers. In partnership with Brunel University we have launched a trail-blazing project that will use remote controlled boats to survey the water quality of our rivers in hard to reach locations. Meanwhile, our citizen science programme is making valuable contributions to science by helping us better understand the health of the Thames – through water quality testing, and through litter monitoring to analyse the types and quantities of litter, which helps us tackle the sources of litter that are reaching the Thames.
Advocacy that energises:

We use our solid reputation to influence meaningful change for communities and waterways; advocating for rivers and communities at senior level. We partner on key campaigns to galvanise change such as cutting plastic pollution in our rivers. We contribute to policy and advisory groups that introduce effective and sustainable measures, such as Break The Bag Habit, and host and bring together many catchment partnerships across London that collaborate to share ideas and best practice. We co-ordinate London Rivers Week, an annual showcase of river restorations on the Thames, through the London Rivers Restoration Group, a sub-section of the Catchment Partnerships in London.