Rivers and People

Go with the flow


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River Resources

Welcome to the Rivers & People Web Resource for teachers, students and individuals interested in finding out more about some of the activities the project has been involved in.

Click on the tabs above to browse through the subject areas and please feel free to download and / or print any of the resources on offer.  However, if you do use any, all we ask is that you email us to let us know how you got on with them and to leave any comments/feedback/improvements/suggestions!

Lesson in Ladywell Fields

Lesson in Ladywell Fields

Additional river-related resources and equipment are available to borrow from Lewisham Council. Please contact us.

River Volunteering

Take part in our river volunteering sessions

Take part in our river volunteering sessions

We also have a number of river related volunteering opportunities.  We are keen to get people involved in their local rivers and help us maintain them through bankside management and litter picks.  We tend to work in  4 parks; Brookmill Park, Chinbrook Meadows, Cornmill Gardens and Ladywell Fields.  If you would like to get involved, please visit the River Volunteering tab where you will find all the information you need.


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New RBSM Programme now available

Clearing the secondary channel in Ladywell Fields

Clearing the secondary channel in Ladywell Fields

The January – March 2017 RBSM programme is now available.  If you are new to the River Bankside Sessions, please check out our How to get Involved,  FAQ and River Volunteering pages where hopefully you will find all the information that you need.  If after reading this you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us.  You can also read a little about the team that you’ll be working with.


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Citizen Scientists needed for Ravensbourne Catchment

2016 Citizen Science

We’re writing to invite you to sign up for training for an exciting new volunteering  opportunity – the Ravensbourne River Monitoring Initiative (RMI).

 Are you a Citizen Scientist in the making, fascinated by the wriggly creatures that anchor the ecology of a healthy river?  Would you like to learn and apply simple sampling techniques to monitor these invertebrates?  Are you prepared to commit to doing this regularly, to provide a continuous picture?

 Our local rivers – sometimes invisible or channelled into concrete, elsewhere happily restored – form the Ravensbourne Catchment.  The Ravensbourne, Quaggy and Pool rivers capture nature’s water and move it to the sea via the Thames at Deptford.

 RMI is a proven method of checking on our rivers, already used elsewhere in London and the UK.  We are organising an RMI training day in southeast London on Saturday 21st May 2016.  It will be run by Joe Pecorelli of the Zoological Society of London.  Volunteers need to be fit enough to stand in or near a river regularly and be prepared to work in a small team.

We’ve both had this training and are keen to start up an RMI scheme on the Ravensbourne Catchment.  RMI can flag up pollution, reveal ecological variety, and raise public awareness around rivers.  And it’s welly good fun!

We are happy to answer any questions and to speak informally to local groups.  Please see the attached flyer for details of the training day.


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Ravensbourne Catchment Improvement Plan

Ravensbourne Catchment plan front page

Ravensbourne Catchment plan

The River

The river Ravensbourne rises, 4 miles south of Bromley town centre at Caesar’s Well in Keston.  It then flows through the London Boroughs of Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich where it then joins the River Thames at Deptford, where its 1/2 mile muddy tidal reach is known as Deptford Creek.  The Ravensbourne is 11 miles (17 km) in length with a total catchment area of 180 km2.

River Ravensbourne Catchment Map

River Ravensbourne Catchment Map

The Ravensbourne Catchment Improvement Plan

The Catchment Improvement Plan was an initiative led by Thames 21 and supported by several partners, including Lewisham Council, to encourage those with an interest in their local rivers to express their views and have a say about the future of the River Pool, the River Quaggy and the River Ravensbourne. The project had a focus on getting local people more involved in their environment and help them to understand more about the rivers in their backyard. Following on from the two years of extensive consultation and the production of development document ‘The Vision’ in 2014, the Ravensbourne Catchment Partnership hosts Thames21 completed the Ravensbourne Catchment Plan in 2015.

What next?

Within the completed Plan is the Ravensbourne Project Schedule, which contains the main projects that are in progress, in planning or in development along the catchment. These projects are aimed at carrying on the great work that has gone before along the catchment such as the delivery of Sutcliffe Park, Chinbrook Meadows and Ladywell Fields regeneration projects, so that we can remove as much hard engineering as possible, create as many natural habitats as feasible and improve the public amenity value of our waterways without compromising our capacity in dealing with major rainfall events.

How you can help

The RCIG will continue to positively engage with the public by holding training days so that individuals can learn how to lead a river event or conduct water-quality testing. There is also an opportunity for your views to be raised at the RCIG meeting by contacting one of the RCIG partners.

However, if you feel your views are not represented by one of the existing partners please contact Lawrence Beale-Collins, the chair of the group, to discuss representing your group/organisation at the RCIG or to find other ways to become involved.

Rivers Ravensbourne

Rivers Ravensbourne

Ravensbourne Catchment Improvement Group

In 2012 Thames21 joined a range of partners from local community groups and charities to councils and government agencies to form the Ravensbourne Catchment Improvement Group (RCIG). This group is working to improve the rivers of the Ravensbourne Catchment for people and for wildlife.

The priority for the RCIG is to develop, promote and deliver the Vision and Catchment Plan for the Ravensbourne, Pool and Quaggy rivers.

The work of the RCIG is part of Defra and the Environment Agency’s  ‘catchment-based  approach‘(CaBA) to working with individuals and organisations that can make a difference to the health of England’s water environments. The catchment-based approach aims to deliver and raise awareness of the Water Framework Directive and what this means for our rivers, estuaries and coastal waters – which is EU legislation requiring improvements to water quality and the river environment.

Ravensbourne Catchment Improvement Group members

Thames21 is the RCIG ‘host’. Their role is to organise and coordinate the different members of the partnership, and drive Catchment Plan Project Schedule forward. Thames21 is also the initial contact point for any enquiries you may have.
Here is a list of RCIG partners:

Quaggy Waterways Action Group (QWAG)
London Wildlife Trust
LB Lewisham
LB Bromley
Royal Borough of Greenwich
LB Croydon
Thames21