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London Rivers Week – Saturday 23 October – Sunday 31 October 2021

(with thanks to Thames 21 for the information)

London Rivers Week is a week-long annual campaign inspiring the public to celebrate London’s rivers and the projects taking place to rewild and renaturalise them and connecting them with their local communities.

The campaign was launched by the London Rivers Restoration Group in 2016 on behalf of the Catchment Partnerships in London (CPiL) to highlight river restorations.  Between 2008 and 2017 a total of 23.5km (14.6 miles) of rivers have been restored. 

About the London Rivers Restoration Group

The purpose of the London Rivers Restoration Group, a sub-group of CPiL, is to promote and report on the delivery of river restoration and enhancement projects in support of the Catchment-based Approach to delivering Water Framework Directive objectives across London.

Its specific objective is to achieve the following aspirations set out in the London Rivers Action Plan (LRAP):

  1. Improve flood management using more natural processes
  2. Reduce the likely negative impacts of climate change
  3. Reconnect people to the natural environment through urban regeneration
  4. Gain better access for recreation and improved well-being
  5. Enhance habitats for wildlife

The London Rivers Restoration Group includes the Environment Agency, Thames21, the Greater London Authority, the South East Rivers Trust, London Wildlife Trust, ZSL, the Thames Estuary Partnership, CPRE London and Thames Water.

About the Catchment Partnerships in London (CPiL) Group

The purpose of CPiL is to support 12 different Catchment Partnerships within Greater London to share lessons, experiences, best practice and to help achieve a coordinated approach to delivering the objectives of the Water Framework Directive.

CPiL is not a Steering Group for the Catchment Partnerships; instead it supports and facilitates shared action, decision making and communication for the Catchment-based Approach in London.

Catchment Partnerships are groups of organisations working in different geographical locations to improve water quality.

London Rivers Week 2021

Thames 21 London Rivers Week events

Soothing Streams exhibition in London – autumn 2021

(Nora Bzheta, Release, 2021 ©Nora Bzheta. Courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Ling Zhang)

To coincide with the World Rivers Day, soothing streams this September responds to the Creek, one of the most biodiverse landscapes in London, which also acts as a bridge between urban dwellers, the history of the city and water. The show brings together artworks by a carefully curated number of emerging artists, who directly and indirectly navigate the physical and psychical energies of the element and embrace its connecting properties.

The Art Hub Gallery becomes a meditative portal enabling a soothing reconnection with the nearby water.
Whilst anchored in the local context of Deptford, the show simultaneously speaks to contemporary concerns of climate justice, migration, and shorelines, and enables neglected stories of water pollution and urban rivers’ stewardship to resurface. Mediating a communion between art intervention and community celebration, the exhibition follows the weekend of World Rivers Day, and flows into a global reflection on our water relations.


Alexia & Berta

When?

Daily: 30 September – 3 October 12-6pm. 

Performances: Wednesday 29 September at 7pm and Saturday 2 October at 4pm

Where?

Art Hub Studio, 5-9 Creekside, London SE8 4SA

Artist’s Bios

Nora Bzheta: https://nbzheta.com/Contact 

Miles Tuddenham: https://milestuddenham.com/ 

Bart Hajduk: https://www.barthajduk.com/about 

Basile Huma: https://www.instagram.com/gesuskrazus/ 

Nikolai Azariah: https://nikolaiazariah.com/ 

Stumps Hill pond at Beckenham Place Park gets some weevils!

A water fern called Azolla, originally from America has been spreading in the British Isles in recent years and has established itself in the pond at Beckenham Place Park. It is spread by wildfowl and spore dispersal and can quickly take over a pond, swamping the native vegetation and wildlife. It can develop a floating mat 30cm thick, which shades the sunlight from the water and chokes the pond. To control this invasive weed, weevils have been introduced into the pond that eat the Azolla. This should keep it under control and prevent it from taking over the pond. This is a safe natural way to control the weed without using harsh chemicals. To watch the video about the project, click the link below!

https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/youtu.be/dBYSGBo23Kk__;!!CVb4j_0G!CP-IT_iYHMHhmJUtAW9ZM3s14lsrBGtsfoqgagLQSR8cTSOW-rwyap3myuMz3v9_14w_VvSNG9MVBmb44UU$

World Wetlands Day with the Wildlife Trust

World Wetlands Day with Walthamstow Wetlands

Below are details of the Wildlife Trusts Wetland Day on the 2nd February, which is being hosted online over zoom:

The events are:
10:00 – Come and join guest speaker Ian Crump, Biodiversity Field Officer for Thames Water, for a talk about freshwater habitats, their management, uses as vital sources of supply and habitats for a wide range of species, to celebrate World Wetlands Day 2021
https://www.wildlondon.org.uk/events/2021-02-02-world-wetlands-day-freshwater-its-importance-people-and-wildlife-ian-crump

12:30 – Join Walthamstow Wetlands visitor engagement ranger, Pete, to explore the types of wetland around the world, the life they support, the ecosystem services they provide and why they are worth protecting and restoring.
https://www.wildlondon.org.uk/events/2021-02-02-world-wetlands-day-wetlands-world-pete-salter

15:00 – Join patch birder and volunteer, Daniel Whitelegg, to get an inside peek of the reserves seasonal comings and goings. Learn how important the reservoirs are for over 140 species and why they choose to spend their lives here. From the glamourous bearded tit to the ubiquitous but overlooked greylag goose. 
https://www.wildlondon.org.uk/events/2021-02-02-world-wetlands-day-birds-eye-view-wetlands-daniel-whitelegg

Click the links to sign up!

Happy Christmas from Rivers and People

This has been a strange old year for all of us, but I am pleased that we have still manged to get so much work done. We hope that we will be back to some sort of normality in the Spring and will be able to start taking bigger groups out. Thank you to everyone that has joined us on one of our sessions in 2020 – our rivers and banksides are all the better for your work! We look forward to seeing you all in 2021!

The Tweed Invasives Project

For those of you who have spent time with me and other volunteer groups in activities such as The 3 Rivers Clean Up clearing himalayan balsam know what great fun it is. You may wonder, however if it is all worthwhile? Of course we know it is because in Lewisham we have seen a huge reduction in the amount of HB in the years that we have been running the 3 Rivers Clean Up and other similar sessions.

The Tweed Invasives Project has been tackling invasive plant species in and around the River Tweed and its tributaries since 2002, when Giant Hogweed was identified as one of the biggest threats to the River.  Since then, they have added Japanese knotweed and Himalayan Balsam to their list of invasives. With all this fantastic experience, they have produced a ‘best practice’ manual, The Tweed Invasives Project: 18 Years of Catchment-wide Control, which gives a detailed guide to delivering a long-term, catchment-scale invasives control programme.

It is a fantastic document highlighting all the different ways in which you can control these species. For those of you that only want to read about Himalayan balsam, you will find this from p24 onwards.

Rivers and People sessions cancelled

Due to the most recent advice from the UK Government and from Lewisham Council, we have decided to cancel the Rivers and People volunteering sessions and until further notice. I appreciate that you may be disappointed by this news, but in light of the current advice this we feel this is the best course of action. I will of course update you as advice changes.

Please let anyone know that you see who may not see this message

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Virtual Tour of Lewisham’s Rivers

There are a lot of wonderful volunteers out there who help keep our rivers clean, from the Friends of the River Pool to Nature’s Gym to Thames21. Part of the reason our rivers are so lovely, is down to this dedicated bunch of people. This is usually the time of year when we, along with a number of partners, would be great ready for the the 3 Rivers Clean Up. Unfortunately, with the way things are currently, we are not sure if this will be able to go ahead. This is a great shame because not only is it great fun, it is a lovely way to meet people and also get to see parts of the Borough you may not know about and experience from a new angle.  Thankfully, local resident and very active volunteer Lawrence is here to help. On his blog Mental Mapping he has created a ‘virtual tour’ of Lewisham’s Rivers.

Waiting to get in

The tour takes in the rivers Ravensbourne, Quaggy and Pool along with their associated tributaries. You will get an idea of the flora and geomorphology along the rivers along with the type of great work the volunteers do. 

Catchment Map

If you are keen to get involved in volunteering along the rivers, keep an eye out on the following blogs, where we will post updates information about events you’ll be able to take part in – hopefully in the not too distance future!

Rivers and People
3 Rivers Clean Up
Nature’s Gym
Thames 21
Friends of River Pool