Category Archives: Our Voice

Invitation to participate in UK Coastal Governance research

Invitation to participate in UK Coastal Governance research

Members and stakeholders of TEP are invited to participate in research on marine and terrestrial management across the land-sea interface; opportunities, barriers and mechanisms to support collaboration; and how to improve coastal stewardship. 
Natasha Bradshaw from the University of the West of England is leading this research, which will be facilitating a group of UK experts engaged in a collective dialogue about the future governance of the coast over the next few months.
An online survey was launched last week and is available here for TEP stakeholders:
It will take 20-30 minutes to complete with the option to participate further in the research. Attached to this email are the Participant Information Sheet and Round #1 survey for background information.  The survey will close on Friday 6th October.


Feel free to contact Natasha directly with any queries.

New Aquatic Habitat Where River Wandle Meets Thames

Removal of the half tide weir in Wandsworth has enabled silt to be cleared and a wildlife habitat to be restored.  

The half tide weir was built at the mouth of the river Wandle in the late 1980s. Silt had accumulated immediately upstream, some of which was contaminated, and aquatic ecology had suffered as a result.

As part of its improvement work to offset the impact of construction of the Tideway tunnel, Tideway collaborated with a range of stakeholders to remove the weir and to create a new aquatic habitat. The work was completed in March and it is now designated a site with importance for nature conservation.

Wandsworth’s Environment Spokesman, Cllr Jonathan Cook, said: “Removing all the sludge and silt that has built up over the years and removing this redundant old weir will allow the water to flow much more freely and hopefully restore a thriving habitat for fish and other aquatic wildlife. It will also encourage a much wider range of plant life to flourish in the river again.”


Earlier this year we reported how testing the sediment at the weir site enabled the contaminated silt to be removed separated which totally changed the way the project was managed.


For full case study, ‘Encouraging Fish Habitats’, click here 

For previous article, ‘Contaminated Sediment in Wandsworth – When Testing Pays Off’, click here 

Maiden Voyage For Tower Hamlets’ Children

60 children aged 8-12 years from Tower Hamlets, who had never been on the river before, were treated to a boat trip by the Thames Estuary Partnership (TEP) to teach them about the wonders of the Thames.


The half day trip on 14 August ran from Canary Wharf to Woolwich, passing the Thames Barrier, and was full of activities designed to help the children  recognise the wildlife, ships and iconic buildings in and around the Thames. The highlight for many was just being on a boat. Rujina Ali, Community Projects and Partnerships Officer, said: “The boat was amazing! Three floors with lots of kids gave us room to manoeuvre. The children left feedback saying it was one of their favourite trips.”

TEP is also running a hands-on experience in short film-making, with Hermitage Rivers Project, for teenagers in Tower Hamlets. This is  part of the outreach of The Living Thames Documentary. Again the aim is to help young people connect with their natural environment, the Thames and ultimately the ocean. Click here to find out more.

New Slipway into Thames Makes A Splash in Tower Hamlets

A watersports centre in east London is benefitting from a new slipway into the River Thames, with help from the company building London’s super sewer.

Tideway funded the construction of the new slipway at the Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre, a charity which provides watersports and outdoor activities.  The construction was undertaken by VolkerStevin.


The slipway was officially opened at the end of June by former Olympic rower and Programme Manager at Tideway, Andrew Triggs Hodge.

Guests had the chance to try their hands at all the exciting activities the centre has to offer – including sailing, kayaking, canoeing, bell-boating, rowing, climbing and high-ropes.


Jeff Alchin, Project Manager at Tideway’s nearby site at King Edward Memorial Park, said: “We are thrilled with the finished slipway, especially as it means the local community can continue to enjoy water-based activities on the Thames while we are working to clean up the river nearby.”


Mike Wardle, Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre Director said: “The new slipway is amazing and will help the Centre users access the River Thames more safely than before. The design also allows for people with disabilities access to the river through the programmes we run for local schools and our long term youth programme. A big thank you to all those involved.” 



7th August Deadline For New Roles With Land Of The Fanns

A new team is being created, including two Engagement Officers whose role is key to the success of the Land of the Fanns. The Environment Engagement Officer and the Heritage Engagement Officer are both full time and based in Thames Chase Forest Centre, Upminster. 

The Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership has secured £1.3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to deliver a 5 year, $2.4 million programme to discover, celebrate and restore one of the last remaining landscapes of London to as it once was. Located on the edge of east London and south-west Essex this exciting new project will build on the landscape regeneration story of Thames Chase Community Forest established in 1990.

If you think you would like to play a part in taking this innovative scheme forward, please submit a CV and a covering letter which should reflect the person specification in the application pack, to

For further information and to download the information pack, please visit


Lightermen Win Thames 2017 Barge Race

The 42nd Thames Barge Race saw teams of five rowers using nothing more than strength, skill and the London tide to power hefty barges over a course of seven miles between the Palaces of Greenwich and Westminster. 

Cheered on by family, friends and colleagues in following boats, the competitors took turns in rowing and steering the barges, weighing up to 30 tonnes, using 20 feet oars or ‘sweeps’.Winners for 2017 were The Company of Waterman and Lighterman with a time of 1 hour and 41 minutes. The PLA team were runners up.

Many of the competing barges were over 100 years old surviving from a time when lightermen shifted cargoes along the river.

The event is very popular for spectators, who line the route, watch from bridges and other vantage points along the way or watch from one of the many Thames pleasure craft that follow the course.

For more information about the Thames Barge Driving Trust and other barge driving events please click here.


Plastic Ocean Festival

Sink or swim? A global issue at home in London

Plastic pollution in the oceans is a growing, global problem but it can also be found right here at home in London in our own waterways.

The Plastic Ocean Festival aims to promote public awareness and to understand the damaging effects of plastic pollution in our waterways and oceans; encourage individual and group action to refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle plastic by starting at home in London. 

To do this it showcases a series of free public events from April to September 2017 in London incorporating stand up paddleboarding and waterway clean-ups with screenings of documentary films and discussions from scientists.

It has been organised by the London based watersports group, Active 360, the NGO’s Watertrek and the Plastic Oceans Foundation (UK), as well as scientists at Brunel University London.

Click here to view information about upcoming events.  


Contaminated Sediment in Wandsworth – When Testing Pays Off

Removal of the Wandle half-tide weir


A recent article in Dredging and Port Construction reported that silt build-up over 25 years at the Wandle tidal weir in Wandsworth was not only affecting the habitat for fish and wildlife but also a peaceful, open area for the public.


With backing from the Environment Agency, Marine Management Organisation, Port of London Authority and Wandsworth Borough Council, Thames Water has removed the tidal weir, sludge and silt.


This is part of its improvement work to offset the impact of construction of the Tideway tunnel.  The tunnel is a major new sewer that will help tackle the problem of overflow from the capital’s Victorian sewers and will protect the River Thames.


The weir site had been classed as fully contaminated but new testing using amphibious craft by Land &Water (a specialist dredging and remediation organisation and a TEP member) revealed that 85% of the material was non-hazardous. This totally changed the way the project was handled.


The clean dredged material was transported by barge to Land &Water’s site at Rainham Marshes in Essex, formerly a military firing range and now a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest.


The hazardous material was segregated and sent to a hazardous waste treatment centre in Cambridgeshire, thus minimising the environmental impact of transport for disposal. The reclassification also considerably reduced the financial impact.


Source: Slinn, Tony. 2017, Contaminated sediment- when testing pays off.  Dredging and Port Construction.   



Successful TEP Summer Networking Event

Pat Fitzsimons, Director TEP, with the Doggett’s Coat and Badge winners


Over 200 people, including members and stakeholders, enjoyed the summer networking event held in the beautiful Fishmongers’ Banqueting Hall on 20th June.


The Doggett’s Coat and Badge winners- winners of the oldest rowing race in the world – greeted guests.


Anusha Shah, TEP’s new Chair, awarded TEP’s first fellowship to Andy Mitchell, CEO of Tideway, for his company’s commitment to making the Thames a sustainable example to the world. In addition to building the Tideway Tunnel, a new sewer to prevent untreated sewage overflowing into the Thames, Tideway will also open up new areas for the public to enjoy the river. 

TEP Chair, Anusha presenting Andy Mitchell


Anusha also took the opportunity to recognise the contribution of two of TEP’s former trustees – Victor Freeney and Nigel Challis.


Other speakers were Martin Baggs, Client Director for Water Utilities Market and  Chris Baines, TEP President, who described TEP’s work and showed a clip from our upcoming documentary featuring Sir David Attenborough – The Living Thames.   


Guests networking in the Fishmongers’ Banqueting Hall

People from a wide range of sectors attended and it was a great opportunity to connect with old acquaintances and to explore new business opportunities.  


Visit here to find out more about the benefits of becoming a member. 

Latest London Natural History Society newsletter

The London Natural History Society’s latest newsletter included the following reports:

Butterflies of the London Atlas project – a request for volunteers to record and/or photograph butterflies especially single-brooded species that fly only a few weeks a year.

London fungi: yearly review 2016 – a report on the species recorded in the capital in 2016 including the Great Haringey Fungus Foray on 30 October where about 20 people spotted 108 species.

There was a report of outings on 18 February entitled Early Spring at Wimbledon Common. On 25 February 2017 there was the New Cross Gate and Nunhead report.On 8 April the Lesnes Abbey Woods report t identified and record local flora.

Wimbledon Common for lichens re-visited commented on the findings of a meeting on 4 March, exploring a new area of the site seen on a previous visit on 1 October 2016.

The publication had two ornithology reports: Greenwich Peninsular and Ecology Park which saw all five species of gull and a confrontation between a peregrine and a red kite overhead. Crossness was a report on a walk which recorded seven species of butterfly as well water fowl and other birds.

For more information see the LNHS website