National Park City Week, TEP Event: The Changing Face of the Tidal Thames – Erith Walk

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 21/07/2018
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Location
Erith Station

Categories


 

The tidal Thames is neither wasteland nor wilderness. This four mile walk will demonstrate urban infrastructure, flood management, engineering and natural beauty all within the M25.

 

Logistics

 
Meet:                   1pm
Location:             Erith (outside rail station), Stonewood Road, Erith DA8 1TY
Start:                   1:15 pm from Erith train station
Finish:                4.30 pm approx. @ Slade Green National Rail station (frequent trains to London Bridge)
Max attendees:     30
Register:                Email Meghna at meghna.shah@ucl.ac.uk to book your place. 
 
 
To get to the starting point of the walk there are several options:
Oyster Cards can be used throughout the zone.
 

Contacts for day

 
Amy Pryor: 07838 386145

 

Itinerary

 
Talking Points 

 

  1. 1 pm – Guests asked to meet – Erith Station
    • Registration
    • Collect addresses
    • Provide maps & hand-outs
    • Explain Toilet situation – Morrison’s
  1. 1:15 pm – First leg of walk > Erith Riverside Gardens

 

  1. 1:25 pm – Erith: Riverside Gardens
    • Opening Comments
      • Basic Walk logistics
      • Short introduction from TEP – Reason for walk – WHITE SPACE! 
    •  Where 3 of London’s 7 strategic walks meet
      (http://www.walklondon.org.uk/)

      • The Green Chain Walk (starts here – goes West)
      • The Thames Path (we will walk the final stage)
      • The London Loop (we will walk the initial stage)
    • Pilgrim’s Ferry (1199) – Erith to Rainham
    • Erith as a historic Thames port – first deep-water berth
    • Transhipment from Sea and River Darent – Lascars and East India Company
    • What can be seen – up-River
      • Frog Island/Ingrebourne confluence
      • Dagenham (Dock)/Hornchurch Marshes
      • Crossness [sewage/furnace/power]
  1. 1:45 pm – Erith Pier and Riverfront
    • Overview of urban flood engineering problems
    •  Urban banking & movable gates
    • Community Owned pier – Morrison’s
    • Structures – ecology and commercial use

 

TOILET BREAK – Morrison’s – 10 mins.

 

  1. 1:55 pm – End of Erith waterfront
    • Prepare for 10 min diversion to noisy road:
      • Over view of Waste and Reclamation
      • The new waste ecology – Landfill replaced by reclamation/Grading/Export
      • Plastics – circular economy?

 

[Recycling/Waste Transfer/Waste Export: example firms – Vinton metals/EMR/Metropolitan Waste Management/erith.com/Pulp Friction]

  1. 2:15 pm – Erith Yacht Club/Start of river wall
    • Overview of geological history of area (flood plain)
      • Historic land reclamation, inhabitation and Black Death
    • Overview of flood engineering
      • Crayford Marshes/River Thames Flood Defences
      • Multi-use utility structures – path and defence
      • Estuary Edges – Soft defences vs. hard defences
      • Level of Thames water compared to marsh land inside flood walls – (tide permitting)
  1. 2:45 pm – Erith Saltings
    • Primeval Thames landscape and natural habitat
      • Erith Drowned Forest –  5,000 year old relict of archaic river
      • Estuarine habitats (mud/salt marsh/fresh marsh/alder Carr)
      • What is a salt marsh – Species – Succession – diagram
      • Ecosystem Services – valuing the environment
      • How salt marsh contributes to flood defence
    • TE2100 & Climate Change – What about the next 100yrs?
    • Litter and #OneLess
  1. 3:05 pm – Crayford Ness
    • Thames infrastructure down-river
        • Rainham/Wennington/Aveley marshes
        • Purfleet/Mar Dyke confluence
        • Grays & Tilbury Docks
        • Stone Power Station
        • Dartford Bridge
    • Navigational landmark – PLA and role in Thames
      • Thames Shipping and Heavy Industry
    • River Darent and Fluvial Flooding
  1. 3:50 pm – Dartford Creek Barrier (Environment Agency)
    • Part of extensive integrated flood protection system
    • River Darent Flood Defences – attractive path and natural buffer
    • Environment Agency managed barriers:
      • Thames Barrier – Charlton
      • King George V Flood Gate – Royal Docks
      • Royal Docks Impounding Flap – Gallions Point
      • Gallions Reach Flood Gate – Royal Docks
      • Barking Barrier – River Roding
      • Dartford Creek Barrier – River Darent
      • Tilbury Docks Barrier – Tilbury Ness
      • Fobbing Horse Barrier – Holehaven Creek
      • East Haven Barrier – Canvey Island
      • Benfleet Barrier – South Benfleet
    • Risk and history of flooding (management) in the area (1953)
  1. 4 pm – River Darent Navigation and Original Course
    • Historical straightening (normalisation) of Darent/Cray
    • Former meanders now Marsh – Role of Navigation Commissioners
    • Dartford Fresh and Salt Marshes

 

  1. 4:10 pm – Crayford Marshes
    • 300 year old willow trees
    • Protected area
  1. 4:30 pm – End: Slade Green Station