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The Thames Landscape Strategy Celebrates its Quarter Century

Posted by on Jun 27, 2019 in Latest News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Thames Landscape Strategy at 25 Partners, stakeholders and representatives from over 100 separate groups that the TLS works with joined the Thames Landscape Strategy for a week-long celebration of its 25th anniversary in June 2019. Watch Sir David Attenborough’s speech to mark the event:  https://youtu.be/nWSZ1DUcJ80 The partnership toured the River Thames being shown examples of spaces which have been transformed through the Thames Landscape Strategy over the past 25 years totalling a staggering £25,000,000 clocking up 350,000 conservation volunteer hours along the way.  To mark the milestone two conferences were held including an international symposium on the management of historic views at Kew Gardens in memory of the prominent campaigner for the protection of important panoramas James Batten. The key note speaker was Hal Moggridge.   Earlier in the week, over 80 guests discussed ways that a financial value can be placed on the Arcadian Thames at a workshop organised by Kingston University.    On Thursday 13th June the Thames Landscape Strategy celebrated its anniversary with a reception at London’s City Hall attended by 250 representatives of the TLS partnership.  Guests of honour were TLS Patrons HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Sir David Attenborough and Kim Wilkie.   The culmination of the anniversary saw 200 guests attending a gala fund raising event at Sudbrook House in Richmond for the award of the Richmonds Medal that is presented (jointly by the TLS and Scenic Virginia who had sent a delegation to the UK to help mark the 25th anniversary) to an individual who has helped to conserve either the James River in Virginia or the Arcadian Thames.  Previous recipients have included Sir David Attenborough and actor and conservationist Robert Duval.  This year’s joint recipients were Lord Watson the President of the Father Thames Trust and leading landscape architect Kim Wilkie the founder of the Thames Landscape Strategy.    Jason Debney the Director of the Thames Landscape Strategy said: “We celebrated our quarter century in style. Over the years we have restored the riverside and seen a transformation of the world-famous Arcadian Thames that few thought possible.  It was an honour to mark this occasion with our friends from across the TLS partnership and Virginia”.  Download a summary of the 25th Anniversary events below TLS at 25 Downloadable...

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Links Between the Arcadian Thames and James River Strengthened

Posted by on Jun 27, 2019 in Latest News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Virginians Sparkle in London.  Delegation from Virginia visit London to celebrate the links between two great rivers   The Arcadian Thames in South west London and the lower James River in Virginia are two of the world’s great cultural, historic and natural waterways. Remarkably, their destiny has been linked to each other for  over 400 years in many extraordinary ways, now firmly cemented through the River Friendspartnership.  This partnership between the Thames Landscape Strategy (an organisation dedicated to the conservation of the Arcadian Thames) together with its charity The Father Thames Trust with Scenic Virginia and The James River Park System (in Virginia) has evolved into a strong Trans-Atlantic relationship that has made a real difference to the lives of people and the riparian environment in both the Old and New Worlds.  Over the years, it has been a realisation of the similarities between the two rivers (including an identical view over a bend in the river in both Richmond upon Thames and Richmond VA) and the aspirations of the communities that live alongside them that has provided the inspiration for the partnership. The relationship was born from a civic twinning arrangement, the friendship evolving organically into a much deeper partnership that is now exploring new ways of joint working that has seen a real and tangible benefit to the respective river landscapes.  The friendship is well placed to capture a growing understanding in the need for cross-catchment liaison, tourism, landscape restoration and a new impetus to see the conservation of scenic landscapes in both the UK and USA.  Wider relationships have developed through joint visits between many organisations, groups and individuals that have a stake in the Thames or James River landscape.   Representatives from environmental and scenic organisations from along the historic James River in Virginia visited London in June to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Thames Landscape Strategy partnership.  Leading the Virginian delegation were Chief Anne Richardson of the Rappahannock tribe and Chief Ken Adams of the Upper Mattaponi, to thank Londoners for their support in assisting the Virginian Powhatan Indian Tribes in gaining U.S. Federal Recognition in 2018. Hosted by The Lord Watson of Richmond and Baroness Kramer, the Indian Chiefs were guests of honour at a special event in the House of Lords and at the launch of the London Border Crossing Festival at Shoreditch to celebrate the contribution that indigenous people make to the capital city.  The 20-strong Virginian delegation toured the River Thames being shown examples of spaces which have been transformed through the Thames Landscape Strategy partnership over the past 25 years totalling a staggering £25,000,000. To mark the milestone two conferences were held including an international symposium on the management of historic views at Kew Gardens in memory of the prominent campaigner for the protection of important panoramas James Batten.   The programme included a well received speech on the ways that important views along the James River and wider scenic landscapes in Virginia have been threatened and protected.  On Thursday 13th June the Thames Landscape Strategy celebrated its anniversary with a reception at London’s City Hall attended by 250 representatives of the TLS partnership.  Guests of honour were TLS Patrons HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Sir David Attenborough and Richmond City Councillor The Hon. Kimberley Gray.   The Virginians were able...

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Get your Tickets Now for the Richmonds Medal at Sudbrook House

Posted by on May 15, 2019 in Latest News | 0 comments

The Thames Landscape Strategy is proud to be helping the Father Thames Trust host the 3rd Richmonds Medal event. The Richmonds Medal celebrates the relationship between Richmond London and Richmond Virginia and is a recognition of individuals who have shown outstanding service to conserving the landscapes of Thames or the James Rivers. Previous recipients have been Sir David Attenborough and actor Robert Duvall. This year in celebration of the Thames Landscape Strategy’s 25th Anniversary the medal will be presented by Sir David Attenborough at Sudbrook House, Richmond Golf Course.  Tickets are available from eventbrite.co.uk        ...

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Views Matter! Conference 12th June 2019

Posted by on May 15, 2019 in Latest News | 0 comments

  The Remarkable Network of Arcadian Views Between Weybridge, Hampton and Kew the River Thames meanders through a unique landscape of world famous parks, royal palaces and working communities known as the Arcadian Thames (meaning ‘rural paradise’). Centuries of settlement, aristocratic patronage and local action have left a remarkable legacy of architecture, accessible open space and wildlife considered to be one of the most culturally significant urban landscapes in the world, offering unrivalled recreational benefits. This Arcadia is a countryside in the city; a multi-layered landscape where people, water, history and wildlife co-exist. The sequence of palaces, parks, gardens and villas beside the Thames form a string of pearls; a designed landscape not just connected by the river and their cultural associations but also through an elaborate network of avenues, panoramas and vistas. This network of views provides the skeleton to the world-class landscape and establishes a structure of open space that in the 18th century led poets, artists, writers and thinkers to establish the Cult of Prospect. Collectively, they created a new way of thinking about the natural world; Arcadia became a symbol of idealised English scenery and is considered to be the cradle of the English Landscape Movement. Views have been at the heart of Arcadia for 300 years. The Thames Landscape Strategy It was a re-awakening of the significance of the network of Arcadian Views, linked to their remarkable survival, that provided the basis for Kim Wilkie’s ground-breaking ‘Thames Connections’ exhibition at the Royal Fine Art Commission in the early 1990s. This coincided with a growing realisation by local people that something had to be done to protect the river’s heritage in the face of rapidly increasing development. Local people were galvanized into action and in June 1994 the Thames Landscape Strategy was born and the 100-year vision at the core of the organisation was published at the Jodrell Lecture Theatre in Kew. For 25 years, the Thames Landscape Strategy partnership has been the guardians of this unique landscape; working through its network of local groups, individuals and riparian authorities to conserve, promote and enhance the wildlife, heritage features and recreational opportunities on and beside the river. At its launch however, there was very little interest in the conservation of views. There was no planning guidance for their protection and almost all of the Arcadian Views were overgrown, forgotten or in need of considerable repair. 25 years on, the 1994 Thames Landscape Strategy vision has changed the way that local planning authorities and riparian landowners protect their views. The TLS has championed the inclusion of views management in planning policy and has inspired local groups to fight for the protection of their cherished riverscape. Many TLS aspirations are now firmly embedded in partner core strategies. The View from Richmond Hill is still the only view in the UK to be protected by an Act of Parliament and was restored in 2002 by the TLS whilst the View to St Paul’s Cathedral from King Henry’s Mound is now given protection in the Mayor for London’s Plan. Historic Royal Palaces has restored the network of avenues in Home Park and, Kew Gardens in partnership with Syon House have re-opened their network of cross-river view lines, with view conservation now at the heart of their World Heritage Site Conservation...

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New Finger Posts Installed for ‘The Wey to The Thames’

Posted by on Sep 20, 2018 in Latest News | 0 comments

The project to install signs linking the Thames National Trail at Weybridge with the Wey Navigation was completed (although one sign remains uninstalled waiting for the Weybridge Point scheme to go ahead) in June 2018.  This exciting e project was made possible from an Elmbridge Borough Council CiL fund grant and finally provides direction signage between the Wey Navigation and the Thames Path at Weybridge...

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