London’s river is as diverse as the capital itself, constantly changing as it flows through the metropolis to the sea. This variety has been characterised into four distinct reaches, based on an understanding of the unique features, environments, dynamism and use of the Thames corridor, rather than on more traditional political or navigational boundaries. These reaches are:
- Weybridge to Hampton to Kew – Thames Landscape Strategy
- Kew to Chelsea - Thames Strategy
- Chelsea to Tower Bridge - Cross River Partnership
- TowerBridge to Shoeburyness – Thames Estuary Partnership
The Thames Landscape Strategy, established in 1994, brings together a sub regional partnership of riparian organisations and communities within a 100-year vision for one of these distinct reaches between Hampton and Kew. This stretch of the Thames, bridges the divide between the freshwater and tidal river at Teddington within a wider collective riverscape of parks, palaces, public open spaces and working riverside communities. Similar initiatives have been established for two of the three other reaches of the river namely the Thames Strategy Kew to Chelsea and the Thames Estuary Partnership - Tower Bridge to Shoeburyness. Collectively these three organisations form the River Thames sub-regional partnerships, as recognised in the Mayor’s Plan for London.
Although quite independent from each other these three sub-regional partnerships work closely with one another and have pioneered the principle that through their local networks and respective visions, wider strategic goals such as flood risk management, biodiversity action plans, the Thames Waterways Plan and the Blue Ribbon Network Annex of the London Plan can be made accessible to a wide cross section of the community, and also be actioned on the ground through community action.
- Patron: Sir David Attenborough
- Executive Review Board
Meets four times a year, plus one annual meeting, to provide strategic guidance. Local Councillors, landowners, business and the community are represented on the Group. Chairmanship (and Chair Designate) of the Group rotates annually. For 2013/14, Cllr Paul Lynch is Chair, Cllr Peter Hicklman is Chair Designate.
- Officers Steering Committee
Meets four times a year to assist and guide the Co-ordinator. It consists of senior Local Authority officers and representatives from the National Agencies. Chairmanship rotates annually between the Councils and Agencies. Officers work in partnership with the Co-ordinator to develop projects and strategic policy.
- Thames Landscape Strategy Staff
The Co-ordinator’s role is to find resources, promote projects, co-ordinate and encourage the local authorities, statutory organisations, landowners and the local community to turn the Strategy into action. Funding has been secured for a full time Project Development Officer who was appointed in October 2005.
- Community Advisory Group
Meeting four times a year, the Group acts as a community forum and enables the Co-ordinator to have access to local and specialist advice. A rolling programme to encourage new membership commenced in 1998. The Chair for 2013/14 is Paula Day.
- Thames Landscape Strategy Friends of the Thames Group
The TLS has an active friends group made up of the many individuals and groups that have an interest in the Thames. The Friends meet once a year at the Annual Meeting and are kept up to date on the Strategy’s work through the Annual Review. Much of the day-to-day work of the Strategy is achieved through the active involvement of the Friends in volunteer action, fundraising and other activities. If you are interested in becoming a friend please contact us
TLS ‘In Action’ Projects
The TLS has established a series of ‘in action’ projects to implement the Thames Landscape Strategy on the ground. These consist of sub groups of the TLS bringing together those groups and organizations that are needed to implement each individual project.
A team of volunteers has been established covering the areas of foreshore and Thames Path tidy groups, conservation practical work, project management, events organising, nature conservation and fundraising.
- Other Organisations and the Wider Community
In addition to the funding partners, there are over150 community groups, statutory and 50 Non Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) which operate in the Thames Landscape Strategy area that the TLS works closely with.
- Father Thames Trust
The Father Thames Trust is the charitable arm of the Strategy. Chairman of the Trust is Lord Watson of Richmond.
The Thames Landscape Strategy is a partner in South West London Environment Network along with the Environment Trust for Richmond upon Thames and TCV. The Network brings together the community, voluntary organisations (including charities) and schools working on environmental projects within South West London, promoting information about them and their activities, whilst also providing a support and development role. In addition SWLEN also has its own projects and sub-groups to increase environmental activity, biological diversity and sustainable thinking & practice. The Network’s role is similar to a council for voluntary service but working only within the environmental sector.