Thames Landscape Strategy

Cow Parsley Heralds the Start of Summer

Cow Parsley Heralds the Start of Summer


Summer is nearly here along the Arcadian Thames.  Heralding its arrival is the cow parsley that along certain stretches of the river  is the best it has been for years.  Wander down the Ham Avenues, walk to the brow of Richmond Hill or go to Orleans House Woodland Garden and take in this natural display.  Walk out at dusk and you should see bats flying over head.

The TLS writes an Annual Towpath Management Plan for the riverside in all four boroughs.  Along with purple loosestrife, cow parsley is one of our key species.  Once the display is over and the flowers start to fade, it is time for the early hay cut.  This natural trigger helps to  halt the growth of dock and Himalayan balsam and allows for a wealth of summer natives to come through.

Despite being one of London’s most natural looking places, the diversity and naturalness of the Arcadian Thames is down to a decade of hard work and planning by the TLS working in partnership with the riparian landowners.  A decade ago there was little diversity, yet new management practices and volunteer help has transformed our open spaces.



Local artist Niamh MacGowan has captured the blanket of cow parsley on Richmond Hill in ‘The View with cow parsley’  by Niamh MacGowan.  Inspired by the river, its history and wildlife, Niamh has been inspired by the Thames Landscape to create some of her most fabulous works.  Find out more at