Thames Landscape Strategy


Education and Outreach

Understanding the Landscape

The Thames Landscape Strategy delivers an exciting education and outreach programme to increase access and understanding of the Thames environment to as wide an audience as possible. The programme is wide-reaching and is designed to mix formal leaning with volunteering, events, project work and the enhancement of recreational opportunities.

People need to know what is going on along the river and to feel that they have a voice in influencing its future. This understanding has helped to inform communities on why certain (sometimes controversial)  measures are needed and have helped to change practices proposed by the Strategy and its partners based on this local knowledge.


The annual immersion in the Thames of Lord Ganesh  – the TLS organises several events along the Thames in partnership with London’s Hindu community.

 Achievements include:

  • Continues day-to-day engagement with partners, policy makers and its community to inform the project work that it undertakes and ensure it can be sustained.
  • Provided information in a way local people can relate to, in a format that makes it accessible.
  • Participated at more than 250 public events such as local fairs and river festivals, showing our exhibition work, so that people can question why things are done in a particular way.
  • Local Publicity has been an important mechanism for engaging with a wide audience and has stimulated a continuing interest in the future of the riverside. Between 2002 and 2009, the TLS had a weekly column in four London newspapers.

The TLS Outreach Programme

The involvement of local schools and other education programmes have been weaved into most TLS projects. The schools programme has carried out both formal and informal learning with an emphasis on linking learning with the opportunity to get out into the landscape through volunteering and outdoor activities.  The outreach programme informs a diverse range of communities about the work undertaken, what makes the Thames landscape special and how it needs to be protected, enhanced and maintained.

  • Established a formal TLS education programme in partnership with Orleans House Gallery
  • Established a Thames based learning programme with the River Thames Boat Project
  • Targeted young people- in particular those excluded from education to provide the appropriate skills to re-enter formal learning or the jobs market

Achievement and Success: Education and Outreach

  • Partnership with the Surrey Care Trust, who run environmental work programmes on board the community narrowboat Swingbridge with young offenders and alternative education programmes with young people out of mainstream education.
  • Providing financial suport to the  Stables education centre at Orleans House gallery.
  • A youth graffiti art workshop with the Metropolitan Police and young offenders to create a mural recreating the view from Richmond Hill using spray paint.
  • Run teacher CPD and student teacher art training events incorporating the local heritage landscape.
  • Run Natural Talent – a cross curriculum project for year 3 pupils at a Twickenham school working with a range of delivery partners to explore the ecology, geography and heritage of Orleans House Gallery to produce a site specific art installation.
  • Merrist Woods College NVQ and NTPC students worked with project officers to assess one of the project proposals and report on their assessment.
  • Working with Hounslow Hindu Temple, the TLS has engaged with a large Hindi community to co-ordinate the annual immersion of the Hindu god Gannash into the Thames to mark the end of the Ganash Chaturth festival. This builds ownership of the Thames among a population separated from the landscape by cultural and social boundaries.
  • Transported Exhibition and outreach programme – 2012.

Formal Education

The formal education and outreach programme  was originally rolled out by the London’s Arcadia project through the appointment of a Heritage Education Officer  in partnership with Orleans House Gallery. Since the completion of the Arcadia Project in 2009 the TLS has continued its partnership with the Gallery carrying out projects with local schools across the TLS area.

8. Grey Court School children with jolly boat 8Feb08

                                         The TLS funded jollyboat Greycourt

The Education and Outreach Programme is designed to connect people with their environment. It provides opportunities for more people from all backgrounds to have greater access to, and better understanding of the river’s management, conservation, and dynamics. 

education hcp June2012 010 (1)

The Programme is designed to link with all TLS on-the-ground project goals, and includes the wider agendas of volunteering, interpretation, healthy living, and life long learning.



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 Jason Debney and HM The QueenOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   HRH The Duke and Duchess of Wessex with Jason Debney Picture24   amd2   ham aves volunteers 1   sdabtcv tedd festival 04 4   volunteer 9   20140331_105506   Kingston River Celebration 2010 small   Rudy the Otter learning about the TLS

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