The following projects are intended to provide a flavor of the type of project work that the TLS carries out.
On the Edge
On the Edge is a new initiative launched in June 2019, forming an umbrella project that brings together a series of riverbank naturalisation, floodplain management schemes and backwater habitat enhancements that were first proposed by Sir David Attenborough in 2007 under the TLS Restoration of the Lost Floodplain project. On the Edge sets out to capture a growing need for integrated floodplain management delivered at a local level that sit within a wider catchment scale plan from source to sea. Each of the initiatives outlined in this report have been included in relevant biodiversity action plans, strategic flood risk management studies including TE2100 and the Lower Thames Scheme Datchet to Teddington and the catchment management plans for the Lower and Tidal Thames.
The proposal intends to establish a shared vision and common goal for floodplain management between Weybridge and Kew building on best practice and the existing strong Thames Landscape partnership. On the Edge will identify how its priorities (most of which have been proposed by local people and groups) will sit within wider initiatives and how funding mechanisms to ensure delivery can be maximised.
Being launched on the 25th anniversary of the TLS partnership, the scheme will look to the next 25 years exploring synergies with the wider Thames catchment approach and regional flood priorities. The projects proposed by On the Edge are on restricted floodplains, in urban or semi-urban areas and in locations with multi-layers of statutory protection both natural and historic. The identified locations are all on publicly owned locations that are cherished by local people making an incremental, sensitive approach to floodplain restoration not just necessary but essential to the success of the project.
Download the On the Edge Project Summary here
Ham and Petersham: Where Thames First Rural Grows
Ham and Petersham Where Thames First Rural Grows offers a way forward to manage the next phase in the evolution of the Ham riverside taking onto account changing priorities and new flood risk data that has emerged over the past decade during the TE2100 scheme. The aspirations of the Thames Landscape Strategy (TLS) for Ham are set out in the 2012 TLS report, the Restoration of the Natural Floodplain, Ham Backwaters Scheme (2014) and in the ‘Once Upon The Royal River’ initiative that sets out a series of inter-connected improvements to the floodplain at a landscape scale so that benefits can be maximised across adjacent sites.
This project has been prepared in partnership with the Ham Neighbourhood Forum’s proposals to improve walking and cycling connections for both commuters and recreational use from Richmond and Kingston to Ham. Ham and Petersham Where Thames First Rural Grows identifies the way that established movement patterns are being altered by rising waters, particularly on Ham’s low lying towpath and adjacent riverside parks, putting the long-term viability of sustainable transport, management regimes and visitor initiatives at risk.
It is important therefore that any works to enhance the cycle and footpath network are planned in a way that take into account the predicted rise in flood events. It is also important that measures respect the important habitats along the river whilst conserving the character of the world famous landscape that sweeps below Richmond Hill. Sustainable transport proposals must be considered as part of a holistic plan that proposes the wider conservation of the Natural Floodplain and its multi-functional use whilst ensuring the conservation of the ‘countryside in the city’ character that makes the Arcadian Thames so special.
Download the Ham and Petersham: Where Thames First Rural Grows project Summary here
Views Matter! was established in 2019 to celebrate the life of James Batten. James was a founding member of the TLS and the person who re-discovered, re-opened and saved the Vista to St Paul’s Cathedral from Richmond Park. Later James went on to champion the protection of all the Arcadian Views. Without his dedication to the network of views it is doubtful whether they would now be celebrated in the way that they are.
Views Matter! Is both a giving scheme and a series of practical projects to enable the Thames Landscape Strategy continue its advocacy and conservation work protecting and managing the network of Arcadian Views.
Download the Views Matter Project Summary here