Friday, January 09, 2009

Lost rivers of London to be reclaimed

An encouraging story yesterday was the news that the Environment Agency is planning to restore many stretches of London's lost rivers.

According to the Guardian:
Under the plan 92 projects will be announced covering 14 different waterways in London, at least seven of which have been buried by history, including the Effra, which rises in Crystal Palace and flows north to the Thames at Vauxhall, the Ravensbourne in south-east London, the Wandle in Croydon, and two tributaries of the Lee near the 2012 Olympic site in east London.

The Environment Agency, which will lead the work, hopes to uncover at least 15km (nine miles) of river in the next six years. The full list adds up to double that length, while other schemes are still being proposed. "It took 50 years to destroy a lot of the value of the rivers in London - it's going to take another 50 years to get it back," said Dave Webb, the agency's project manager.
You can find a map and a full list of London's rivers on Strange Maps. And Derelict London has some photographs. I have borrowed one of the Tyburn joining the Thames at Vauxhall.

1 comment:

Matthew Huntbach said...


the website of the excellent Quaggy Waterways Action Group.

When I first moved to Lewisham, I lived in a house where the back garden ended in the Quaggy (Manor Park section). The failure of channelisation was shown when one rainy day the Quaggy decided to flood the whole street (fortunately, we lived on the first floor).

In the next place I lived in Lewisham I found I was next to another bit of the Quaggy (Chinbrook section), crossing the bridge over the river Quaggy every day. Usually it's just a trickle, but a bit of sustained rain can make it quite substantial.

While I'm not quite so close to it now, it's still my local river in Eltham. Given that it flows through the one LibDem ward in LB Greenwich, and three LibDem wards in LB Lewisham, it's a good LibDem river in its lower parts, though I'm afraid throughly Tory in the upper reaches (even the bit which re-enters LB Lewisham)