Wildlife organisations, river and environmental groups and community associations have this week announced plans for the third TideFest to be held on the tidal Thames in London on Sunday September 11th
TideFest is a relatively new River Thames event which took place for the first time in 2014 to highlight the recreational importance of the Thames to Londoners and to encourage people to ‘enjoy the river’. TideFest 2016 takes place at Strand-on-the-Green in Chiswick and at Brentford, Barnes and other locations along the Thames Tideway, as part of the month long Totally Thames festival.
A wide range of activities have been planned from 9am to 7pm on Sunday 11th September at either free or heavily subsidised rates including:
- Stand Up Paddleboarding on the Thames. Active 360 will be running pre-booked 50 minute supervised sessions at Kew Bridge from 11am to 4pm for those new to paddleboarding, at just £10 per person. There will also be a mass paddle from Kew to Putney starting at 2pm in aid of the charity Water Aid.
- Try free Kayak Taster Sessions with Edge Paddling at Kew Bridge. Newcomers can simply turn up from 12 noon to 6pm and try kayaking on the Thames with qualified coaches. Must be 12 years or over. A free prize draw is included, with three free club memberships worth £96 on offer.
- A day out at Thames Water’s Hogsmill nature rserve at Kingston. This is a special opportunity to visit a nature reserve that is part of an operational sewage works and normally closed to the public. There will be opportunities to try bird watching with local experts, bird house building, honey tasting with the Kingston Bee Keeping Association and wildlife face painting. Light refreshments will be available.
- A whole range of family-friendly activities and displays will be available at the Strand-on-the-Green. Marquees on the riverside embankment will host displays on the Thames Tideway, historical artefacts collected by local archivists, paintings by local artists, children’s activities and an information point with material available from environmental and the Port of London Authority. London Wildlife Trust will also be on hand to talk about the capital’s wildlife and to sign up Dragonfly Detectives as part of an exciting new project to survey the capital’s rivers and ponds.
- The prestigious Thames Tideway Angling Championship takes place from 11am to 4pm at Strand on the Green and Barnes. 40 top anglers from across the UK will be taking part and spectators are welcome. Last year the first prize went to Andriks Lekstutis who caught fish with a combined weight of over 31lbs (14kg) at Strand-on-the-Green – demonstrating just how healthy the river now is. All fish are returned to the river unharmed.
- On the Foreshore at Strand-on-the-Green there will be children’s activities including river dipping, water testing and games designed to explain and increase understanding of what’s going on in the river run by the environmental charity Thames21. Alongside this will be seine netting supervised by ZSL and the Institute of Fisheries management to show you what lives in the Thames.
- A series of highly informative archaeological tours of Oliver’s Island will be held at Strand-on-the-Green. These fascinating walks will be led by archaeologists Dr Fiona Haughey and Mike Webber. For those aged over 16 only. Please wear sensible footwear. 11.00am, 11.15am, 11.30am, 12.00pm, 12.15pm, 12.30pm. There will also be other foreshore walks and a tour of the historic Lots Ait boatyard.
- Take a boat trip along the Thames. The River Thames Society is organising four hour-long boat trips around the Thames Tideway islands, leaving from Kew Pier on the historic Thames launch the Windrush. Guided commentary included. Trips leave at 11.00am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm and 2.45pm (advance booking essential)
All activities can be booked via the TideFest website from August 1st onwards
Gordon Scorer, Chief Executive of London Wildlife Trust said:
“TideFest is a great opportunity to enjoy a day by the river with lots to see and do – both on and off the water. You can discover what lives in the river, explore the river’s archaeological history or get out on the water by boat, kayak or even Stand Up Paddleboard. The Trust will also be on hand to talk about London’s wildlife and we’d love to see you there!”
TideFest organiser Martin Salter from the Angling Trust said:
“TideFest is now an established annual event that is growing in popularity and which aims to help reconnect Londoners with their river. The Thames holds over120 different species of fish and is home to a tremendous array of birds and other wildlife yet far too few people are aware of what an amazing resource we have in the heart of our capital city. We are planning a range of new attractions this year which we hope to announce in the coming weeks.”
TideFest is supported by the Thames Tunnel Now Coalition with sponsorship from Tideway, Fullers and Thames Water.
Martin Salter – (Angling Trust and organizer) 07976946033
Ian Tokelove – (London Wildlife Trust) 07834867420
Tidefest partners: Active 360, Angling Trust, Brentford FC Community Sports Trusts, Edge Paddling, Get Hooked on Fishing, London Wildlife Trust, River Thames Society, RSPB, Strand on the Green Assoc, Strand on the Green Sailing Club, Thames 21, Thames Tunnel Now, Thames Anglers Conservancy, Totally Thames, Port of London Authority.