Two newly elected West London MPs will be the guests of honour at this year’s TideFest to be held along the Tidal Thames on September 20th. Wildlife organisations, river and environmental groups and community associations have invited Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury (Lab) and Twickenham MP Dr Tania Mathias (Con) to this second, bigger TideFest where they will be taking part in some of the wide array of activities on offer and helping out with the prize giving.
TideFest is a new River Thames event which took place for the first time last year on World Rivers Day to highlight the recreational importance of the Thames to Londoners. TideFest 2015 takes place at Strand on the Green, Chiswick, Kew and at other locations along the Thames Tideway. TideFest is part of the month long Totally Thames festival and is supported by the Thames Tunnel Now Coalition, Thames Tideway Tunnel and Thames Water.
The activities are planned to run from from 10am – 6pm and are open to all.
• The marquees on the riverside embankment at Strand on the Green will host displays on the Thames Tideway, historical artefacts collected by local archivists, painting by local artists, children’s activities, live fish tanks and an information point with material available from environmental and wildlife groups and the Port of London Authority.
• Visitors will also be able to benefit from discounted or free access to three great West London attractions by simply turning up with a TideFest programme or mentioning TideFest when booking. The discounts are available at the popular London Wetland Centre in Barnes and the award winning London Museum of Water and Steam in Brentford whilst Thames Water have agreed to open the doors to their internationally important wetland nature reserve at Kempton.
• Stand Up Paddleboarding. Organised by Active 360 with pre-booked sessions from 11am for those new to paddleboarding, an Eco tour from Kew to Hammersmith and an evening river tour to Richmond. There will be a race at Strand on the Green at 4.30pm.
• Kayak Taster Sessions by Edge Paddling where newcomers can simply turn up from 11am and try kayaking with qualified coaches.
• The prestigious Thames Tideway Angling Championship takes place from 9.30am to 2.30pm at Strand on the Green and Barnes. 50 top anglers from across the UK will be taking part and spectators are welcome.
• On the Foreshore there will be children’s activities including river dipping, seine netting, water testing and games designed to explain and increase understanding of what’s going on in the river run by the environmental charity Thames 21. A series of highly informative Archaeological Walks and tour of Oliver’s Island will be held in the afternoon from 12 noon onwards at Strand on the Green.
• The London Wildlife Trust is once again offering people a rare chance to visit their nature reserve on Isleworth Ait. (Further details to be announced)
• At 6pm the SoTG Sailing Club hold their annual TideFest Challenge Trophy competition. Spectators welcome.
• The River Thames Society is organising four one hour boat trips around the Tideway islands leaving from Kew Pier on the historic Thames launch the Windrush. Guided commentary included. Trips leave at 11am, 12.15, 1.30 and 2.45 (advance booking required)
Further details of the full programme of events and booking details can be found on our website at http://www.thamestidefest.net . A promotional video can be viewed here https://youtu.be/MSSnB-_7ciQ
Ruth Cadbury MP said:
“Along with thousands of local residents, I understand the importance of the Thames. I run along it and I have learnt to Kayak down it. Its importance to my constituents and the entire city cannot be underestimated. For centuries the Thames helped build the London economy. It is great that so many organisations have come together to celebrate the potential of the Thames and to press for a cleaner river so future generations can benefit. The Thames is a green lung for London, and we must protect and value it.”
Dr Tania Mathias added:
“I’ve lived by the River Thames since I was a child and I am a big supporter of scientists in my constituency of Twickenham who monitor the River Crane. I am passionate about the wildlife that I see every day and I am a frequent visitor of the Swan Sanctuary. The river is the life force running through our city and it will always be important to me as a resident and a London MP. I am delighted to support this celebration of the Thames and all it offers us.”
TideFest organiser Martin Salter from the Angling Trust said:
“This is an event that keeps on growing and which aims to help reconnect Londoners with their river. The Thames holds 120 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 on our doorsteps. We are particularly pleased this year to be welcoming our two local MPs both of whom have a keen interest in the health of the river.”