I attended the first in the series of Centre for London’s Thames seminars, this one devoted to making the river more environmentally sustainable. Peter Bishop, formerly of the LDA and now with hosts Allies & Morrison, said the river is less of a transport artery these days and more of a barrier to north-south movement, calling for a re-think of the policy of making it accessible to big ships. Mathew Frith, Deputy Director of the London Wildlife Trust, spoke for the ‘creatures that don’t have a vote’ such as cormorants, voles, tentacle lagoon worms, little egrets, mussels and even – if Nichie Jenkins from the Port of London Authority is to be believed – grey seals. And Dave Wardle of the Environment Agency spoke of how global warming and rising sea-levels may mean by 2050 we may be talking about building a second Thames barrier (estimated cost now £6 billion) to protect London from flooding.
The ecology of the Thames may be fascinating for people who’re into that sort of thing – and its certainly wonderful that wildlife is thriving in such a busy city. Coming up, the Thames as a transport corridor, public amenity, centre for design and development, and The Thames Estuary.