The importance of keeping the River Thames clean

Summer 2021

Every year, tens of thousands of people head down to Henley to enjoy the river and all of its surrounding areas. It’s a haven for wildlife, nature and a big tourist attraction for people from all across the UK. However, every year, the beautiful landscape is damaged by tonnes and tonnes of rubbish and plastic bottles. So why doesn’t the government/council just clean the river?

Unfortunately, the solution isn’t that simple. Keeping the river Thames clean and healthy is a far bigger challenge than could be expected. Every single year along the river Thames the PLA (Port of London Authority) recovers over 200 tonnes of rubbish, which is only a fraction of the total. 

So, what can we all do to help keep the river Thames clean? In this blog post, we will go through the importance of keeping the river clean for the wildlife, the nature and for everyone to enjoy. We will then suggest just a few simple things that we can all do to make a bigger impact.

Keeping the river Thames clean for Wildlife & Nature

Keeping the river Thames clean is vitally important for the wildlife and nature that it provides. All we need to do is look back at our past to see just how true this is.

For most of the 20th century the River Thames was one of the most polluted rivers in our country, with many animal species going extinct from the Thames. However, over the past 30 years, efforts to clean it up have been very successful in inviting wildlife back.

Now the river Thames has over 125 different species of Fish alone living in it. Consequentially, this resulted in an explosion of wildlife due to the fish attracting other species and boosting the eco-system. However, we cannot get complacent about this as this shift shows just how fragile our eco-system can be. Therefore, we must do everything we can to ensure that the waters remain clean and that the eco-system only grows.


What can I do to keep the river Thames Clean?

Below we have listed some things you can do on and off the River to help keep it clean:

  1. Clean up after yourself
  2. Be mindful of what you’re taking to the River. Do you need to take as much?
  3. Take part in a River Cleanup – Link.
  4. Carry a bin bag in your car and pick up waste whenever you spot it
  5. Call people out for littering
  6. Petition your local council if you see badly affected areas


Keeping the River Thames Clean at the Henley Boating Company

At the Henley Boating Company, the river is our life. Not only is it the way we earn a living, but we also live by it. Over the past few years, we have noticed things getting a little worse, especially around the Henley area. People seem to be littering a lot more so we decided to act.

Every morning Jim, our Captain, heads down to the river (a different spot each day) with a bin bag and spends an hour cleaning up waste. However, this is not enough, and one man alone can’t keep this area clean. That is why we are asking the amazing people of Henley to help. Help us keep the river clean and maintain it so that we all can do our part and enjoy the river.

If you are one of those people who just can’t stand seeing the river dirty or messy, then get in touch. We have been considering doing a river clean-up event for a long time and if enough people get involved, we will organise it.

Get in touch for more information!


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