Walking London's rivers
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: HS099
Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)
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What is the course about?
London’s rivers provide a wildlife highway into the city and support a huge array of life, from eels to kingfishers. The Thames has come a long way since the 'great stink' of 1858, although some environmental challenges remain. This course provides an introduction to London’s rivers followed by three riverside walks in very different areas; one in central London, one in Deptford and one in Barnes (not necessarily in that order). Start and finish points will be accessible by public transport. Exact locations and meeting points will be discussed in the first session.
What will we cover?
• The history of settlement in London and how this altered the river environment
• The Industrial revolution and its impacts on the Thames
• Current challenges for London’s rivers and some initiatives to improve river health
• The science of tides
• River plants, invertebrates, fish, birds and mammals.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Outline the historic factors which transformed the Thames into the river we see today
• Give an overview of the current health of London’s rivers; including challenges and initiatives to address them
• Identify a number of river birds and riverside trees and plants
• Walk alongside London’s rivers with increased awareness and enjoyment, noticing and being able to describe the
wildlife they sustain.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and is open to all. No prior knowledge of the subject is required. However, you will
need a good grasp of English to keep up with the course and to participate fully in discussions. You also need to be mobile enough to complete a leisurely 2 hour walk, sometimes along rough paths.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The first session will be an introduction at City Lit and will include tutor presentation and group discussions and tasks. The following 3 sessions will take place at outdoor riverside locations and will include observation and identification of river features and wildlife, group discussion and questions and answers.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need to cover the cost of your transport to the meeting places for the walks. Wear comfortable clothing for walking, including sturdy footwear. Consider the weather on the day and bring water, a hat and sun lotion, or waterproofs as required. Feel free to bring binoculars and a camera if you wish.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Check our website for Science & Nature courses, including Brrenna's Walking London's woodland in July.
Brenna Boyle (B.Sc Hons Dunelm, M.Sc DIC) is a zoologist, wildlife guide and environmental teacher. She runs Wild Capital and also works for two urban environmental education charities. She is often to be found wading in either the River Thames or Deptford Creek. Her favourite species is the Long-tailed Tit.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.