Thursday 12th September 2019 15:00
Volunteers from Thames Water got in to the festival spirit as they took part in a celebration of the tidal River Thames.
The sixth annual Tidefest took place on the banks of the river in Chiswick on Sunday (September 8) with a record 2,000 people turning out to take part in activities including paddleboarding, kayaking and fishing.
There was also live music throughout the day and activities on dry land including guided walks and discounted entry to local museums.
The event was jointly sponsored by Thames Water, with the company setting up a stall for the day explaining how it safely provides clean water and waste water services for more than 15 million people across London and the Thames Valley.
It also ran a “network challenge”, where visitors were able to design, build and test their own water network using miniature pipes.
The nearby Kempton Nature Reserve, which is owned by the company, also ran a ramble and wildlife spotting event on the day.
Cathy Kompfner, Thames Water’s community projects executive, said: “We were delighted to take part in Tidefest, talking to visitors about our company as well as enjoying the celebrations on the bank of the River Thames.
“We had lots of interest in our activities from both youngsters and adults, while our volunteers also handed out free tap water and helped steward the event.”
Tidefest is part of the month-long Totally Thames Festival and this year’s event once again highlighted the harmful effects of plastic pollution in rivers and oceans.
Visitors on the day included Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury, Mayor of Richmond Nancy Baldwin and Thames Water’s sustainability director Richard Aylard.
The festival also hosted the annual Tidefest fishing championship, which was won by RAF instructor Michael Dalziel, who caught a bag of bream weighing 18lb 8oz.
Tidefest chairman Martin Salter, of the Angling Trust, said: “It was fabulous to see so many people enjoying the river and all it has to offer.
“We had a great reaction to the work that many of the Tidefest groups are doing to highlight the importance of the river and once again we are grateful for the excellent support we received from our local MPs, sponsors Thames Water and Fullers and from Hounslow Council.
“Tidefest is all about helping Londoners to ‘reconnect with their river’ and that’s certainly what happened on Sunday.”