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Thames Water launches 'Live Wild' campaign

Wednesday 4th August 2021 11:15

Two children look through binoculars in a birdhide

Thames Water is encouraging customers to ‘Live Wild’ this summer and visit its nature reserves, reservoirs, and wetlands.

With school holidays now in full swing, Thames Water is promoting its public access sites across London and the Thames Valley, which provide a range of sporting, birdwatching, recreational and volunteering opportunities.

Its new ‘Live Wild’ campaign highlights the great days out on customers' doorsteps and the wellbeing benefits green outdoor spaces and wildlife bring to communities.

From walking around and fishing at the peaceful Walthamstow Wetlands in London to sailing at Farmoor Reservoir in Oxfordshire, Thames Water’s sites offer something for everyone. Both locations are now busy organising community and sporting events which were postponed or stopped last year because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Thames Water’s nature reserves also continue to attract a range of wildlife. In Beckton and Crossness 140 bird species including the rare Curlew have been spotted this year, while Hogsmill and Kempton Natures reserves in south-west London are important sites of nature conservation and for overwintering waterfowl.

Kirsty Halford access, recreation and nature reserves manager said: “Not everyone knows about our fantastic nature reserves, wetlands and reservoirs that are open to the public throughout the year. They really offer something for everyone from fishing and outdoor water sports to wildlife watching and nature walks. Last year showed us how important access to green spaces and nature is for people’s physical and mental wellbeing. Our sites are just the place for our customers to Live Wild and enjoy a great day out.”

Customers can find out more about what’s on their doorstep by visiting Thames Water’s new ‘Great Days Out’ webpage.

Last year Thames Water worked with the London Wildlife Trust, which runs Walthamstow Wetlands, to keep the site open. This meant over 650,000 Londoners could enjoy the fresh air and see the wildlife the site has to offer during the pandemic.

Research by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust has found that just 10 minutes in urban wetlands was enough to record positive changes to wellbeing and that the benefits are likely to be greater for those who consider themselves more stressed.

From 2020 to 2025, Thames Water has committed to enhance biodiversity by 5% at 253 of its sites which have biodiversity interest. The area of land to be improved by the programme is around 4,000 hectares – two-and-a-half times the size of Heathrow Airport.  

This will be achieved by improving the condition of existing habitats through changes in grassland management, and with the creation of new habitats such as wetlands, woodlands and hedgerows. 

Thames Water manage 12 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which are legally protected wildlife areas, and with 47 of the UK’s 224 chalk streams in its region, the company is committed to protecting these rare and biodiverse sites.  

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