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After a couple of years when our upriver environmental focus has been on Olivers Ait, we are returning this winter to the tree and vegetation management work along an eight-kilometre stretch of riverside tow path that we own between Putney and Kew.

Director of planning and environment, James Trimmer explained: “Our focus this season is threefold: to improve navigational safety; the health of individual trees and the integrity of the riverside revetment wall.” It is expected the works will start towards the end of January, so they can be completed prior to the nesting season.

In total 48 trees, or tree groups, are identified for work this year. These include trees situated on the landward side of the towpath which require various work. The remaining trees and tree groups are situated either in the revetment or the riverward side of the towpath. There are no works proposed to any of the Native Black Poplars.

To improve the safety of navigation for unpowered craft close to the bank, the


lower branches of a number of trees identified by the harbour master will be removed to a height of around 1.5 – 2 metres from the top of the revetment wall. Some trees, identified as causing major damage to the revetment will be felled.

The tree management plan for the stretch of river bank was agreed with community representatives in 2009 and reviewed in 2012; liaison over the annual works continues every autumn with local groups.


The Thames events timetable for 2015 is shaping up well, with dates confirmed for all the annual river highlights.

The Boat Race will take place on Saturday, 11 April, and, for the first time, the Women’s Boat Race will take place on the same day as the Men’s.


Also look out for the oft-neglected Boat Race under card: the traditional cutter races will precede the main event (with PLA crews taking part).

2015 dates for other key river
events include:

Tow Barge Driving Match – 4 July
Doggetts Coat and Badge Race
– 1 August
Great River Race – 12 September

Take two minutes out and enjoy a PLA cutter crew’s eye view of the Great River Race in our latest film.


Port of London Authority, London River House, Royal Pier Road, Gravesend, Kent DA12 2BG. +44 (0) 1474 562200
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