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Thousands flock to Foreshore Festival in Putney to celebrate the River Thames

Thousands of people flocked to the foreshore in Putney for a celebration of the River Thames over the weekend.

The Foreshore Festival, organised by former Olympic rower, Andrew Triggs Hodge, included stand-up paddleboarding and rowing taster sessions, as well as displays from Museum of London Archaeology and environmental charity Thames21.   

The event was supported by Tideway, the company building London’s new super sewer to protect the river from sewage pollution, where Mr Triggs Hodge works as a programme manager.

The triple-Olympic gold medallist said: “It was fantastic to see so many people enjoying the foreshore and the river and getting involved in sports and activities they hadn’t tried before. At Tideway it’s our goal to get people reconnected with London’s wonderful River Thames and I’m delighted the festival showed just how much potential a cleaner River Thames holds for recreation and enjoyment.”

Visitors included local MP Justine Greening, who praised the work underway to clean up the River Thames for future generations, and comedian Bill Bailey, showing his support for paddleboarding.

Tideway’s main works at Putney Embankment started at the end of July. Once complete, sewage overflowing into the river under Putney Bridge will be captured down a 36m deep shaft in the foreshore. From there, a 48m long connection tunnel will take sewage to the main tunnel and transfer it to east London for treatment.


The existing Victorian sewer network was designed to cope with a city of four million people but the population in London is now at more than nine million and growing. The new super sewer will provide the capacity the city needs for more than 100 years.

Construction of the tunnel is being completed in three parts; west, east and central. The tunnel is expected to be finished by 2025*.

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*This article has been amended to reflect the project's updated completion date following an analysis of the impacts of the pandemic.