DREDGING LIAISON GROUP
The Dredging Liaison Group was set up as a focused knowledge exchange platform for dredging operators, consultancies, regulatory authorities, researchers, port operators and commercial fishermen. It provides a space to discuss relevant issues, the latest technology and upcoming opportunities for collaborative research. This is our longest running forum and consistently well attended with usually around 20 attendees from a forum membership list of 60. Discussion and outputs inform our work on commercial fisheries, access to the river and riverside infrastructure.
THAMES PATH GROUP
The Thames Path Group was set up in response to the gap in strategic management of the Thames Path in the tidal Thames area. This is a small group consisting of NGOs, regional representatives of the National Trails Management Group (who manage the Thames Path upstream of Teddington), Natural England (who are designating the England Coastal Path which will join up with the Thames Path at Woolwich), Sustrans and the Ramblers Association. Attendance is always 100% due to the small size and we represent the tidal Thames Path at the wider regional meetings. Discussion and outputs inform our work on riverside development, marine planning and recreation and directly led to a successful pilot project to introduce Nordic Walking along the river in East London and research into public perceptions and use of the Thames Path. Gathered through questionnaires, this is an ongoing piece of research delivered by a stream of international interns.
THAMES LITTER FORUM
The Thames Litter Forum was set up in 2016 by the Port of London Authority, who requested TEP's assistance in convening. This group brings together infrastructure providers, water industry, regulators, NGOs, educators and behavior change organisations to discuss the issue of litter on the Thames. Working groups focusing on different elements have been set up and we convene the main forum which brings all the workstreams together. Regular attendance is approximately 15 people from a distribution list of 25 organisations. Discussion and outputs inform our work on marine plastic pollution and research.
THAMES LEARNING GROUP
The Thames Learning Group was set up to enable knowledge exchange between educators (individual, corporate and charitable) who are either situated along the Thames or use the Thames as their classroom. Regular attendance is approximately 40 people from a distribution list of 100. This year we secured a heavily discounted website creation service to build a new TLG website in response to their need for a public facing portal for educational resources and information about each organization. We believe this will stimulate the group to be more participative. The work from this group has also informed the development of an education project proposal we intend to submit next year.
FISHERIES ACTION GROUP
The Fisheries Action Group has continued to be dormant while the ongoing European-funded North Thames Fisheries Local Action Group is being delivered. We intend to start the wider group up towards the end of the FLAG project in 2020. We intend to disseminate learning from the FLAG project to benefit the other fishing communities and output from a scientific data collection project.