Transforming the Thames


Photograph by RSPB

Transforming the Thames: A plan for seascape scale restoration of coastal habitats

Project Context and Aim

The Greater Thames Estuary, a waterway bordering the UK’s capital city, holds a coastal wilderness, comprising a rich tapestry of intertidal and freshwater habitats extending over 250,000 ha. It is an essential fish habitat, providing nursery and foraging areas for many species such as sea bass, flounder and the critically endangered European eel. It also hosts internationally important populations of birds as well as rare invertebrates.The project seeks to bring back the wildlife spectacle of the Thames by re-connecting the fragmented seascape through habitat restoration, pressure reduction, and protection. A coastal habitat restoration plan for the Greater Thames Estuary at a seascape scale, will be co-created with, and adopted by local communities across the estuary. In showing that the Greater Thames Estuary can once again have connected, ecologically-functioning and resilient habitats which benefit biodiversity, the project intends to reduce floods and coastal erosion, improve water quality, and sequester carbon. In doing so, the project aims to make a global exemplar for major cities around the world.  

Project Partners

Environment Agency
Adonis Blue / Kent Wildlife Trust
Essex Wildlife Trust
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
Kent County Council
Natural England
Medway Swale Estuary Partnership
Thames Estuary Partnership
Project Seagrass
Zoological Society of London
Essex County Council
Essex Local Nature Partnership
University of Essex

Quick Facts

ELSP Funding

US$ 99,812

Duration of grant

October 2023 - March 2025

Lead Organisation


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