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CORRESPONDENCE AND REPORTS ...  Thames Water and Hackney Council

On 29 April 2022, we wrote to Ms. Sarah Bentley, the CEO of Thames Water at that time, expressing concern about the state of some sections of the New River in Hackney.  The section of the river and path we focused on, runs from the Castle in Green Lanes, to Finsbury Park which is in Haringey. We sent pictures of the disgusting state of the New River near the bridge at the entrance to the Woodberry Wetlands.  Later that day, a Team from the London Wildlife Trust, based at the Woodberry Wetlands, entered the river and started to clean up some of the contamination. They finished the job a couple of weeks later and that section of the river is now in a good state.

We have raised our concerns with local Councillors, Caroline Selman and Sarah Young, who have taken up the cause with Thames Water.  Following pressure from Councillors and local campaigners, there have been some improvements - such as the partial gritting of some of the New River paths.  Some large pieces of junk have been removed from the river, but then left on the riverbank instead of being disposed of.  

The London Wildlife Trust carried out a successful river cleaning-up operation on 06 May 2022, near the main entrance of the Wetlands, but some parts of the river are still heavily contaminated with rubbish, a mattress, trolley, chairs and much else.

There is much to do to make the New River safe for wildlife and the path safe for humans.

But all of these are stop-gap measures.  We urgently need Thames Water, the London Wildlife Trust and the London Boroughs of Hackney and Haringey, to develop a long-term plan to resolve these issues, which must be based on clear accountability for proper maintenance of the New River and the paths.


Councillors Selman and Young arranged a successful meeting and river walk with James Townsend from Thames Water to discuss these issues, and we have produced a report on that meeting which will be available on-line. The New River Renewal Campaign has also had a successful meeting with James Townsend, where we highlighted our five key priorities for development and improvement of the New River and the path. We will be meeting James again in October 2022.


Trolley dumped in New River near children's playground - May 2022 

NR - 2.png

Model path in Finsbury Park near

Green Lanes. 

How the New River should be.

Before ...

Rubbish in the river - 14 February 2022

After ...

Rubbish removal completed 06 May 2022


Hazardous path by New River in area

abandoned by Thames Water.

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