Annual events – Tidefest

Tidefest is all about enjoying the river. It’s a chance to try out a water sport such as kayaking or paddleboarding for free, with no strings attached (life jackets, but no strings). It’s an opportunity to learn about the creatures which live in the river and the impact we have on their environment. You can learn about the history of our part of the river from ancient times right up to the present day, or just take a boat trip or a stroll along the foreshore and enjoy the beauty of it all.

Thousands of people visit the stalls at Strand on the Green for Tidefest each year and take part in activities along the riverbank. Everywhere you looked there are people angling, paddle-boarding, taking boat trips, river dipping, kayaking, visiting the nature reserve at Oliver’s island, or trying out activities such as circus skills.

Photographs by Anna Kunst.

Each year there is a Tidefest Angling Championship. Tidefest organiser Martin Salter says fishermen have recently caught baby sea bass and flounder in the seine nets by Kew Bridge, “which shows what an important nursery area the Thames Estuary has become”.

Local MPs Ruth Cadbury and Rupa Huq, and Leader of Hounslow Council Steve Curran usually come to show their support and the event brings together all those who have business on the river, including the Port of London Authority and Thames Water, the Marine Conservation Society, the London Wildlife Trust, River Thames Society and the RSPB.