Rewilding Arcadia

2021- now

The purpose of Rewilding Arcadia is to deliver and explain a series of nature-based flood risk management projects that are designed to restore the lost floodplain to re-connect water, people, heritage and wildlife with the natural cycles of the Thames (in normal times, during floods and drought). 

Rewilding Arcadia looks to achieve multiple landscape benefits, for the long-term, to ensure that local communities, businesses, landowners, agencies and river users are fully engaged with flood risk management policy and solutions to increase public understanding about flooding and the need for change.

Please find the full evaluation report from Phase 1 of Rewilding Arcadia in the Publications section.

Longford River Project


The Longford River is a man-made waterway, diverted from the River Colne in the 17th Century, that runs from Heathrow Airport through Feltham, Hanworth, Hampton, and into Bushy and Home Parks before entering the River Thames. 


In 2019 the TLS received a grant from the Heathrow Community Trust to work with the Royal Parks, Hounslow, and Richmond Councils to increase in public engagement with the river, reduce litter and improve habitat management, and design citizen science opportunities to help to monitor the water quality and highlight any risks/improvements over time. 


Sadly, the Covid lock-downs put this project on hold until a modified project was able to restart in 2021. Over the next 2 years the TLS carried out over 25 community volunteer and citizen science days, as well as producing interpretation materials and holding a series of engagement events in Feltham Arenas and beside the Swift Road Estate. Work continues, to raise the profile of the Longford from a forgotten river to an important tributary for the Thames. 

Home Park Water Meadows


A £250k project to restore a functioning natural floodplain habitat in the Home Park Water Meadows at Hampton Court was successfully completed in 2013. 


The scheme saw the creation of new wetland areas including scrapes, standing water and reed bed with highly degraded ditches and water courses along the lower Longford River restored. 


A series of sluices and weirs were installed that allows the flow of water in dry and wet periods to be controlled. Public access is opened up as much as possible and local people are able to understand the association between the river and its previously lost floodplain for the first time in generations. 


It is maintained using traditional management techniques such as mowing using shire horses, coppicing and scything. 

London's Arcadia


To celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the 1902 act to protect the view from Richmond Hill, the London's Arcadia project was implemented.  This £5.4M project, part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, saw the implementation of 7 major landscape projects on and below Richmond Hill.

 It engaged volunteers through environmental improvements and outreach events for a total of 105,000 hours. Workshops were delivered  to 5695 pupils at 31 schools in Richmond and neighbouring boroughs. 




Volunteer Hours logged



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