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.

More than two thousand people visited the stalls at Strand on the Green for Tidefest 2018 and took part in activities in glorious sunshine, Everywhere you looked there were people angling, paddle-boarding, taking boat trips, river dipping, kayaking, visiting the nature reserve at Oliver’s island, or trying out the circus workshop. Photographs by Anna Kunst.

Winner of the Tidefest Angling Championship was Mike Martin-Davies, who picked up a £650 prize for his 41.4oz bag of bream. Second place went Gordon Bullock with 21.02 of bream and roach on the pole. Third place was John Wilkinson with 18.15 and fourth was Henry Frampton with 17.12. All the top weights came from Strand on the Green with the lower sections at Barnes and Chiswick fishing much poorer.

Tidefest organiser Martin Salter said “we 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, Mayor Samia Chaudhary and Leader of Hounslow Council Steve Curran were there to show support and it brought 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 amongst others.

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