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Meeting the challenges of urban river habitat restoration: developing a methodology for the River Thames through central London

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The River Thames is a heavily engineered urban system in recovery, though absence of habitat in the reaches through central London has restricted recovery in this area, making habitat creation or improvement a restoration priority. Here we discuss the pre-disturbance Thames, its current ecological status, and then present a methodology for establishing habitat restoration potential through central London. Habitats primarily supporting ecological communities include inter-tidal foreshore and artificial structures, and novel techniques for improving these habitats are under development. It is hoped that such approaches along the Thames will provide a template for habitat creation along other large urban rivers.

Keywords: River Thames; ecological status; habitat creation; landscape ecology; river restoration; urban river

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, King's College London, London WC2R 2LS, Email: 2: Thames21, Walbrook Wharf, City of London Corporation, London EC4R 3TD

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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