Tidal River Thames Citizens' Jury on Rethinking Water

Closes 25 May 2026

Opened 23 May 2022


The Rethinking Water Citizens’ Jury was organised by the Environment Agency and a Local Advisory Group, working with the Involve Foundation; an independent charity, who acted as the main point of contact for jury members throughout the process.

The jury, which took place in March 2022, debated local issues, shared ideas and questioned environmental experts on all aspects of the water environment. This projects aim was to involve local communities in decisions about the future of the tidal Thames.

The Tidal Thames Citizens’ Jury was made up of members of the public, who were selected at random, but live near the Thames and reflected the local demography. It was tasked with examining how communities and individuals engage with the river. They discussed development and population growth and how it impacts on the river environment. Finally, they produced recommendations that will be used to guide the future of managing water for us and our partners.

The findings, in the form of recommendations written and recorded by the jurors - Video of the recommendations from the Tidal Thames

The final six recommendations from the Tidal Thames Citizens’ Jury were:

  • Public Education: more public education to help communities understand their influence and responsibilities.
  • Access for all - improving public access to the river.
  • Biodiversity Net Gain - Connecting net gain with wildlife and flood prevention.
  • Enforcement of Environmental Standards: taking a much stronger stance on environmental enforcement
  • Natural Flood Defences: Flood defences and climate change mitigation measures (sustainable urban drainage, living walls, green roofs, rainfall capture etc) need to be front and centre in all planning and urban development considerations.
  • Coordinated River Management - having a single body which represents key stakeholder groups for the whole Tidal River Thames.

The findings from the juries will inform our future water management plans. This includes the Thames River Basin Management Plan and the Port of London Authority’s Thames Vision 2050: Safe, Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive consultation. These consultations were both live during the consultation. The recommendations are also being embraced by Your Tidal Thames Catchment Partnership.

The Local Advisory Group for this jury was made up of a range of organisations from public and charity sectors. They chose to present different aspirations and visions for the estuary as a way of exploring the key issues and potential future changes. The Tidal Thames jury listened to evidence from a broad range of environmental experts to ensure a balanced view including:

  • Thames Estuary Partnership
  • Thames 21
  • Port of London Authority
  • Thames Landscape Strategy
  • Natural England
  • Zoological Society of London

Below is a list of the evidence in the form of presentations given as part of the citizen jury:

Session 1

Michael Donnelly, Involve – introducing the jury

Toni Scarr - Environment Agency – purpose of the jury

Amy Pryor - Thames Estuary Partnership - Geography of the Tidal Thames

Allen Summerskill - Tideway Historian - History of the Tidal Thames

Session 2

Joe Pecorelli - ZSL - Wildlife under pressure

Peter Bide - Chair of the Urban CaBA group - How Planning Impacts the Tidal Thames

Jason Debney, Thames Landscape Strategy - Bringing the Community into Planning

Richard Charman - Environment Agency - Tidal Flooding and Habitat Loss

Session 3     

Michael Atkins - Port of London Authority - Thames Estuary

Nick White - Natural England - Biodiversity Net Gain

Yvette de Garis - Thames Water - Abstraction and Treatment Issues

Neil Dunlop - Environment Agency - Water Quality

Sessions 4   

Emily McLean - Port of London Authority - Opportunities of the port to tidal river communities

Paul Hyman - Active 360 Paddleboarding School - Recreation on the River

Hannah Gutteridge - Thames Path Group - Physical accessibility alongside the River

Rosa Clavane & Zara Visanji – Thames 21 - Stewardship: communities advocating for the River

To view our main page please click here. 

For more information please contact water.story@environment-agency.gov.uk


  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Fishing clubs and representative associations
  • Members of the public with an interest in the river, the species and conservation
  • Businesses
  • Charities
  • Statutory organisations
  • NGOs
  • Members of the public
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Local councils
  • Academics
  • The nuclear industry
  • All water abstractors
  • Environment Agency customers
  • Net fishing license holders
  • River based salmon angling owners/fishing clubs/organisations
  • Individual migratory salmonid licence holders
  • Business that buy salmon/supported by salmon net and rod fishing
  • Angling trade contacts
  • National based fishery, conservation and landowner organisations
  • Government family organisations
  • IDBs
  • Local authorities
  • District and parish councils
  • Environmental bodies
  • Land owners
  • Farming associations
  • Drainage associations
  • RFCCs
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Water companies
  • Members of the public
  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Community groups
  • Flood action groups


  • Business and industry
  • Flood management
  • Coastal management
  • Fishing and boating
  • Water resources
  • Water quality
  • Drought
  • Habitats and wildlife
  • Waste
  • Permits
  • Nuclear
  • Environmental permitting
  • Installation
  • Radioactive substances regulations
  • Specific projects, issues, or activity pages