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Environment Fund

Our Thames Environment Fund provides financial support for projects that help improve the environment of the tidal Thames, in line with the goals of our river development framework, Thames Vision 2050.

The environment fund is part of the PLA’s work to deliver the Vision, which aims to secure greater use of the Thames and see the river between Teddington Lock and the North Sea become the cleanest since the Industrial Revolution.

The PLA increased the funding for 2023 to £50,000 and raised the maximum grant to £15,000 for successful bids.

In the past two years, the PLA has funded seven projects, thanks to the Thames Environment Fund. In 2022, two rowing clubs were awarded funding to replace their petrol outboards with electric alternatives. In 2021, a total of five projects were successful in receiving funding related to the themes of invasive species and litter. Examples include: the Whale Company and Active360’s “Paddle & Pick”, combining stand-up paddle-boarding with litter-busting, and Medway Swale Estuary Partnership tackling invasive Pacific oysters on the Isle of Sheppey.

Who is eligible to bid?

  • Community groups
  • Charities
  • NGOs
  • Universities and academia
  • Other not for profit organisations

What types of project were we looking to support?

An appendix to the application form contains a non-exhaustive list of potential project themes such as improving water quality, enhancing ecology and biodiversity, promoting sustainability, improving air quality.

Environment Fund Success Stories

The AHOY Centre Charity

The AHOY centre in Deptford received our Thames Environment Fund grant for new equipment, that enabled them to increase their Litter Pickers activities, increasing awareness of recycling initiatives and how to stem plastic pollution, engaging with about 250 young people to date.


Zoological Society of London (ZSL) established a collaboration with citizen scientists to investigate the life cycle of plastic litter in London, while recruiting a greater diversity of volunteers in local communities, with the Thames Environment Fund grant. The project recorded an average of 154 items of rubbish per 100 meters of the river surveyed, peaking in Tower Hamlets.

ACTIVE360 & Whale Company

Our Thames Environment Fund enabled the Whale Company and Active360 to reconnect more children with the Thames, London’s biggest open space, through litter-busting, stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP) sessions, combined with a take-away Thames Natural History guide. A total of 145 secondary school students experienced the sport, and learnt about biodiversity, from years 7 to 9 from five schools: Chiswick School, Lampton School, The Green School for Boys, London Free School and Rivers Academy.


The Medway Swale Estuary Partnership project used our Thames Environment Fund to target the Isle of Sheppey’s growing population of invasive Pacific oysters (Magallana gigas) - and the dangers posed by their impacts to local ecosystems and razor-sharp shells. Nearly 40,000 oysters were removed.

Dartford & Crayford Creek Restoration Trust

Our Thames Environment Fund supports the trust to continue to transform Dartford Creek from an abandoned, industrial waterway, into an important green corridor, bringing new life to derelict wharves.