Losing its Rivers: following careless London #londonwalks #lostrivers


When we moved into our house we found the end of the garden flooded at the slightest sign of a downpour. In the first summer huge cracks appeared in the path at the back when the heat rose above 22C. Eventually our neighbours told us that a river ran under the back of the gardens, either a tributary to or part of the River Effra. We absorbed that ‘fact’, gave up with some of the planting that just rotted and began to change the garden to accommodate these circumstances.

The River Effra is one of several ‘Lost Rivers’ of London. Before the massive urban sprawl, the basin of London, through which the Thames flows, was fed by several rivers. arising from springs on Sydenham Hill, one such is the Effra. On the north-side of the river the most famous is the Fleet, which gave its name to Fleet Street, home…

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