• 1. Thames Loop from Canada Water
  • 2. Chinbrook Meadows and the Quaggy River

Thames Loop from Canada Water

Report from Ride Leader Simon K.

With two new riders, Jude & Helen, eleven of us left Canada Water on C14 for Greenwich via Russia Dock Woodlands. Weather was dry, but with the possibility of rain to come. An uneventful ride got us to Greenwich in good time where another three riders were waiting. David, who was suffering with a cold, decided to leave us, resulting in a bakers dozen boarding the DLR for Mudchute.

 A brief shower, with the tops of tall buildings in the City and Canary Wharf covered in mist, didn’t deter us as we soon warmed up. A big plus on this ride is that a detour that’s been in place for a year or so resulting in having to cycle  under Canary Wharf has been lifted giving a long stretch of riverside cycling. Avoiding cobbles we took the Shadwell Basin route, followed by the Ornamental Canal. A stop riverside in the Hermitage Riverside Memorial Park where there is a memorial to the Eastenders killed in the Blitz. We then took Thomas More Street to avoid a nasty crossing north of Tower Bridge. We lost one rider with a slow puncture [they headed homeward with continual pumping of the tyre]. Taking a cycle way alongside Cable Street  took us to the Monument and London Bridge., where we said goodbye to four riders. The rest of us took a coffee break at Dockhead (Bartons), from where we took the scenic C14 to CW, returning at 12.45. Many thanks to David who was backmarker to Greenwich and Ed for taking over, who, as with Gill acted as our photographers.

Chinbrook Meadows and the Quaggy River

We have ridden a short way along the Quaggy River previously (see report of most recent ride). On this ride we aimed to go much further. With Bruce leading 16 riders left Peckham Rye Park cafe at 9.30 in dull, but dry and mild, weather. Up and over Nunhead to Brockley, then Wickham Rd and Friendly St to Brookmil Park. Stopped here to admire the Ravensbourne River running high after overnight rain. Over the zig zag bridge at Elverson Road DLR Station and through the Silk Mills estate to the new blocks by Lewisham Station. Amongst them we had our first sight of the Quaggy at it’s confuence with the Ravensbourne.

Next sights of the Quaggy were in Manor Park and Manor Park Gardens, although neither makes much of what could be an intersting landscape feature. Continued via Lee Green to Kibrooke Village. This is now a large mixed development with more being built. The new Cator Park includes a small stream that runs down the in well designed natural environment. It eventually joins the Quaggy outside the park. Over the road is a bit more Cator Park that takes you to the long-established Sutcliffe Park. Here the Quaggy was liberated several years back to create a mini-wetlands. Looked like they have overdone it as there was water everywhere and several paths were blocked. This will, of course, only be temporary and a few dry days will see the water back at its normal level. Next crossed the large A20/A205 roundabout using the cycle crossngs to reach Middle Park Avenue which we followed for a mile to Mottingham Station. Onward through Mottngham to Chinbrook Meadows. Awkward cylce barriers here but these can be avoided by following the wheelchair route through the car park. Everyone very relieved to see the Cafe open. We were in good time so had a long break and some of us walked around to have a look at the Quaggy. It was rescued here from plans to put it in a concrete channel by QWAG, the Quaggy River Action Group. I learned a lot from reading there informative web site.

Time to head home. Short way to Grove Park, then overshot our turn off Dounwam Way but quickly rerouted to get to the Downham Woodland Walk, a 1km off road path that took us almost all the way to the northeast corner of Beckenham Place Park. Soon after joining the path along the north edge of Beck Place Pk we came to a bridge over the Ravensbourne. The rest of our return route paralelled the Ravensbourne to Ladywell fields, then up to Nunhead and down to Parkcham Rye Park. Back 3/4 hour early at 1.15.

Was a very satisfactory ride. Weather was good for cycling and we made good time. Jean and Jamie marshalled at the tricky crossngs and Simon S. and John did the back marking. And we were able to think about how we treat our smaller rivers. Sometinmes well, but often as a nuisance to be hidden away. Hopefully over the years other parts of these rivers will be integrated better into the landscape providing opportnites for more people to enjoy them and for more wildlife to flourish.

Route map at https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1Lo1Rx-SH5AdrXu13iX1vCm5CtizXXvI&usp=sharing

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