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Thames Natural History Tour (returners)

London

We have adapted our sessions to adhere to social distancing guidelines and all equipment will be disinfected after each session.

Join us as for a Thames Natural History Tour, as we explore the wonderful wildlife of the River Thames. The river was once biologically dead, all life extinguished by industrial pollution, but since the 1970s wildlife has been returning, and thriving. And we’re on a mission to find it.

The Thames is now home to more than 125 species of fish, which in turn support two species of seal, deep-diving cormorants, stealthy grey herons and more. Stand up paddleboarding allows us to enjoy a unique perspective of the river’s wildlife, immersing ourselves in nature.

As we paddle, you will also learn about the natural history and ecology of the Thames, and the issues that still threaten this iconic waterway.

A few interesting facts about our beloved river:

  1. The River Thames was formed 30 million years ago.
  2. The name of the River Thames originates from the Latin word ‘Tamesis’ meaning darkness.
  3. Following The Great Stink in 1858, John Bazalgette proposed building an intercepting sewage system along the river – embankments were built on it – and subsequently the Thames became narrower, faster and deeper.
  4. By the 1960s the River Thames became biologically dead with no established fish population in the mid tidal section.
  5. Today it is London’s largest continuous wildlife corridor or ‘wildlife superhighway’.
  6. The River Thames is a vital link and migration route for many species some travelling hundreds or thousands of miles e.g. eels, over-wintering wildfowl and waders, and summer visitors such as common house martin and common tern.
  7. There are 146 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) along the River Thames.
  8. The River Thames is 215 miles (346km) long - the tidal extent ends at Teddington.
  9. In 2010 the River Thames won an international prize for being one of the cleanest metropolitan rivers.
  10. The River Thames provides 2/3rd of London’s drinking water.

This three-hour guided tour is only available to people who have paddled with Active360 before. Find out more about the two-hour long session suitable for beginners here.

Please note that following the guidance set out by the UK government, we will require you to keep a safe distance of at least 2m from your coach during both the safety briefing and the on-water session. The coach only come within this distance if it is absolutely necessary for your safety.

What to bring

No specialist clothing is required. In warm weather, ordinary gym gear will be fine (shorts/leggings/T-shirt/sweatshirt), with old sandals or trainers you don't mind getting wet or muddy. Or you can get cheap neoprene wet shoes from most large supermarkets. No bare feet, footwear is required at all our SUP locations.

In colder weather (November - March), a wetsuit would be advisory. We have wetsuits available if requested in advance. Always bring a towel and a change of clothes just in case you take a little dip during the SUP lesson.

Requirements

You do not need to be a proficient swimmer, but should be comfortable about falling into water while wearing a buoyancy aid.

A certain level of flexibility and ability to get up to standing from kneeling is required for learning to paddleboard.

You will need to shower / wash thoroughly after the session if you have fallen in or been splashed and need to ensure any open cuts are covered.

We have taken people with physical and mental disabilities out on the water however please contact us before booking as we may need to take you out privately to ensure you receive the coach's full attention.

We will also need to know of any recent injuries prior to the session.

Itinerary

We will set off from Kew Bridge and, using the tide, paddle to Richmond. We will pass by Brentford Ait, Syon Park, The London Apprentice, Isleworth Eyot, and Richmond Lock & Weir. We will stop at Richmond for a short break. Whilst waiting for the tide to turn, we will talk about the ecology and natural history of the Thames in depth. Once the tide turned we will paddle back to Kew Bridge.

£40 per person

Sun, 16th Aug
11:45 - 14:45 · 4 spaces left
Sat, 22nd Aug
16:30 - 19:30 · 5 spaces left
Sun, 30th Aug
12:00 - 15:00 · 5 spaces left


Cancellations

Free flexible rescheduling of sessions with 5 days notice

We understand circumstances change and you may wish to change the date/time of your session. We offer flexible rescheduling. Refunds minus admin/coaching fee will only be considered in unprecedented circumstances.


Flexible rescheduling:

  1. first reschedule is FREE if email request to reschedule is submitted 5 days before the session's start; every subsequent reschedule will be subject to £15 admin fee
  2. reschedule request submitted less than 5 days but more than 72hrs in advance will be subject to £15 admin fee
  3. reschedule request submitted more than 24hrs but less than 72hrs will be subject to 50% charge of the value of the session
  4. reschedule request submitted less than 24hrs is treated as 'cancelled on the day' and full charges apply; partial refunds or credit vouchers for parts of payment can be offered only in exceptional circumstances and depending on the session type

All requests to reschedule must be submitted by email to: info@active360.co.uk


CANCELLATIONS AND/OR CHANGES MADE BY ACTIVE360


1. Cancellations by Active360 

We very rarely need to cancel or postpone sessions due to inclement weather, adverse river conditions or circumstances beyond our control e.g. unexpected river closures, red flag warnings etc. In such situations we will offer an alternative day/time at no extra charge accommodating your requirements as much as possible or a credit note for future booking if you are unable to make immediate alternative plans.  

Refunds will be considered in some circumstances but these are only made on individual basis.  

Weather conditions in the UK are changeable and we are used to operating in various conditions. When the conditions are not favourable we may contact you in advance to see whether you still wish to continue with your booking or you would rather postpone. 

We are not able to accommodate customers’ weather preferences and we have run some of our best and memorable sessions in challenging conditions e.g. rain and/or wind. 

Please share your concerns with us and we will be happy to discuss with you and make any reasonable adjustments to ensure you have an enjoyable experience.  

* All our business clients are advised to take out insurance against cancellation of event. Individual clients may wish to consider exploring this option. 

2. Changes to group sessions by Active360

Active360 reserves the right to reschedule timetabled group sessions due to low client demand (min. number of participants not reached) or instructor unavailability. Alternative dates will always be offered to customers at no extra charge. 


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