14. The Boating Community of Catherine Wheel Rd

Themes: Making Rivers More Natural; Tackling Invasive Non-native Species

Objective:

  • Completing a 24-mile riverside trail from Barnet to Brentford on the Thames

Project description

The waterside community of Catherine Wheel Rd at TOWN WHARF and MALTHOUSE WHARF are long established in Brentford. This community advocates their moorings as viable, sustainable and friendly communities. Both moorings are home to 30 people living on 22 boats and the residents are proud to continue the long standing waterside heritage that is unique to Brentford. They are opening their hidden gem to the public on Saturday 16th April from 12-6 followed by music at the Brewery Tap pub

Our lifestyle may be different to the majority's and our reasons for living afloat are various and include:

•   our low environmental impact on this crowded city

•   we cherish the wildlife and the environment – the area is a unique pocket of biodiversity and home to the rare two-lipped snail. Kingfishers are seen frequently and swans, herons, coots, golden-eyes and cormorants. 23 varieties of birds have frequently seen.

•   boating life fosters real old fashioned community spirit - we are friendly and helpful.

•   most of us work locally or run small businesses – amongst us are artists (Johnsons Island), a lawyer, a carpenter/joiner, a botanist, horticulturists, musicians, a museum curator, engineers, a surveyor, a teacher, and NHS workers. We rely on this location to be close to our work.

•   Town Wharf is also a working boatyard with an engineer on hand for problem solving. Right next door are the large MSO Marine boatyard and John's Boatyard on Lot's Ait. Our

narrowboats and barges are a link with London's industrial heritage; they give the canals purpose and meaning.

•   the boats are our assets, and make it affordable for us to live in London. 

  • all boat residents operate from legitimate moorings, paying the required mooring fees,  utility bills, insurance, council tax and navigation fees that are required by law. As boat

owners we have the benefits of moving and changing the view from our windows from time to time, but with a home base for easy day to day living.

Project lead: Johnson Island Artists Studio
Project partners: Brent Catchment Partnership, Canal & River Trust, Environment Agency, ZSL
Project start: 2014
Contact for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting.