Greening The Gateway - Thames & Medway Canal
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Martin Hall
Greening the Gateway Kent and Medway
Tel: (01634) 337593 | E-Mail

Innovation Centre Medway (Phase 2) Maidstone Road Chatham Kent ME5 9SD

Thames & Medway Canal


The vision for the Thames & Medway Canal Green Cluster has been informed by local stakeholders and reflects the inherent character of local landscapes, as well as opportunities for connectivity, recreation and place making.


Originally constructed in the early C19th, the Thames & Medway Canal was a speculative venture to provide safe passage for ships between the Thames and the Medway Rivers during a period when this strategic maritime gateway to London was perceived to be at risk of attack from the French. Today the Canal is a dramatic landscape feature, linking the urban fringe of Gravesend with its rural hinterland and its heritage. Gravesend’s historic Riverside Leisure Area, the Canal Basin and canal will be the focus for a distinctive sequence of urban public spaces, a range of new and enhanced wetland habitats, a superb recreational facility, and sustainable links to the Shorne Marshes, Higham Station and the flagship RSPB Cliffe Pools nature reserve.

The Big Vision...

The historic Thames and Medway Canal is the catalyst for the regeneration of north east Gravesend and a popular recreational destination.

A sequence of new waterfront spaces will lead from the town centre and a restored Riverside Leisure Area out onto the Shorne Marshes, re-connecting Gravesend with its rural hinterland and its heritage.
The restored canal will be a focus for water-based recreation and a superb 8km greenway along the towpath will connect right to the platform at Higham Station. An ongoing management regime will maximise biodiversity in the sequence of wetland habitats along the canal corridor so that there is a managed dynamic balance between open water and aquatic vegetation throughout. The whole area is now in the spotlight as a gateway landscape for the new beacon RSPB reserve at Cliffe Pools and the Canalside route will be the spine for connections to the Saxon Shore Way and military forts along the Thames to the north, and to the more secluded landscapes of the Shorne Woods Country Park to the south.

Click here for the Thames and Medway Canal Cluster Study brochure

Click here for the Thames and Medway Canal Technical Report