Reclaiming Our Rivers: Discuss and Doodle!

A photograph taken partially under the surface of a river, showing both the treelined horizon and underwater plants

Event schedule details

Saturday 15 June


Event location details

The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, Victoria and Albert Museum

See the doodles from the 2024 Festival!

Doodle river-inspired scenes, inspired by our panel discussion about reclaiming our waterways as places for nature and biodiversity, swimming and leisure.

Film and TV often invoke a romantic relationship between the British people and our waterways, from summer days on the riverbank and a quick dip to cool off in the baking heat, to an invigorating wintery swim to get the blood flowing.

However, the reality is only one river in the UK, The River Wharfe in West Yorkshire, is officially clean enough to be designated ‘bathing’ quality water. And the situation is even worse for the animal and plant species that call our rivers their home, where farming pollution and raw sewage threaten their survival.

At the Great Exhibition Road Festival ecologist and artist Lauren Cook from the Natural History Museum is keen to paint a more hopeful picture of our fluvial futures. Doodle your own scenes from the riverbank with Lauren, as her and her guests discuss how science, policy, and public action can reset our relationship with our rivers.

Visitor information

Talks and discussions are intended for an adult audience and are most suitable for ages 14+.

This event is part of the Flourishing Futures talk series, shown at location number 5 on the Festival Map.  The talk has some advance tickets released to visitors but there will also be drop-in spaces on the day.

If you have an advance ticket, please arrive at the venue 10 minutes before the start time. Your ticket gives you priority access, however, as this is a free event we overbook to help ensure a full event and your space may be reallocated. Early arrival reduces this risk.

The event has step-free access and a hearing loop system.

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Event categories

  • Adults
  • Talks and tours
A photograph taken partially under the surface of a river, showing both the treelined horizon and underwater plants