The River Thames is a beautiful waterway that runs through the heart of London. Not only does it attract visitors from around the world, but it is also the home to many different and interesting creatures. Every time when I go to London for the day, I get to visit this beautiful river.
Everywhere I have been in England, there is always a river running through the town. These rivers provide beautiful scenery and impressive bridges to walk across. The most famous river in England is the Thames River. It is the longest river in England. It begins in the city of Kemble to the west of London and flows into the English Channel on the east side of the country, and it is 215 miles long. That would be like driving from New York across the all the states to the western border.
Some of the most popular tourist attractions are located right on the river, like the London Eye. The London Eye looks like a Ferris wheel, but it is used for sight seeing. It moves very slowly and takes about 45 minutes to go around once! On the other side of the river is the Tower of London. The Tower of London is a medieval castle that was built in 1078. It was built on the river for protection. It used the water to feed into the large mote that surrounded the castle. It is still considered a royal palace today. Many people will use the paths alongside the riverbank to workout or to take a stroll on a clear afternoon. There are even street markets that set up their merchandise right on the wide pathways. Many famous bridges were built across the Thames. The most famous and iconic bridge is the Tower Bridge. It reminds me of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, but it is not as big. It has large blue cables connecting two large stone towers. This bridge is located right next to the Tower of London. Another famous bridge is a walking bridge called the Millennium Bridge. This bridge was in the last Harry Potter movie. In the movie, it unfortunately fell victim to the conflict between the good and bad witches and wizards.
The river is not only a tourist attraction, but also very useful to the city of London. London was originally built by the Romans. They decided to build a city on the river because rivers provided an easy form of transportation. Rivers were also used as a defense against invaders. While there is no more fear of foreign invaders, the river is still used as a highway of transportation. Many people will use the River Buses to get from one side of the city to the other. Boats will also transport goods from one side of the country to the other.
The river is also home to many different species of animals. There are many different types of fish, mammals and eels that make their home in the Thames River. The Thames Estuary, the part of a river that opens up to the ocean, is especially rich in wildlife. The London Zoo is currently doing many conservation projects that focus on the animals in the estuary. The most interesting project concerns the European Eel. The European Eel is critically endangered, which means that it has a high risk of going extinct. The European Eel is found in many European countries that border the North Atlantic Ocean. This eel is an important and valuable occupant of the River Thames. Even in the 1800s, people recorded sightings of this eel to be so frequent and their numbers were so great that it would look like there was a black border on either side of the river. The River Thames even started a yearly festival called the Eel Run. Thousands of people came to see the young eels return from the ocean. European Eels retreat to the ocean to spawn the next generation of eels. During this time they do not eat anything and have to rely on their stored energy. Eels usually eat smaller fish found in the rivers. The ocean currents decide which rivers and streams these eels will eventually live.
The European Eels are very interesting creatures. A conservationist said, “European Eels are capable of surviving for periods of time out of water and can cross land and damp meadows in their search for water systems.” The eels are often referred to as “glass eels” because in the early stages, their bodies are transparent. These interesting creatures can live up to twenty years. While they prey on some fish in the Thames, eels are also important sources of food for other fish, birds and mammals found in the rivers. Even though the eels are prey to other animals found in the Thames Estuary, that is not the reason they are critically endangered. Pollution, over-fishing, and climate-change are some of the reasons why this species is in danger. Humans have been the primary source for the population decline of the European Eel. Organizations, such as the London Zoo, are taking action in order to correct the wrongs that the human population has committed on its environment.
The other conservation effort that the London Zoo is participating in is recording the sightings of marine mammals such as seals and dolphins. You do not have to be a scientist in order to participate in this project. The scientists at the London Zoo are encouraging people to contact the Zoo, when they spot any mammals in the estuary. The scientists want people to describe their location when they saw the animal, what type of animal did they spot, and what the animal was doing. The Zoo has never formally recorded sightings of mammals in this particular area before and the scientists believe that by recording sightings they will learn more about mammals in this local area. In particular, they are concerned about the Harbor Seal. There is a group of Harbor Seals living in the estuary, but very little is known about them. Two years ago, the zoo workers tagged ten of these seals so that they can track the seals’ movements. Knowing where these animals go can tell many things about them, such as the food they eat, how far they travel, and if they spend time in groups or as individuals.
The River Thames is a beautiful home to many different animals. It is important to keep it clean, not only for the sake of the animal, but for humans as well. Using natural resources, such as rivers, is a great advantage for humans, but it is important to treat it with respect because there are other creatures that use it as their home.