WATCH: Brixton’s lost river reminds us to protect our waterways

Brixton is the last place many would think there would be a river. 

But, as far back as the 1800s, the River Effra ran from West Norwood to the Thames through Brixton high street as one of its main tributaries.

Since the mid 19th century, Brixton began to be developed – eventually into the urban hub it is today – and the river was paved over and turned into a sewage system.

The fate of the Effra is a sad reflection of the treatment of our rivers in the UK.

Out of 1500 rivers today, only three have bathing status, while the majority are polluted by sewage and rubbish. 

Water companies including Thames Water have pumped 3.6 million hours of sewage into rivers and seas in the past year alone, The Guardian reported in March. 

If the treatment of British waterways remains the same, other rivers in the UK could face the same fate. 

In fact, the River Effra is only one of 12 hidden rivers in London, which includes the River Fleet underneath Hampstead and the River Tyburn flowing under Buckingham Palace. 

John Rogers, the creator behind @JohnRogersWalks who films the path of the capital’s lost rivers said: “The rivers are why we are here.”

Watch: Brixton’s lost river reminds us to protect our waterways

Feature image credits: Photo by Lewis Patrick on Unsplash

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