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Introducing Tim and Ben, the dynamic Duo @teamwateruk!

Between the 12th and 21st of September, local community groups, supporters and campaigners will be joining us along the River Thames to demand action from the government and all political leaders to urgently address river pollution. 

To raise awareness of the high levels of pollution in UK rivers, we will be cheering on Tim Wakefield and Ben Covey, who are taking to the River Thames for ten days of swimming, rowing and stand up paddle boarding (SUP). On their expedition, Tim and Ben will help raise awareness of the plight of our waterways and promote the hand-in of our ‘Rescue our Rivers’ petition to Parliament.

The end of the expedition coincides with the ‘hand in’ of our petition, signed by almost 90,000 people, backing the Charter for Rivers that calls up on political leaders to protect and restore our rivers by 2030. 

How to get involved

We would love to get as many people involved as possible and we’re really looking forward to sharing Tim and Ben’s journey. Do follow @teamwateruk for updates on when and where you can join them on the river each day. Dates include:

If you have any questions about how you can get involved, please email our Campaigns Coordinator, Harri Rose, at We hope to see many of you there soon!

About Ben Covey 

From an early age Ben has been drawn to the water and has loved exploring our coasts and rivers. As a family now living in landlocked Berkshire, the River Thames is his go to destination for a water fix. Paddleboarding, swimming, and occasionally boating too. His wife grew up on the north coast of Cornwall and he heads down there whenever he can. There the weather and tides shape the holidays, dictating the activity for the day: kitesurfing a firm favorite when it’s windy and paddleboarding & swimming when the sea is calm.  When Ben and Tim decided to journey down the Thames they wanted to partner with a charity that are dedicated to raising awareness of the disastrous impact that pollution is having on our rivers and River Action UK’s Rescue our Rivers campaign was a perfect match. Ben has a strong track record in taking on challenges to raise awareness and funds for important causes. He has cycled from John O Groats to Lands End, walked the 4 Peaks, was a member of the team that holds the Guinness World Record for the most kitesurfers in a mile and with Tim crossed the English Channel by paddleboard to raise money for the RNLI. On the Thames he has completed the Great River Race three times. He hopes that the Thames Pollution Awareness Expedition will take him to parts of the river he has not yet explored whilst making a difference to the future health of our rivers.

About Tim Wakefield 

Tim has lived within a stone’s throw of the River Thames all his life. His first memories are feeding the ducks in the river by Richmond Bridge and since then he has learned to sail on the river, enjoyed swimming in the upper reaches, once successfully eskimo rolled a canoe near Westminster, tried on many occasions to beat the world record for stone skimming, loved racing up and down the river in summer rowing regattas, tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to catch fish, jumped into the river off bridges and rope swings and most recently spent many happy hours SUPping with the swans. He is currently a member of Goring Thames Sailing Club. Like Ben, Tim has been involved in a number of expeditions to raise awareness and funds for important causes, including swimming across the Solent in support of Kingston Hospital, SUPping across the Channel in support of the RNLI and skiing up mountains with the Everest in the Alps team in support of the Brain Tumour charity. 

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