For over two hundred years, these waterways and the docks they served drove London’s economy, but economic change neglected the waterways, leaving them derelict and ultimately a barrier, rather than a connection, for local communities.
After falling out of use in the second half of the 20th century, the waterways were given a new lease of life following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Following a joint venture between London Legacy Development Corporation and the Canal & River Trust, the Park’s waterways have been cleaned, repaired and restored and will become a vibrant focal point for events, sport and leisure. The Bow Back Rivers are a 16km system of waterways which feed into the River Lee Navigation and the Thames in east London. The waterways, 6km of which are located in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, include:
• City Mill River
• Old River Lea
• Bow Back River
• Prescott Channel
• Bow Creek
• Channelsea River
• Waterworks River
You can read about our strategy for regenerating the Park's waterways by downloading our Olympic Legacy Waterways Framework.