Message in a Bottle – Source to Sea

Carlos and Carolyn will paddle the length of the Thames on their Plastic Bottle SUPs

to collect your 'Message in a Bottle' to deliver to parliament

On World Ocean’s Day, 8th June 2018 Carlos and Carolyn will begin their journey along the Thames River from the navigable source at Lechlade to the sea at Gravesend. They will paddle approx 300km on their SUPs (Stand Up Paddle Boards) made out of plastic bottles to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our waterways and to deliver a ‘Message in a Bottle’ to parliament.  They would like to invite you to get involved.

Give us your ‘Message in a Bottle’

We want to hear your thoughts.  We are inviting all children (and adults) to share your messages with us, which we will take to parliament on 26 June.  We want to create something visual, creative and innovative to celebrate your ideas for a more sustainable future; so we have come up with the idea of Bottle Bunting.  It’s easy.

1. Download the template

2. Up-cycle an old t-shirt, sheet or any fabric – cut out the template

3. Write your message and decorate it in permanent pen (remember to sign your name)

4. Give it to us as we paddle by or send it to us at the address below

Get involved

Download the Bottle Bunting templates here

Template A

Template B


Join us for a leg of the journey; click here to hire a SUP board.  Delivery options available.


We would like to invite all schools near the Thames to come meet us, share your messages and perhaps even do a mini clean up.


Our Whalebags are great alternatives to plastic bags; all proceeds (save 10p to WDC) go to support the expedition.

Join us for a leg of the journey

Our Interactive map, created by Wanda Bodnar shows the date for each leg, distance and the supporting clubs.  Click on the date to find out more information and who to contact if you want to join.

To join us for a leg please contact the corresponding club (in green).  They will offer you a discount to hire a SUP for the Source to Sea and ensure you have the river license which we all need to paddle on the Thames.  To join an event or clean up contact the organisers directly by clicking on the organisation (in blue)

Tue 5 June        LAUNCH EXHIBITION & TALK at Brazilian Embassy (6.30-9.30pm) on WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

Wed 6 June       Meet MPs in House of Commons

Wed 6 June       Run and Clean Up in London organised by Good Gym

Fri 8 June         Trout Inn, Lechlade to Rushey Lock campsite – (15.4km) – ATB Shop SUP club / SUP Gloucester

Sat 9 June         Rushy Lock to Ferryman’s Inn, Bablock Hythe (17km) – ATB Shop SUP club

Sat 9 June         March for the Ocean – Portland Place to Parliament Square 1pm – 3pm- sign up here

Sun 10 June      Bablock Hythe to St Edward’s Boathouse (11.8km)

Mon 11 June      St Edward’s Boathouse to Abingdon Lock (18km)

Tue 12 June        Abingdon Lock to Day’s Lock (13.5km)

Wed 13 June       Day’s Lock to Goring Lock (17.8km)

Thu 14 June        Goring Lock to Caversham Lock (17.3km)

Fri 15 June          Caversham Lock to Henley-on-Thames (15km) – hire a board from SUP hire

Sat 16 June         Henley-on-Thames to Hurley Lock, Hurley (9.2km)

Sun 17 June        Hurley Lock to Bray Lock (17km) – Bewl Canoe Club / Bray Lake Watersports

Sun 17 June       Paddle and Pick with Bray Lake Watersports around Bray Lake (3.30 pm)

Mon 18 June       Bray Lock to Windsor (13.5km) – hire a board from Canoe & Kayak Tours

Tue 19 June        Windsor to Staines to Shepperton Lock (20km) – hire a board from Canoe & Kayak Tours

Wed 20 June       Shepperton Lock to Teddington Lock (18km) – Barnes Tidy Towpath clean up

Thu 21 June        Teddington Lock to Richmond – RICHMOND BID EVENT – try our board and join in the races

Thu 21 June        Richmond to Kew Bridge (9.2km) – Midsummer Night sunset paddle – ACTIVE 360

Fri 22 June          Kew Bridge to Cremorne Riverside (12.75km)

Sat 23 June         Walk for Wasteaid  25km walk from Putney to Southwark – or 10km (start after lunch)

Mon 25 June       Litter pick with Moo Canoes 17.30 onwards at Poplar Union


Wed 27 June       Chelsea to Thames Barrier – (closed group) (23km)

Wed 27 June       Floating Litter Pick, Poplar Union 10:00 – 15:30 with Moo Canoes, Canal & Rivers Trust, London Canal Volunteers

Wed 27 June       Floating Litter Pick, Old Ford Lock on the River Lea 5.30 onwards with Moo Canoes and the Lower Regents Coalition  

Thu 28 June        Thames Barrier to Gravesend (Gravesham Arts) – (closed group) (26.75km)

Fri 29 June          CLOSING CEREMONY hosted by St. Katharine’s Docks 6pm -8pm


Together We Can Do More


Can you help share our project?  Would you like to organise an event to run alongside the Source to Sea?  Do you want to sponsor us?  Currently we are funding everything on a shoe string and we are looking for support for the charity moving forwards.  If your organisation would like to know more about how to get involved please contact Carolyn on 07870685994.

Event Collaborations

Huge thanks to the Brazilian Embassy and St. Katharine’s Docks for hosting our opening and closing ceremonies.

We are partnering with several great organisations to promote their clean up events.

Product Collaborations

Do you have a product that you would like us to promote?  Get in touch to see if we can collaborate.

First in the World to Paddle a Marathon on a Plastic Bottle SUP

We need your bottles


We know there are a lot of bottles out there but collecting them is actually a bit tricky as the recycle trucks crush them and we need them fairly undamaged.  Can you help us by collecting your bottles?  We need 120 2 litre bottles per board.  We can then collect them from your school if you give us a call to tell us you have lots.

Plastic Bottle Guide