The River Medway has a long tradition of sailing from the days when the nations sailing boats were built at Chatham Dockyard.
HMS Victory was built at Chatham and was moored there for the first 13 years of its life. Nelson lived locally and eventually chose the HMS Victory as his flagship where it led the British fleet to victory at the battle of Trafalgar.
The public slipway at the Strand has been in existence before Vice-Admiral Nelson's base in Chatham pre 1800s, and is still very much in use today by Medway Watersports, Medway Cruising Club and the local population. With Medway Council's financial help the causeway has been given an extended lease of life. This will enable launching at the Strand to be considerably easier and for longer periods of the day.
Charles Dickens' father was posted to the naval dockyard at Chatham in 1817 where at that time Chatham dockyard was the greatest dockyard of the day.
'Running water is favourable to daydreams, and a strong tidal river is the best of running water for mine,' wrote Charles Dickens, in his collection of sketches and reminiscences, The Uncommercial Traveller, in praise of the River Medway.
Learn more about the history of the River Medway here.
River Medway Estuary
Riverside Country Park park covers 100 hectares alongside the Medway Estuary, including Motney Hill and Berengrave Local Nature Reserve.
There are various habitats within the park, including mudflats and salt marsh, ponds and reed-beds, grassland and scrub, which provide a haven for wildlife.
The estuary has special protection as part of the Medway Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is internationally important for wintering birds that thrive on the invertebrate-rich mudflats. The salt marshes have a specialised ecology and act as high tide roost sites.
More information about Riverside Country Park and the River Medway Estuary here.