2018/19 Upper & Lower Thames Planned Maintenance Programme

EA Thames Tributaries Planned Maintenance Programme 2018-19


Below is the initial correspondence from the environment Agency. The links to the relevant attachments are below where the proposed actions on the relevant water courses can be found although this is also shown on their interactive map. We would urge all of those who have some form of interest in the rivers, whether it be Angling, Conservation, Flooding etc to look through these proposals and take the opportunity to have your say.


2018-2019 Maintenance Programme Consultation - Basically whats written below.

2018-2019 Maintenance Standards - What the codes mean that are allocated to the proposed works although a couple don't seem to be listed.

2018-2019 Lower Thames Planned Maintenance - Rivers & Tributaries in the Lower Thames area (Includes the Loddon Catchment).

2018-2019 Upper Thames Planned Maintenance - Rivers & Tributaries in the Upper Thames area.


Environment Agency Flood Risk Management – 2018-2019 Thames Tributaries Maintenance Programme


We are contacting you regarding the proposed river maintenance programme for the non-tidal Thames tributaries, due to take place in the 2018-2019 financial year.


In order to comply with the Environment Act (1995) and generally agreed best practice, we are giving you the opportunity to comment upon our proposed works. This consultation spans both the Upper and Lower Thames tributaries designated as “Main River”, associated structures and flood risk management installations, e.g. flood storage reservoirs. Further information on main river designations can be found here:


We would be grateful if you could send us any comments or observations regarding the locations, activities or dates of the proposed maintenance programme.

For an interactive map of the sites where we plan to work, please follow this link:


The sites, channels and areas we plan to work within appear as features on the map. You can pan around the map and zoom in to these features. Clicking on a feature will bring up a small pop-up with the location name, planned works and start date.  At some sites there will be several activities planned throughout the year. In such instances, a number will appear in the top-left of each pop-up (as shown below). Clicking the arrow in the top-right of each pop-up (as shown below) will allow you to scroll through each activity planned for that location.

Accompanying this e-mail are spreadsheets for each portion of the Thames listing each location, the planned activity, start date and an empty “comments” column. Also included within this e-mail is a guidance document on our maintenance standards.

Please send any comments or questions regarding the Upper Thames to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or:

James Spicer

Environment Agency

Osney Depot

Bridge Street




Please also use the above contact details if you have any difficulties with the map or attached documents.

Please send any comments or questions regarding the Lower Thames to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or:


Rachel Hopkins

Environment Agency

Goldcrest House

Alice Holt Lodge



GU10 4LH


If providing any comments outside of the attached spreadsheets, it would be helpful if you could provide the site name as displayed or AIMS ID No. if your comment relates to a specific location. We would be grateful if you could respond by 11th March 2018. If we do not hear from your by this date, we will presume you have no comments or objections regarding the maintenance programme.

A drop-in session will be taking place on Friday 9th March 2018, 1000h to 1600h at our Reading office:


Environment Agency

Kings Meadow House

Kings Meadow Road




Please note that there is limited parking at Kings Meadow House. There are public carparks nearby, and the office is easily accessible from Reading station.


If you are considering undertaking your own maintenance work, please be aware that an environmental permit may be required from us for works affecting main rivers. Please contact your local authority for works relating to non-main (“ordinary”) watercourses We can provide information relating to the environment permit requirements and best practise methodology. Further information regarding environmental permits for flood risk activities can be found here:


Further information


What work do we carry out?


We focus our effort on those activities that help us manage flood risk where there are economic and environmental reasons for doing so. The work we do includes:

  • clearing grills and removing obstructions from rivers;
  • controlling vegetation within rivers;
  • managing grass, trees and bushes on our flood embankments;
  • inspection, maintenance and repair of flood defence structures.

Each site is different so we choose the most suitable maintenance procedure for each stretch of river or each structure. We aim to provide a sustainable way of managing flood risk, whilst minimising the environmental impact of our maintenance operations.

How do we decide where, and what, work is needed?


We use the following four criteria to decide the level of maintenance for each of our rivers or defences:

  1. We will continue to maintain defences where there is an economic case to reduce the risk from flooding to people and property.
  2. We will continue to maintain defences that are required to protect internationally designated environmental features from the damaging effect of flooding, for example Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
  3. We will consider maintaining defences that do not fit categories 1 and 2 above, but where work is justified due to legal commitments or where stopping maintenance would cause an unacceptable flood risk.
  4. We will, following consultation, consider stopping maintenance of defences that do not fit the above three categories. We will work supportively with interested parties to explore options in such circumstances.

All works are undertaken using good practice conservation guidelines to minimise adverse effects on the environment, including the requirements of the Water Framework Directive and other relevant legislation. Dredging works involve removing recent (3-30 years) accumulations of silt and vegetation in watercourses that have, in the majority of cases, been dredged in the recent past. Before beginning, a survey is undertaken to ensure that all features and habitats of ecological value are identified and safeguarded wherever possible. Reinstatement involves spreading and seeding spoil and making good temporary fences, etc. The proposed timings for each job have been stated which are indicative only and may change due to work being re-scheduled where necessary. If the timing of a particular job is of concern, please include this in your comments.



Integrated Catchment Delivery - Invite and Programme - 6 and 21 March, 16 May

For those interested, you are invited to 3 upcoming 2017/18 Integrated Catchment Delivery events:


  • 6th March 2018 Estuaries and coasts workshop, CIWEM, Saffron Hill, Farringdon, ECN 8QS, London – contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 21st March 2018 Connecting people, rivers and partnerships workshop, Loughborough University, Stuart Mason Building, LE11 3TU – contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or here to book
  • 16 May 2018 Loddington Farm Lincolnshire and Northants Water Friendly Farming project – contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Invite to follow.


The River Restoration Centre webpage is being updated and linked above by 16 February


Thank you for attending events so far. Over 400 people attended the first 7 events with excellent feedback. We now have up to 30 events outlined. Check out presentations from our November CIWEM workshop if you’ve yet to see these – there are some compelling and inspiring stories!

Hot off the press! Between April and July 2018 we are also organising 14 area Natural Flood Management (NFM) roadshows. Once dates and venues are confirmed we will share contact details so you can register. These NFM events aim to enable attendees to feel able to champion using Working With Natural Processes /NFM as a tool to achieve a wide range of benefits for people and the environment, including flood risk management, by taking an integrated approach to catchment management.