River Thames conditions - advice for boaters

Page Last Updated: 7 August 2022 20:39   

Thames Map Thumbnail

Welcome to the Environment Agency's online River Thames conditions update service which displays our current advice to river users. We display warning boards at our locks to inform river users of conditions that may make navigating difficult and dangerous.

This page shows our current advice for each reach of the river between Cricklade and Teddington. We will update this information regularly when warning boards are being displayed at locks and as river conditions change.


Lechlade to Oxford Back to Map

ReachCurrent conditions
Upstream of St John's LockNo Stream Warnings
St John's Lock to Buscot LockNo Stream Warnings
Buscot Lock to Grafton LockNo Stream Warnings
Grafton Lock to Radcot LockNo Stream Warnings
Radcot Lock to Rushey LockNo Stream Warnings
Rushey Lock to Shifford LockNo Stream Warnings
Shifford Lock to Northmoor LockNo Stream Warnings
Northmoor Lock to Pinkhill LockNo Stream Warnings
Pinkhill Lock to Eynsham LockNo Stream Warnings
Eynsham Lock to King's LockNo Stream Warnings
King's Lock to Godstow LockNo Stream Warnings
Godstow Lock to Osney LockNo Stream Warnings
Osney Lock to Iffley LockNo Stream Warnings

Oxford to Henley Back to Map

ReachCurrent conditions
Iffley Lock to Sandford LockNo Stream Warnings
Sandford Lock to Abingdon LockNo Stream Warnings
Abingdon Lock to Culham LockNo Stream Warnings
Culham Lock to Clifton LockNo Stream Warnings
Clifton Lock to Day's LockNo Stream Warnings
Day's Lock to Benson LockNo Stream Warnings
Benson Lock to Cleeve LockNo Stream Warnings
Cleeve Lock to Goring LockNo Stream Warnings
Goring Lock to Whitchurch LockNo Stream Warnings
Whitchurch Lock to Mapledurham LockNo Stream Warnings
Mapledurham Lock to Caversham LockNo Stream Warnings
Upstream of Blake's LockNo Stream Warnings
Caversham Lock to Sonning LockNo Stream Warnings
Sonning Lock to Shiplake LockNo Stream Warnings
Shiplake Lock to Marsh LockNo Stream Warnings
Marsh Lock to Hambleden LockNo Stream Warnings

Henley to Teddington Back to Map

ReachCurrent conditions
Hambleden Lock to Hurley LockNo Stream Warnings
Hurley Lock to Temple LockNo Stream Warnings
Temple Lock to Marlow LockNo Stream Warnings
Marlow Lock to Cookham LockNo Stream Warnings
Cookham Lock to Boulters LockNo Stream Warnings
Boulters Lock to Bray LockNo Stream Warnings
Bray Lock to Boveney LockNo Stream Warnings
Boveney Lock to Romney LockNo Stream Warnings
Romney Lock to Old Windsor LockNo Stream Warnings
Old Windsor Lock to Bell Weir LockNo Stream Warnings
Bell Weir Lock to Penton Hook LockNo Stream Warnings
Penton Hook Lock to Chertsey LockNo Stream Warnings
Chertsey Lock to Shepperton LockNo Stream Warnings
Shepperton Lock to Sunbury LockNo Stream Warnings
Sunbury Lock to Molesey LockNo Stream Warnings
Molesey Lock to Teddington LockNo Stream Warnings

Information for boaters

Low flows and water safety

We are experiencing an extended period of very dry weather. We need your help to try and minimise the effects of this dry weather by making sure all locks are as full as possible when used to save water. Some parts of the upper Thames are already experiencing very low flows, especially in backwaters and tributaries. To try and maintain flows and levels as best we can, to protect wildlife, reduce more serious impacts for navigation and maintain levels for public water supply, we may need to close locks outside of normal lock-keeper hours of duty. This could affect any of our sites along the length of the Thames. Should that be necessary, we will let you know at the earliest possible opportunity.

During periods of hot weather we see an increase in the number of people swimming in the river, including near vessels, and even jumping off bridges. Please be aware of this. We are working with partners to limit and prevent this. Our water safety advice is available at Staying safe around water - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)  

Coronavirus information

Please find the latest guidance for all boaters on Environment Agency managed waterways here: Environment Agency waterways: Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates.

Lock keepers’ hours of duty

We aim to offer assisted passage to our boating customers during the boating season from 1 April to 30 September. We will also provide assisted passage during the Easter bank holiday weekend and spring and autumn half terms where these fall outside the season. Each lock will be manned by a resident, relief or seasonal Lock Keeper and/or volunteers, as appropriate and, wherever possible, to provide cover for staff breaks, weir work and maintenance. There may be occasions when we are unable to achieve this due to circumstances outside of our control such as staff illness.

Out of season between the 1 October and 31 March assisted passage may be available but cannot be guaranteed.

Our Lock Service Rota can be found here: River Thames: lock keeper service.

  • July and August: 9am to 6:30pm
  • May, June and September: 9am to 6pm
  • April and October: 9am to 5pm
  • November to March: 9:15am to 4pm

One hour lunch break taken between 1pm and 2pm when cover unavailable.

Public power to be provided at all locks except at Teddington Lock and the beam locks upstream of Oxford, when assisted passage is not being offered by a Lock Keeper or volunteer, unless we are unable to do so due to circumstances outside of our control such as power outage or breakdown.

The levels of service will be reviewed regularly. Our staffing levels are currently reduced as a result of coronavirus and long term sickness absence.

Service announcements

Some of our services are restricted due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. Go to locks and facilities for boaters for more details.

Other service updates (Updated 21:50 3 August 2022)

 

Goring - Hand Wind overnight due to hydraulic fault.  (updated 04/08 2130)

Bell Weir Reach - Hazard Warning - Please be aware a large tree has fallen into the river midway between French Brothers and the Bells of Ouzely Moorings, Navigate this section with care. What3Words location: ///back.point.blame

Shiplake Lock - Shiplake's pump-out and elsan are out of service until further notice. 

Sunbury Lock - The head gate on the towpath side does not fully open and care must be taken when entering and exiting the lock. 

Hurley Lock - The public toilet facilities are currently unavaiable. Alternative toilets have been made available in Hurley Village car park. The closure is due to issues with safety accessing the toilet block.

Mapledurham Lock - The pump-out facilities are available during lock keepers hours.

Cleeve Lock - We are replacing the water point at Cleeve Lock, alternative supply is available boaters need to bring their own hose, it must be less than 7 metres long with a regular hoselock connection.

Boulters Lock - The gates on the pedestal side open the majority of the way. Please be cautious when entering and exiting the lock.

Boveney Lock - The pump-out and Elsan facilities are out of service until further notice.

Rushey Lock - The pump-out facilities remain closed until further notice.

SanforLock operable on hand wind only, until further notice. 1500 07/08 check back for updates 

Marsh Head Horse Bridge - The towpath bridge upstream of Marsh Lock will be closed until further notice due to safety concerns. Our operational teams and framework specialists will be inspecting the bridge to determine necessary actions to safeguard bridge users.  We apologise for any inconvenience this causes and will be working with the local authority to implement a footpath diversion as soon as possible.

Navigation markers

  • When travelling upstream keep red obstruction marker buoys on your left and green buoys on your right.
  • When travelling downstream, keep red buoys on your right and green buoys on your left.
  • Single yellow marker buoys can be passed on either side.

In all cases, pass well clear of marker buoys, and take care. You should also be careful in the margins of the river and around bends, where river and weather conditions have resulted in shoals and tree debris collecting and some shallows forming. 

24hr and Lock Moorings

Transiant moorings are now managed by Environment Agency Lock and Weir Keepers. Notices are posted on sites and boaters should report to lock keeper on arrival to report their stay. 

Related Links

River Thames: restrictions and closures - Information about any closures and restrictions on the non-tidal River Thames.

River Thames: locks and facilities for boaters - Information about facilities for boaters at Environment Agency lock sites on the non-tidal River Thames and the River Kennet.

River and sea levels - Environment Agency service displaying the latest river and sea level data from around the country.

GaugeMap - An interactive map with flow rates, groundwater levels and other information on British and Irish rivers.

Environment Agency - River Thames boating pages including boat registration guidance and general river information.

Visit Thames - All you need to know about making more of the River Thames.

Port of London Authority (PLA) - Guidance for leisure and commercial craft wishing to navigate the tidal River Thames. Includes up to date tide information and navigation notices issued for the Port of London.

Canal and River Trust - Plan your canal cruising with the Canal and River Trust's regularly updated site.

River Wey Navigation - A tranquil waterway that runs for nearly 20 miles through the heart of Surrey and flows into the Thames near Shepperton.

River Wey Conditions - River Wey river conditions information.

Key

Caution strong stream
We advise users of all boats not to navigate because the strong flows make it difficult and dangerous.
Caution stream increasing
We advise users of all unpowered boats not to navigate and users of powered boats to find a safe mooring. This is because river flows are likely to strengthen and red boards could be displayed very soon and without warning.
Caution stream decreasing
We advise users of all unpowered boats not to navigate and users of powered boats to navigate with caution.

Floodline

This information is also available on Floodline. Call 0345 988 1188 and select option 1 for river information for boaters.

Contacts

  • Contact Name: The Environment Agency

    Tel. 03708 506 506 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm)

    E-mail: enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk

  • Contact Name: Incident Hotline

    Tel. 0800 80 70 60 (24 hour service)

Related Links

Thames Locks MapThames Locks Map Names OverlayClick here to view current conditions for:
Lechlade to OxfordOxford to HenleyHenley to Teddington