River Thames NEWS 
Updated on Wednesday September 23rd 2020

The River Thames is open for recreational activities. All users are reminded to observe social distancing regulations.

Non-Tidal Thames
The Environment Agency stresses the importance of safety on the water and also reminds users that all craft must be registered with EA before use on the River Thames.  

Assisted passage is available at all locks during certain hours.  Full details of obstructions and closures can be found in the 'Information for boaters' column on this Environment Agency web page, updated every day. It details problems that may affect your journey. 

Tidal transits through Teddington Lock will only be available between 7am and 9pm in September.

Restrictions will apply at Culham Lock in September This nitice gives full details: 

Looking ahead, details of future closures, including planned lock closures for the winter period, and short-term restrictions are here. The list was updated on September 22nd.

Tidal Thames
Boaters using the tidal Thames are advised to use the Tidal Thames App  to assist with journey planning, tidal information and any restrictions. PLA has released this 'After COVID-19' short video.

No vessels may pass under Hammersmith Bridge effective August 14th. Advance notice of Richmond Lock & Weir drawdown in November 2020 is here

 Users of the Thames Path are requested to follow social distancing regulations at all times. 

There is more 'non-Covid-19' news here and information about events planned by other organisations here


The Thames is one of the World's most fascinating and beautiful rivers. From source to sea its 215 miles flow from springs in Gloucestershire to the site of the old London Bridge, then on to the imposing tidal estuary to the east of London.

The river is a dynamic entity and there are many challenges that the River Thames Society - a registered charity founded in 1962 - currently seeks to address.  

The River Thames Society's aims are to:

  • Protect the natural beauty of the river, adjacent lands and buildings of historic and architectural interest and to promote nature conservation.
  • Support and contribute to the efforts of other organisations with similar interest in the river.
  • Preserve and extend amenities and to encourage the use of the river for all purposes.

Over the past 50 years the Society has influenced and supported:

  • Construction of the Thames Barrier
  • Creation of the Thames Path
  • Foundation of the Thames Traditional Boat Rally
  • Removal of sewage from the tidal river
  • Retention of the historic lock-keepers' houses
  • Active River Wardens who watch out for issues that need intervention
  • Bondig Bank, a small nature reserve owned and managed by the Society
  • Representation on many and varied bodies with river interests
  • Exploring the Thames Wilderness -  a guide to the natural Thames.  

Other concerns still remain such as residential over-development which is leading to the loss of waterside boat yards and marine facilities, and the need to ensure that locks, navigational structures and flood control measures are maintained and improved. 

If you are inspired by the Society's aims and achievements and would like to help us to protect and promote the Thames by joining an organisation that represents the interests of all river users from source to sea, then please consider joining River Thames Society.

Click here for membership details.

River Thames Society is a registered charity, no 288380; and Company Limited by Guarantee, no 1747301.

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River Inspector May 22 Walton Bridge

The EA River Inspector at
Walton Bridge
on May 22nd 2020.

VE75 on HMS Belfast

'VE75' signalled on HMS Belfast
on VE day May 8th 2020.

Red Arrows over Thames VE Day 75

Red Arrows pass over
Tower Bridge on
75th aaniversary of VE Day.
Friday May 8th 2020

Cockpit view

Cockpit View
(Photo by Red Arrows)

Thank You NHS on HMS Belfast

 'Thank you NHS' on
HMS Belfast during the
Coronavirus pandemic. 


New life - doing well

Rotherhithe - sunset view

Thames Barrier


Steam boats at BEale Park Boat Show