Coronavirus Pandemic NEWS Updated on May 24th 2020

PLA has announced that, with support of the police, the River Thames is suitable for recreational activity subject to certain conditions. Details can be found in this Notice to Mariners dated May 13th 2020. A one-way system has been introduced at Richmond footbridge. Details are here. PLA has just published the PLA Port Handbook 2020.

Environment Agency has issued updated information following the change in lockdown regulations. Power to all locks on the non-tidal Thames is being restored. Most sections of the river are available for navigation. However, a number of obstructions are blocking stretches of the river.  Full information is on this publication  May_23_EA.pdf

May 24th update - Boulters Lock has re-opened after removal of a fallen tree.

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

RTS urges that these rules are followed. 

The annual 'Swan Upping' census on the River Thames has been cancelled for 2020 because of social distancing regulations. Read this article

Budding young photographers in the Henley area may be interested in this competition notified to RTS by the River and Rowing Museum.

The top picture shows the EA River Inspector at Walton Bridge on May 22nd 2020.

The second picture shows 'VE75' signalled on HMS Belfast on VE day May 8th 2020. The lower picture shows 'Thank you NHS' during the Coronavirus pandemic. 



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.  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. 

The River Thames Society's stated 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.

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


VE75 on HMS Belfast


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

New life - doing well

Rotherhithe - sunset view

Thames Barrier


Steam boats at BEale Park Boat Show