River Thames conditions - advice for boaters

Page Last Updated: 30 May 2020 11:26   

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

River restrictions and closures

Boating by all types of vessel has now resumed on the non-tidal River Thames. We have completed surveys of every reach and marked all known obstructions in the main navigation channel (the middle third of the river). Please see 'Navigation markers' section below.

All planned or ongoing river restrictions and closures can be found on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/river-thames-restrictions-and-closures. The latest situation with the sunken van in the Iffley reach and the sunken boat in the upstream lock cut at Sunbury, correct at 9pm on Friday 29 May, is:

  • the contractors engaged by the van owner's insurers were unable to remove the van today as originally planned, and now plan to do so on Monday 1 June
  • our Thames Area Operations Management Team arranged for a dive survey to be carried out of the sunken boat at Sunbury today, Friday 29 May. This confirmed that additional preparation is needed before the boat can be removed. This preparation will be carried out during week commencing 1 June. We will confirm the removal date on Wednesday 3 June..

Some of our other services are restricted. Go to GOV.UK for more detail.

Further coronavirus information and guidance for all Environment Agency waterways can also be found on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/environment-agency-waterways-coronavirus-covid-19-update


The River Thames Waterways and Thames Area Operations Management teams are working together to improve levels of service including providing assisted passage, but at present all locks remain self service. Public power functionality has been restored at all locks that have it (Godstow to Molesey, except Blakes) apart from those where the system has faults.

Where locks are on hand wind operation only, please consider the extra effort and time this takes, especially given the current hot weather, when planning your journey.

Osney Lock: The previously reported fault with the public power operating system has now been resolved. 

Abingdon Lock: Public power system temporarily out of service – hand wind operation only. Technicians were on site today, Friday 29 May. The fix requires replacement components. Work will continue tomorrow, Saturday 30 May.

Days Lock: Public power system temporarily out of service – hand wind operation only. Technicians due on site Saturday 30 May.

Marsh Lock: Public power system temporarily out of service – hand wind operation only. Technicians were on site today, Friday 29 May. The fix requires replacement components. Work will continue on Monday 1 June.

Temple Lock: A fallen tree is restricting the downstream lock cut which should therefore be navigated with great care. Our Area Operations Management Team are currently dealing with debris and vessels affecting the use of a number of weirs, and which needs to take priority. Once this work is completed they will then look to remove this tree at the earliest opportunity. As soon as we have a date for this, we will let you know.

Bell Weir Lock: The previously reported issue has now been resolved. One of the tail gates is closing more slowly than it should and we are investigating this, but the lock is once again working on public power.

Sunbury Lock: Lock closed due to a sunken boat in the main channel above the upstream lock cut. No attempt should be made to navigate in this area. Our Area Operations Management Team has arranged for diver to carry out a survey on Friday 29 May, with the intention of removing the boat week commencing 1 June. We will provide a further update on Friday 29 May.

Teddington Lock: Teddington Lock has no public power system.Passage is by appointment only and availability is limited.  If you need to pass through Teddington Lock please email us at WaterwaysThames@environment-agency.gov.uk or telephone 03708 506 506. Please note: this phone line and email inbox are monitored during normal business hours from Monday to Friday. They are not monitored at weekends.

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 exercise caution in the margins of the river, and around bends, where river and weather conditions have resulted in tree debris collecting and some shallows forming.

Should you encounter new unmarked obstructions in the main navigation channel, please report this to us via our 24 hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

Service update

Benson Lock electric charging point is unavailable.

If you need to use our sewage pump-out facilities, please email WaterwaysThames@environment-agency.gov.uk. You should provide a contact phone number and tell us which pump-out you need to use. A member of the team will call you to discuss arrangements for using the facility. The pump-outs currently open are those at:

  • St John’s
  • Eynsham
  • Abingdon
  • Mapledurham
  • Shiplake
  • Boveney
All other pump-outs are currently closed.

Water levels and flow rates

For water levels go to https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/river-and-sea-levels.

For flow rates go to http://www.gaugemap.co.uk.


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.


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


Related Links

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