Guidance

River Thames: locks and facilities for boaters

Facilities for boaters at Environment Agency lock sites on the non-tidal River Thames and the River Kennet.

Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, some of our services will be restricted until further notice.

You should not make any journeys on your boat other than to access essential services and facilities. We will not provide assisted passage or powered operation at locks. If you need to go through a lock, you will need to hand wind it.

More information is contained within the relevant sections of this page.

If you are planning to boat on the River Thames, you may also find our distances and measurements for boaters page useful.

Using the locks

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, we will not provide assisted passage at locks. To discourage non-essential travel, we will not be providing powered operation. If you need to go through a lock, you will need to operate it yourself and hand wind the lock.

Teddington Lock is also closed. We will consider providing a hand wind service for short periods to enable essential journeys only. Any requests which we deem to be non-essential will be declined.

If you need to go through Teddington Lock, email WaterwaysThames@environment-agency.gov.uk with your contact details. A member of our Teddington Lock team will be in touch.

Operating the lock yourself

When lock keepers are not available you may work the lock yourself, at your own risk.

Operating instructions are posted at locks. Read the operating instructions before you operate the lock.

If you are operating the lock yourself:

  • stay close to the sluice controls while the sluices are in operation
  • close the lock gates properly before slowly opening the sluices to fill or empty the lock
  • leave the lock empty and shut the gates after use - there is often a public right of way over the gates

In an emergency you should close all sluices before dealing with the situation. Emergency contact details are displayed at each lock.

Camping at lock sites

Camping at Environment Agency lock sites has been suspended until further notice.

Short stay mooring

We have lifted the time restrictions on Environment Agency short stay moorings until further notice.

Call 03708 506 506 if you have any queries and ask to speak to the lock nearest to the mooring site you are interested in.

Where you can find Enviro

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