Thames Landscape Strategy


Catchment Planning & Floodrisk Management

This approach aims to integrate land and water management in a sustainable way to balance environmental, economic and social demands at a catchment scale.


The ‘catchment-based’ approach aims to deliver and raise awareness of the Water Framework Directive (WFD)and what this means for our rivers, estuaries and coastal waters. The WFD is EU legislation requiring improvements to water quality and the river environment.


There are two separate catchment areas in the TLS region

The Tidal Thames

The Lower Thames (Maidenhead to Teddington)


Working in partnership with the Environment Agency, a catchment management group has been established for each area to gather information and views from stakeholders, users of the river and residents to begin to create an achievable, holistic vision for the catchment.


The project for the tidal Thames, Your Tidal Thames, is one of 25 pilot catchment projects, funded by Defra. The ‘Your Tidal Thames’ project is a joint project between Thames21 and Thames Estuary Partnership (TEP) advised by Thames Strategy Kew to Chelsea and the Thames Landscape Strategy based on a community approach to river management.


The project covers the tidal area of the River Thames – from Teddington Lock downstream to Haven Point on the north bank of the Thames Estuary in Essex and Warden Point on the south bank in Kent.


At present the status of the tidal Thames has been classified as ‘moderate’- the aim is that the river should have ‘good’ chemical status and ecological potential by 2027.

We hope this project will build on the opportunity provided by the Water Framework Directive to start planning improvements to the tidal Thames that are inspired by the whole river TLS community. The plan links with the TLS Restoration of the Lost Floodplain vision with enhancements proposed in the On the Edge project launched in June 2019. 




Flood Risk Management

Communities in London and elsewhere in the Thames Estuary benefit from world class flood defences communities by an integrated system of warnings, defences, and local flood plans. 


Climate is changing however, so the Environment Agency has funded major new research on how the river functions and how it may change in the future.  This research included changes to fluvial flows, sea storm surges, sea level rise, functionality of flood defence structures, and the consequences of more people living and working in the floodplain. Two new flood risk management strategies for the River Thames are needed to take us through the 21st Century – one for the tidal reaches and one for the freshwater river.


For more information, see the Environment Agency Flood pages.


The TE2100 Project

The Thames Estuary 2100 project (TE2100), led by the Environment Agency, was formed in 2002 to develop a comprehensive action plan to manage flood risk for the Tidal Thames from Teddington in West London, through to Sheerness and Shoeburyness in Kent and Essex. This was the first government action plan to explicitly deal with climate change. 


Download the TE2100 Plan:


The plan is based on current guidance on climate change, but is adaptable to updated predictions for sea-level rise and climate change over the remainder of this century. Estimates predict a relative sea level rise of 90 cm by 2100 but the TE2100 Plan is adaptable to differing rates of sea level rise up to 2.7m, and an increase of 40% in peak river flood flows.


The River Thames Scheme

 The floodplain between Datchet and Teddington, is the largest area of undefended floodplain in England.  The River Thames scheme will meet the recommendations set out in the Lower Thames flood risk management strategy to reduce the consequences of a flood event.


In the TLS region it is planned to modify weirs to allow water to move through quicker during flood events and to increase the resilience of properties and landscapes located in the floodplain. 


Find out more by clicking below.

River Thames Scheme A Summary



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