River Thames Scheme

How the Environment Agency plans to reduce flood risk between Datchet and Teddington, the largest area of undefended developed floodplain in England.

The River Thames Scheme will reduce flood risk to people living and working near the Thames, enhance the resilience of nationally important infrastructure, contribute to a vibrant local economy and maximise the social and environmental value of the river.

The Environment Agency will build a new flood channel alongside the River Thames to reduce flood risk to 15,000 properties in communities in Datchet, Wraysbury, Egham, Staines, Chertsey, Shepperton, Weybridge, Sunbury, Molesey, Thames Ditton, Kingston and Teddington.

The channel will be built in 3 sections. It includes widening of the Desborough Cut and increasing the capacity of weirs at Sunbury, Molesey, and Teddington by installing additional weir gates.

15,000 homes and 2,400 business will be better protected from flooding. Road, rail, power and water networks will be more resilient. The Scheme will create 106 hectares of new public open space and 23km of new pathways. Biodiversity for wildlife will be improved through the creation of 250 hectares of new habitat.

Construction of the new channel gives us the opportunity to create habitats for wildlife and recreation activities including walking, cycling, boating and angling.

As development work continues, the Environment Agency is working with communities between Datchet and Teddington to increase their resilience to flooding. This includes working with emergency services, local councils and other organisations to co-ordinate their response during major floods.

About the scheme

Read the details on how the Environment Agency plans to reduce flood risk between Datchet and Teddington, the largest area of undefended floodplain in England.


Maps and drawings showing the areas covered by the scheme.


Detailed reports on the schemes plans and progress.


View the consultations regarding the River Thames Scheme.

  1. Lower Thames strategy
Published 4 March 2016
Last updated 14 June 2018 + show all updates
  1. We have updated the page with current information about the River Thames Scheme including updated maps.

  2. Content updates

  3. Added documents to the 'What's New' section

  4. Added information on environmental surveys.

  5. New documents added.

  6. September 2016 workshop info added.

  7. Newsletters added.

  8. Information on drop-in session added.

  9. New document added to the What's new collection.

  10. First published.