The Environment Agency project has refurbished the lock, in East Farleigh near Maidstone, Kent, stabilised the weir, and installed a new fish pass. The previous lock was last refurbished over a century ago, and these improvements enhance and protect the River Medway for local residents and river users.
The refurbished lock was constructed within the existing lock and not only secures the future of the structure but improves the safety and convenience for boaters using it. New features include improved mooring systems, new access steps, and new rubbing timbers and fendering to reduce the risk of damage to visiting vessels.
Wildlife on the River Medway will also benefit from the works at East Farleigh. A new fish pass has been installed alongside the weir, providing climbable slopes for fish wanting to travel upstream, meaning freshwater fish, such as barbel, roach, perch, dace, chub and pike, will be able to pass the site freely.
Julie Foley, Environment Agency Area Manager, said:
The lock refurbishment is a £3.65 million investment in the River Medway that will be a great asset to visitors, river users, and wildlife for many years to come.
With a newly refurbished lock and weir we will be able to continue to maintain the upstream water levels for boaters, anglers, cyclists and walkers to enjoy, and the lock is essential for a number of commercial river operators.
It’s great for the river that 9 of the 10 locks on the River Medway now have fish passes in place. Allowing free movement of fish will ensure that it becomes a healthier river than it has been in at least the last 250 years, offering better access to spawning grounds for fish.
For all media enquiries please contact 0800 141 2743 or email Southeastpressoffice1@environment-agency.gov.uk.