The EA is holding a public consultation into its plans to update several weirs along the River Thames and the River Kennett

Historic wooden weirs on the River Thames and the River Kennett may soon be replaced with more modern designs.

The Environment Agency (EA) is holding a public consultation into its plans to update several weirs along the Thames and one weir on the River Kennett.

The weirs that the EA is consulting on are at Northmoor, Radcot, Mapledurham and Molesey on the Thames and at Blakes Lock, in Reading, on the River Kennett. Each of these weirs are of the paddle and rymer design and they work by placing large wooden posts (known as rymers) into a slot at the bottom of the river. Paddles of different lengths are then placed against the rymers to hold back water. The EA proposes to replace these with mechanised weirs that it says would be in keeping with the heritage of the river.

Simon Hughes, Thames region west area manager at the EA, said, “Some of the weirs on the River Thames that we plan to update have been operating for many years, and we appreciate they have obvious heritage value. We have been working with English Heritage to make sure we get the right balance between heritage and effective water management.

“The impacts of climate change mean we are increasingly seeing more severe weather causing high flows and flooding from the Thames. We need a modern infrastructure that can be operated safely and efficiently, particularly during times of flood when speed is of the essence.”

The consultation period will run to Friday 14 August. Follow the link to add your views to the public consultation on weirs.