If stream increases, the Environment Agency says it will consider closing the Henley stretch of the Thames

The Environment Agency (EA) says it will close the Henley stretch of the Thames during this week’s regatta if river conditions become “too risky”.

Much of the Thames is currently experiencing ‘yellow board’ conditions, making navigation for unpowered boats tricky.

But the stream is still increasing, and depending on rainfall over the next few days in the Thames catchment, ‘red board’ conditions may be declared, meaning all boaters are advised not to navigate until the river slows down.

Currently, red board warnings are being displayed at Osney, Clifton and Whitchurch locks.

Eileen McKeever, the EA’s Thames waterway manager, said: “The Henley Regatta is an international rowing competition with competent, experienced oarsmen and the organisers have been running this event safely for many years.

“However, the event does attract a high number of spectators who like to watch from their boats on the river. Our primary concern is the safety of boaters using the river in difficult conditions, and our advice during strong stream conditions is for all boats to stop and find a safe mooring until the stream reduces.

“We will monitor the situation closely and if we believe the combination of river conditions, strong cross winds, boat traffic and passage through Henley Bridge becomes too risky, we will close the river through the Henley area.”

For up-to-date stream warnings on the Thames, call Floodline on 0845 988 1188.