A not for profit company limited by guarantee - Registered in England Company No. 09550359

The Marlow Society

Trowlock Island Ltd

Weybridge Mariners

IYFR Thames Fleet

 Crusing Club

Cotswold Boat Hire

and GSL Marine

Thames Vintage

Swan (Radcot) Cruiser Club

Boat Club

Waterways Plan - ACTION POINTS 2015 /21

A living evolving document subject to changes

SECTION B: Environment

13. RTA will encourage supporters to promote SUDs and will lobby to ensure that the necessary

supporting legislation and funding measures are in place.

14. RTA gives strong support to the development of Catchment Sensitive Farming schemes and for

better funding arrangements. RTA will seek to attract more supporters of the farming community

into supportership so that these matters can be considered in greater detail within RTA.

15. RTA will seek to ensure that the Environment Agency’s duty in law to maintain, improve and

develop fisheries of the Environment Agency pervades their work and is recognised in the catchment

planning process and in the River Basin Plan.

16. RTA will work with anglers, river trusts, riparian landowners and other catchment partners in

pursuit of common objectives for healthy aquatic environments.

17. RTA will encourage the adoption of policies which protect fisheries when hydropower and other

developments impacting on aquatic ecology are being considered. RTA will also aim to ensure that

such policies are applied in the consultative process for future planning applications.

18. RTA will support Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and landscape partnerships in plans to

improve the river corridor. RTA will argue for additional landscape strategies based on definable

reaches to fill gaps in coverage.

19. RTA will aim to maintain a sensible balance between policies that improve the quality of recreational

boating and river transport and policies that contribute to an improved environment in the

river corridor.

20. It is a principle of RTA’s work that measures to improve access and promote watersports be introduced in a manner that minimises adverse environmental impacts where reasonably and realistically possible.

NOTE: The Waterways Plan is a living evolving document that is subject to change

Certain assumptions have been made.

For the period of the Plan, the Environment Agency is expected to continue as the river authority for the non-tidal Thames and funding is assumed to continue at about its current level.

If these or other assumptions prove to be incorrect, or the effects of the nations BREXIT decision impacts significantly, this living Plan will be revised.

The Waterways Plan will continue to help determine the future policy of RTA and its working groups whilst giving the RTA the necessary authority to lobby and influence the relevant statutory, non-statutory and political bodies.

The success of the new Waterways Plan will depend on effective implementation. Some of these Actions can be progressed but RTA’s capacity is limited and a comprehensive Action Programme is required with RTA supporters coming forward to take on a leadership role in organising implementation of particular parts of the Programme. Working Group Leaders and their related delivery groups - please volunteer.


The Thames is an iconic river and the river basin is home to nearly 20 million people with many more

millions passing through the each year.  Inevitably the river is subject to conflicting demands from

residents, users, tourists, industry, agriculture, sport, and the need to maintain a good environment for

nature as well as for humans. The new Waterways Plan aims to try to resolve and mitigate some of these conflicts and to promise an even better River Thames for all of our future generations.

The RTA it Supporters, Sponsors and Volunteers will continue to work hard to ensure the success of the Waterways Plan and its 2020 Vision programme.

RTA Supporter BBOWT's Dr. Richard Bloor hopes to market the River Thames for all to enjoy:

The pubs will teach customers about local history, the nature reserves will tell visitors about local literature and the gravel extraction firms might even be able to benefit the wildlife.

That is the vision of environmentalist Richard Bloor.

The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust’s Thames vision development manager wants to create a network of every business, landowner and charity on the Thames, from Wiltshire to Iffley Lock in Oxford.

It’s not often you hear an environmentalist defending gravel extraction, but Dr Bloor is a different kind of environmentalist. The RTA are proud to be working closely with Richard.

River Thames Alliance Environment and Education

So Much To Learn - RTA Help

The River is in flood and the power has to be seen and heard to bring home the force that Mother Nature can deliver

Learning about our environment is a vital life lesson for our children. Pollution KILLS FISH usually gets the message home!

The River is the perfect place to build confident young people. Take them out and teach them to paddle. Just watch!

Learning  onboard a “floating classroom” for the day was a whole new experience for these children from Oxfordshire.

Click on any image (photo link) above or below

Above Left: Lets see how much non biodegradable plastic rubbish we can pick up on our school litter pick afternoon. WOW Loads!

Above right: These young people are training with the help we have been able to give them. With luck they will soon have a new full time job.

Below Left: Learning whilst doing your own thing and getting muddy too is great fun!

Below Right: Learning about Angling appeals to girls as well as boys and helps eradicate yet another stereotype. Trained volunteers  will help.

The River is so much more fun than travelling on the school bus. The kids want to go, out on a floating classroom to photograph, to understand. They can now get involved with Annual Swan Upping too. Ask for details What  better way to learn about the environment is there?  The Thames Path is a flat level tow path stretching 184 miles from source to the Thames Barrier. Environment & Learning. Later in life volunteering to help with the upkeep of the Thames Path is a healthy way of making friends and doing good for our environment too.

RTA Schools Membership Only £75

Flooding Video Sonning & Henley Thames Path Walking Video Pollution Videos Pollution Videos Volunteer Videos Volunteer Videos Educational Videos Educational Videos Kayaking Video

Boris Johnson opens Lee Tunnel

London Mayor Boris Johnson commissioned the first part of the Thames Tideway Tunnel at the end of January 2016.

The 4.3 mile Lee Tunnel runs from Abbey Mills pumping station to Beckton Sewage Works, and will help prevent more than 16 million tonnes of sewage overflowing into Bow Creek (and the Thames) during periods of heavy rainfall.

Work has now started on the 16 mile-long Tideway Tunnel which, when completed in 2023, will intercept the remaining combined sewage overflows of London's Victorian sewer system which currently discharge several hundred tonnes of sewage into the Thames Tideway every year.

This ambitious project, costing £4.2 billion, faced strong opposition from community groups along its proposed construction sites, but was eventually approved in 2014 following extensive lobbying by a wide-ranging coalition of environmental groups led by RTA members Thames21.

London Mayor Boris Johnson photographed with engineers and workers at Beckton Sewage Treatment Centre

Mayor Boris Johnson spoke of future generations swimming in the Thames with otters as he opened the capital’s first super sewer with a flush of pride.

“This is a truly massive achievement for our British engineering,” Boris John son said. “It will serve us all for generations to come.

“It’s great for the environment and it’s great for us.

“We will make our river so clean that our children – or maybe grandchildren – will be able to swim in it with the otters and the salmon.”

The tunnel is the width of three double decker buses!


9. With the expected Brexit River Thames Alliance Co Ltd will continue to watch the situation as the Water Frame Directive is replaced.   River Thames Alliance Co Ltd attend local river catchment plan meetings with a continuing watching brief. However . . . Given the positive effect that EU regulation has had on the cleanliness of our waterbodies, it is unlikely that we will see a major divergence from the current situation. There are however certain targets that are extremely challenging and therefore present an opportunity to make amendments to take account of technical feasibility, disproportionate costs and natural conditions.

11. Alec Nichson from Thames Water was one of the speakers at the Thames APPG (as founded and organised by RTA Co Ltd) addressed the projected significant shortage of drinking water in the south east by 2020. Much work is ongoing behind the scenes from Directors and Board Advisors in relation to the Abingdon Reservoir proposals.  Currently (July 2017) we have had a very dry period and River Thames Alliance will continue to work with others to monitor the situation. Meanwhile water levels in the main channel of the River Thames above Abingdon Lock are giving rise to navigational concerns regarding potential grounding of vessels.

15-17. Recognising that Angling is different to Fisheries Angling representatives have once again been invited to attend the River Thames Alliance Sports Working Group meetings, they were present at the last such meeting at Bisham Abbey in 2016. However, it is with deep regret that in its July 2017 Subscribing Supporters listings Anglers are not represented in any way, shape or form!!

Nonetheless RTA’s work continues to attract them back, and to protect all anglers interests despite their premiere organising bodies current lack of support for the River Thames Alliance Co Ltd. Which is thought to be “politically driven”, with certain senior activists refusing to associate themselves with the River Thames Alliance ongoing work to seek the very best solutions for ALL our River Thames users no matter what their individual interests, which of course are very often conflicting and challenging. However, therein lies the very purpose of the RTA’s existence. Meet, talk, communicate, exchange views, seek solutions, find consensus. There is only one River Thames, we must learn to play nicely together to share this precious resource equitably, NOT walk away!

19. River Thames Alliance will continue its work with Supporters and Supporter organisations whose activities concentrate on recreational boating and river transport to maintain the balance between conflicting interests here too. This ongoing work now involves the Inland Waterways Association Regional Chair and Navigation specialist who is now advising the RTA Board.

20. River Thames Alliance Co Ltd has had five important meetings of sporting representatives. It is conscious of the responsibility of maintaining balance between water sports usage and the environment and of encouraging and educating new water sports users as well as the more traditional. Stand-up Paddle Boarding and Wild Water Swimming regulation and safety is but one good example of the type of results that can be achieved via multi interest Teamwork.


I don't

harm the Environment

I don't

harm the Environment