The River Thames Scheme

Developing green infrastructure while addressing the challenges of flooding

Working in Partnership with the Environment Agency and Surrey County Council, we are delivering The River Thames Scheme (RTS).

The RTS represents a new landscape-based approach to creating healthier, more resilient, and more sustainable communities. The RTS will be an integrated scheme which responds to the challenges of flooding, creating more access to green open spaces and sustainable travel routes, in addition to encouraging inclusive economic growth, increasing biodiversity and responding to the dual challenges of climate change and nature recovery.

The overall aims are to:

  • Deliver a new flood alleviation channel built in two sections through Runnymede and Spelthorne.
  • Increase capacity improvements to existing river structures.
  • Develop a network if high quality habitat to achieve a biodiversity net gain.
  • Construct new active travel routes to encourage cycling and walking.
  • Create new areas of green space for recreation.

The scheme covers part of the largest area of undefended, developed floodplain in England. Communities in the area have suffered major floods in the past.

The River Thames Scheme can help reduce the risk of flooding with the creation of a flood alleviation channel, built in two sections.

Wherever possible the aim is for the channels to look as much like the natural landscape as possible and provide better access to green open spaces, connect people with wildlife and deliver a more sustainable travel network.

We'll deliver these improvements by creating new public areas with new footpaths and cycleways. Areas will be as accessible as possible, allowing people to connect with nature and so contribute to their health and wellbeing.

Providing more green space along the river will open opportunities for leisure activities such as jogging, walking, cycling, sports and games. These green spaces can provide social, mental, and physical health benefits for our community.

Find out more about the development on the River Thames Scheme website.

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