See the Thames Barrier in action: 2018’s full closure test set for 23 September

Preparing for the annual test in 2017

The Thames Barrier will close for its ‘full tidal test closure’ on Sunday 23rd September this year.

“Once a year, the Environment Agency holds a full tide test closure of the Thames Barrier. The Barrier gates rotate by 90 degrees into the fully closed defence position stopping the tide going upstream into London. As the tide continues to come in, a higher level of water will build up downstream of the Barrier creating a different water level either side of the gates. Shortly after high tide, the gates will rotate further creating a 2 metre gap underneath (underspill). This in turn creates a white water rush effect behind each of the massive gate structures attracting birds to feed on small fish. This ‘underspill’ lasts approximately 2 hours.

There will be various fun and educational activities for children, talks, demonstrations, information and display stands.

As part of Open House weekend 2018, The Thames Barrier Information Centre will be open and free of charge on the day”.

The Environment Agency, who operate the Barrier, are encouraging visitors to cycle or walk; it’s a great opportunity to try out the recently-opened ‘missing link’ joining the Thames Path east of the Barrier along the riverfront of Thames Side Studios.

Also nearby, The Charlton Champion recommends taking a look at the Thames Barrier memorial, and even checking out the industrial area next door which forms the Charlton Riverside redevelopment area (read more about the proposed Rockwell and Flint Glass Wall developments).

Address for the Thames Barrier:
Thames Barrier Information Centre
1 Unity Way
SE18 5NJ

You can keep up to date with activities at the Thames Barrier via their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The Thames Barrier in ‘closed’ position
Thames Barrier Memorial
Unveiled in May 2018, the sculpture is a memorial dedicated to those who worked on London, Kent and Essex’s flood defences
The Thames Barrier lit up in rainbow colours for International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in May 2018
The Thames Barrier lit up in rainbow colours for International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in May 2018

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Testing times: see the Thames Barrier in action on Sunday 10th September

Thames Barrier Test 2017

Sunday 10th of September will see the annual full test of the Thames Barrier: an opportunity to see the barrier in action, meet the teams who run it, and learn about how it all works. The cafe and information centre will open at 9am; we recommend keeping an eye on the official website for closure timings nearer the date.

There’s a Facebook event for it here, and we recommend following Alan at the Barrier on Twitter, too!

Thames Barrier test 2016
Thames Barrier test closure – September 2016
Photo copyright Neil Clasper