Datchet to Hythe End Flood Improvement Measures - Flood risk

Closes 31 Dec 2026

Opened 24 Nov 2023


Climate Change - Existing and future flood risk

Communities along the River Thames have been affected by several major floods, notably in 1947, 2003, and recently in 2013/14. As climate change continues, the risk of flooding is only going to increase.

Aerial view of Ham Island pictured during flooding in February 2014

In June 2019, the Royal Borough of Maidenhead and Windsor declared an environment and climate emergencyThe issues driving this decision were, and remain, some of the most challenging ever faced by humanity, with our climate changing on a scale and pace that threatens our way of life and that of future generations.

Current flood risk

Around 2,500 properties are currently at risk of flooding across the study area in a large flood event. This includes:

  • Five schools
  • A fire station
  • Three places of worship and
  • Several civic buildings

Critical infrastructure is also at-risk including railways, roads and utilities. Large parts of the study area are undefended. Datchet to Hythe End Flood Improvement Measures focuses on reducing flood risk from the River Thames. We will take action to address risk of flooding from other sources such as other watercourses, surface water and groundwater, where possible.

Increased flood risk due to climate change

We anticipate that climate change will increase pressure on our rivers and the River Thames is more likely to flood in the future. Refer to the LINK current flood risk map LINK in our resources. This is due to higher peak flows in rivers and more intense rainfall because of the changing climate. We estimate the number of properties at risk of flooding to increase to nearly 4,000 by the 2080s in a large flood. This is based on projected climate change scenarios in a large flood.

You might observe impacts in the following ways:

  • Flood events that affect properties, businesses and infrastructure will become more frequent
  • Larger areas will be at risk of flooding
  • Flooding disrupting access and communities’ normal way of life will happen more regularly

Flood risk management across the area

The Environment Agency

  • Oversees the conveyance of the River Thames. This is achieved by using our permissive powers to carry out maintenance works, and to remove blockages where this is most needed. We will also continue to promote good riparian ownership on other rivers.
  • Maintains assets including Thames Weirs and the Battlebourne raised embankment which helps reduce the impact of flooding in Old Windsor.
  • Is a statutory consultee in the planning process and provides flood risk technical advice to help create resilient places and a healthy environment. We worked with the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead as part of the Local Plan process to guide development across the borough. The Borough Local Plan 2013-2033 was adopted on 8 February 2022.
  • Provides a flood warning and alert service. It gives advance warning to people at risk of flooding from rivers and groundwater.

Other schemes

More Information

The Thames Valley Flood Scheme is a large-scale project, led by the Environment Agency with support from a range of partners. It is investigating ways to manage flood risk and improve the environment on a large scale across the Thames Valley. It is needed in addition to local schemes to help us adapt to a changing climate, and to boost resilience for communities, businesses and infrastructure. The scheme is being developed to complement these existing and planned local schemes. This is a long-term project planning now for the future. The project is in its early stages and is subject to further approvals and funding availability as it progresses.
Thames Valley Flood Scheme study area

More Information

The River Thames Scheme is a landscape-based approach to create healthier, more resilient, and more sustainable communities downstream of Datchet to Hythe End Flood Improvement Measures. The evidence-based RTS demonstrates that it will reduce fluvial (river) flooding between Windsor and Teddington. The small reduction in flood levels upstream of the flood channels is linked to drawdown.

More Information

The Environment Agency is updating the River Colne Strategy which will inform the future of the Lower Colne Improvement Scheme. This work is being carried out by the Environment Agency’s Herts and North London Area team.

More Information

The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead are also in the process of investigating works to alleviate flood risk from several ordinary water courses in both Datchet and Wraysbury as part of a package of measures to alleviate isolated areas of flood risk across the Borough.

Next page: Public engagement


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