Visitors and wildlife benefit from lock refurbishment scheme

TVO East Farleigh lock

Image: Environment Agency, via Twitter.

The Environment Agency says the recently completed £3.6m refurbishment of East Farleigh lock on the River Medway will be ‘a great asset to visitors, river users, and wildlife for many years to come’.

Completed in July, the project was carried out by Mackley, working as part of Team Van Oord and on behalf of the Environment Agency, and also involved stabilising the weir and installing a new fish pass.

The refurbished lock, which was constructed within the existing lock, not only secures the future of the structure but also improves the safety and convenience for people navigating the river by boat. New features include improved mooring systems, new access steps, and new rubbing timbers and fendering to reduce the risk of damage to visiting vessels.

Wildlife on the River Medway will also benefit from the works at East Farleigh. A new fish pass has been installed alongside the weir, providing climbable slopes for fish wanting to travel upstream, meaning freshwater fish including barbel, roach, perch, dace, chub and pike will be able to pass the site freely.

Julie Foley, Environment Agency Area Manager, said:

“The lock refurbishment is a £3.65m investment in the River Medway that will be a great asset to visitors, river users, and wildlife for many years to come.

“With a newly refurbished lock and weir we will be able to continue to maintain the upstream water levels for boaters, anglers, cyclists and walkers to enjoy, and the lock is essential for a number of commercial river operators.

“It’s great for the river that nine of the 10 locks on the River Medway now have fish passes in place. Allowing free movement of fish will ensure that it becomes a healthier river than it has been in at least the last 250 years, offering better access to spawning grounds for fish.”

18 September 2017

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