Anglers and Hydropower

This page is dedicated to information and opinion on Hydropower developments that are proposed on the river Thames.


*Since the demise of both the Sunbury and Teddington Hydropower schemes, and the complete waste of 100’s EA man hours (for free), we will not be updating this page until further notice. Rest assured we are watching and listening and ready if such schemes attempt to damage our fragile Lower Thames riverine ecology*

Thames Anglers Conservancy statement:

The Thames Anglers Conservancy was founded on the premise of ‘Anglers dedicated to protecting and improving the river Thames’ and the message still holds true today, we support all green initiatives that improve the environment.
Our only requisite is that comprehensive scientific data is available to prove that there will be no adverse affects.
In 2008, the Environment Agency regional Director told the then Regional Fisheries Ecology and Recreation advisory committee that no further Thames Weirpools would be developed until the scheme at Romney had been fully assessed for environmental impact, in 2010 they broke that promise. The scheme at Romney is only just operational, this over 10 years on from conception.
The Environment Agency are helping developers on multiple Thames sites with little or no evidence as to the impact on the ecology of the weirpools. As anglers we understand how important these unique habitats are as principal spawning sites for fish such as barbel, chub and dace. Diverting the majority of the water through turbines not only deprives the weir but also reduces/redirects the energy of the water. This will have a drastic impact on the weirpool fishery environmentally and effect many different species, including the abundance of invertebrates, which are the lifeblood of our rivers.
Consequently, despite our support for clean energy initiatives, we feel that until all the necessary scientific data is available, we will campaign against all Hydropower developments on the Thames.
The Thames Anglers Conservancy sits on the Environment Agency Thames Regional Fisheries, Ecology and Recreational Advisory Committee (RFERAC) Hydropower Sub Group

The Angling Trust and Hydropower

The Angling Trust is aware of the projected effects of climate change on our fisheries and supports the drive towards a lower carbon future. But this cannot be at the expense of the river environment and our fisheries. Run-of-river hydropower, where schemes have no stored water and only use the immediately available flow, is a low carbon source of energy and the Trust recognises its benefits, tiny though they are, but also the potential impacts. The Environment Agency is in a difficult position as it is directed by Government to promote sustainable development, including sources of renewable energy, as well as the duty to protect the environment and, for example, maintain, improve and develop all fisheries. The Trust feels it has got the current balance wrong with its approach towards hydropower, and has been campaigning for a review of the EA’s “Good Practice Guide” to hydropower developers.
The TAC is rightly concerned about the proliferation of schemes being promoted on Thames weirs. The EA owns the weir infrastructures and are actively seeking expression of interest from hydro developers. Thames anglers understand how important these unique weirpool habitats are not only as an angling resource but especially as principal spawning sites for such as barbel, chub and dace. Diverting the majority of the water through turbines not only deprives the weir but also reduces the energy of the water. This must have a drastic impact on the weirpool fishery and effect many species, yet the EA are promoting these schemes without a clue as to their impact.
Dr Alan Butterworth BSc PhD FIFM CEnv, Technical Director,  28/05/2011


DUPED! The great hydro-electric con trick -The Spectator Sep 2012
SNIFFER report August 2011 – Impact of Run of the River Hydro Schemes upon fish population
‘End of The River’ A highly significant video released in November 2012
Energy produced by small hydropower installations is per definition “renewable” energy – but “green” or “clean” it is certainly not. This film is produced to inform about the small hydropowers devastating impact on our rivers and the life in them.

European Water Framework Directive

The WFD is the most substantial piece of EC water legislation to date and is designed to improve and integrate the way rivers, lakes and esturies are managed throughout Europe to safeguard the health of our water environment in the future.
Environmental objectives ‘The aim is long-term sustainable water management based on a high level of protection of the aquatic environment’.
The EU Water Framework Directive – integrated river basin management for Europe
Water is for life: How the Water Framework Directive helps safeguard Europe’s resources
Hydropower Permitting Review by the Thames Anglers Conservancy – October 2010
Anglers dismay at more Thames Hydro projects – TAC

Current Mid/Lower Thames Hydropower Schemes promoted by the Environment Agency

Romney Weir
Bell Weir
Sunbury Weir
Teddington Weir

Environment Agency

Latest hydro site Abstraction/impoundment Applications
Report on the Hydropower Permitting Review consultation
Assessment for revised river flow and water abstraction standards January 2014
Hydropower Good Practice Guidlines August 2009
21/01/2013 Consultation on river flow and water abstraction standards for hydropower
15/10/2012 Initial review of the Good Practice Guidlines
20/12/2011 Queens Green energy scheme near completion
05/10/2011 Romney Weir gets ready for Hydropower
23/09/2011 Submissions end for the Hydropower Hydropower Good Practice Guidelines Consultation
04/09/2011 The Environment Agency reveal the proposed Thames Hydropower Schemes
21/07/2011 End of the ‘Expression of Interest’ for proposed Thames schemes at Boulters, Marlow and Boveney weirs
01/07/2011 Consultation on the review of  Hydropower Good Practice Guidelines begins.
28/04/2011 New proposals for more Thames Hydropower
22/03/2011 Hydropower – making it easier
16/02/2011 Environment Agency streamlines hydropower application process
17/02/2011 Hydropower on the Increase
23/06/2010 Hydropower and the Thames Region report



27/01/2014 New Threat to our Rivers from Hydropower Grants
15/10/2013 Muted Celebrations over the Updated Hydropower Good Practice Guide
25/07/2013 Yet more Hydropower omnishambles as Environment Agency ducks decision to protect our rivers
25/02/2013 Please respond to the EA Hydropower Consultation
22/11/2012 Hydropower stopped by Anglers in landmark legal case
14/09/2012 Shadow Minister briefed on Hydropower
23/05/2012 EA sets up camp on fence between protecting river wildlife and hydropower
14/11/2011 Angling Trust attacks planned Hydropower schemes
02/11/2011 Environment Agency Complacent about Hydropower
25/08/2011 Don’t miss your chance to take part in the Public Consultation on the Hydropower Good Practice Guide
03/05/2011 Environment Agency Breaks Promise About River Thames Weirs
07/03/2011 Anglers fume as regulator bow to Hydropower
21/02/2011 Anglers Fury at Hydro scheme
18/02/2011 Meetings with British waterways and the EA – Fight the Hydropower Threat
14/02/2011 Angling Summit Feb 2011
10/12/2011 Hydropower, enough is enough say Angling bodies
16/11/2010 Environment Agency Provides Consents to Massacre Eels on River Trent
11/10/2010 Environment Agency Breaks Promises on Hydropower
Fight the Hydropower –  An Angling Trust Guide to Objecting


Press and the media

03/05/2013 Tell us where are the hydropower systems?  – Buck Free Press
01/05/2013 Power to Kill river Fish –
29/04/2013 How are communities raising serious money for green energy projects? –
10/09/2012 David Cameron, renewable energy and the death of British property rights
23/05/2012 £1 Thames Hydropower plan wins licence – Oxford Mail
02/02/2012 Moratorium on hydroelectric schemes demanded to protect salmon and trout – FishtoFork
20/12/2011 River Thames Hydropower could harm Ecology – BBC
03/11/2011 Angling Trust  Hydro Concerns – Big Fish Column
04/09/2011  Hydropower at Boveney Stalls – Slough Express
21/05/2011  Anger at broken Promises – Oxford Mail
20/05/2011 Our river water levels are low enough – Angling Times
11/03/2011 Hydro power is all a con says Keith Arthur – Go fishing
03/05/2011 Anglers dismay at more Thames Hydro projects
19/11/2010 Hydro-power at sites like Gunthorpe Weir is lunacy – Angling Times
08/04/2010 Environment Agency maps hydropower hotspots –
15/04/2011 A new take on hydropower designConsultations
Thames Anglers Conservancy seeks to ensure that all content and information published at this web site is current and accurate. In addition, the Thames Anglers Conservancy cannot be held responsible for the content of any externally linked pages