The Jubilee River is a one of the most significant fluvial flood risk management schemes, in terms of scale and investment, in the UK. It incorporates a wide range of aspects including significant areas of wetland and marginal habitats, a national cycle route, bridleways, and a significant length of the Thames long distance footpath. Much of the planning and design work for the project was highly innovative as for the first time the scheme took major water management infrastructure development into the realms of multiple use green infrastructure.

The scheme was undertaken by the Environment Agency, which commissioned the design and construction of the river and which cost approximately &pound100 million. It is located in southern England and consists of a new river channel which runs roughly parallel with the Thames for a length of 11.6 km (7.2 mi) and is approximately 45m wide. It was constructed in the late 1990s and early 2000s to take overflow from the River Thames and so alleviate flooding in and around the towns of Maidenhead, Windsor and Eton by taking water from the Thames at Taplow near Boulters Lock near Maidenhead and returning it downstream of Eton.

The project exemplifies the role the landscape profession can play when involved across the full range of landscape planning, design and management. The early involvement of the profession can be seen in the form of the image over page which shows a sketch produced for the planning submission for the scheme.  It clearly demonstrates the multiple benefits of taking an interdisciplinary approach.

The channel is a highly complex accomplishment that involved many technical, ecological and social issues, including extensive compulsory purchases, community involvement and a public enquiry. Conception to fruition took about twenty years.

Despite being man-made, the Jubilee River has been described as having some more natural characteristics than the Thames itself, due to the general lack of hard bank protection which is prevalent in the Thames in this area. Its banks, where possible contain carefully conceived wildlife habitats which mitigate for the loss of some of those lost from the River Thames itself through urban development. Part of the site, near what is now known as Dorney Wetlands, once formed part of Slough Sewage Works sludge drying beds- but now contains 38 hectares of reed beds and 5 hectares of wet woodland which were created through the scheme.

Approximate Map Location


LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here