Its that time of year again for the annual Thames barrier official closure, the barrier has been closed 184 times since it became operational in 1982.
The Thames Barrier is an iconic example of British design and engineering that protects 1.25 million people and a huge amount of important London infrastructure. It is built across a 520 metre stretch of river and its annual test closure offers visitors the chance to see how it works and meet the teams who operate it and protect London from flooding.
The Thames Barrier is one of the largest movable flood barriers in the world. The Environment Agency runs and maintains the Thames Barrier as well as London’s other flood defences. 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 and seals which feed on small fish. This ‘underspill’ lasts approximately 2 hours. This event is Free.
We will be stopping for refreshments at the Thames barrier cafeteria, usually this event has a few different stalls associated with the River Thames and the Barrier also there are talks and demonstrations at the visitor centre.
This steady paced social ride will be leaving Danson stables (carpark) at 10am aiming to reach back at around 2.30 pm, this ride will be a slightly faster paced than the Healthy rides, however it will still not be too fast and we wait for all riders. We will be completing approx 26 miles.
The route – We head for Blackheath and down to the River and the Thames Path to reach the barrier, on the return we take the Thames path back to Erith cutting inland to get back to Danson park. Harry leading 07508640640 “All welcome”
Please ensure your bike is in a roadworthy condition, that the tyres are fully inflated and ideally you have at least one spare innertube, also that your seat is at the correct height, and that you are dressed for the weather for this time of year.