Post 22 – The River Thames in Flood

The atrocious weather during November caused flooding in many parts of the United Kingdom.  Heavy rain in the hills along the upper reaches of the Thames, particularly the Cotswolds,  caused a huge volume of storm water to drain into the river, eventually to discharge via the Thames Estuary into the North Sea.  The non-tidal Thames, that is to say from the source in the hills near Cirencester to Teddington Lock to the west of London, is managed by the Environmental Agency.

The Agency is responsible for the management of these high volumes of water that travels down the River Thames.  This is done via the weir system, where sluice gates control the amount of water passing through a particular area.  This enables vulnerable areas to be protected, so that when flooding is unavoidable flood water can be contained in less sensitive areas.



The tow path at Higginson Park, Marlow is under water.  If you look closely you can identify the edge of the river bank by the row of mooring posts, most of which have seagulls standing on them.


Date:   30:11:2012  Time: 16.03.45    Camera:   Canon EOS 30D   Lens:   Canon EF 17-40 mm  f/4.0 L  USM

Aperture:   f/7.1  Shutter Speed:   1/160   ISO:  200   Focal Length:   33.0 mm

Marlow Weir - finish

Marlow Weir in Flood

A close-up of Marlow weir, showing that the level of the water down-stream is nearly at the same level as up-stream.  The day most of these images was made was fine and sunny, with no suggestion of heavy rain.  This is because it takes several days for water to travel down the 215 mile river to the North Sea and by the time most of the water had reached Marlow the weather had improved dramatically.


Date:   29:11:2012  Time: 12.148.30    Camera:   Canon EOS 30D   Lens:    Canon  EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Aperture:   f/5.0   Shutter Speed:   1/640   ISO: 100   Focal Length:   70.0 mm


…..and yet more Rain

This was taken two days before the first two images, during the period of bad weather.  I was just able to fire of a few shots before the next wave of torrential  rain descended.  You can see how the flooding increased by comparing this image with the first.


Date:   27:11:2012  Time: 16.25.55    Camera:   Canon EOS 30D   Lens:   Canon EF 17-40 mm  f/4.0 L  USM

Aperture:   f/4.5   Shutter Speed:   1/200   ISO:  200   Focal Length:   29.0 mm


Below Marlow Weir

Canoeists brave the fast flowing waters below Marlow weir.  The water levels, clearly demonstrated on the left hand side of the weir, are nearly equal.  This image was made in the rear gardens of The Compleat Angler Hotel.  The sign post in the foreground is on the submerged bank of the river.


Date:   27:11:2012  Time: 16.48.02    Camera:   Canon EOS 30D   Lens:   Canon EF 17-40 mm  f/4.0 L  USM

Aperture:   f/6.4  Shutter Speed:   1/50   ISO:  200   Focal Length:   40.0 mm

My photographic website at , which specializes in my work in and around Marlow will close on 13th December 2012.  My Marlow work on display will  now be seen in my principal photographic website at  My “marlowimagefactory ” blog remains unaffected.


2 thoughts on “Post 22 – The River Thames in Flood

  1. Wow. Where did you take the photos from, when the river completely burst its banks? The details you point out of the gulls dotted long the mooring posts is very poignant. The weather this year has led to some quite traumatic flooding. I guess it’s not likely to change any time soon. I hope things have dried out a little ahead of the freezing weather that’s predicted for the coming weeks. Brrrr! Great photography, albeit of a not so desirable subject 🙂

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