River levels currently look surprisingly low at the moment particularly along stretches from Richmond, past Twickenham and Teddington but all is not quite what it seems. There certainly isn’t a lack of rain lately – the low levels are actually man-made.
The ‘Annual November Draw-off’ is triggered by lifting weirs at Richmond Lock so that the stretch of the Thames between Richmond and Teddington can drain to its natural level at low tide. This gives better access to locks, weirs, and sluices along the river for essential maintenance and also allows the inspection of the river bed.
After the excitement the eco-group continued to clear the riverbed of rubbish and to explore the ecology and archaeology that lie beneath the surface of the Thames.
[Update] Volunteers from Richmond’s Environment Trust have been exploring the river bed for ecology studies and whilst clearing it of rubbish found a bag containing two pistols and a knife near Twickenham riverside – this has now been handed to the Police.