Jubilee River repairs - UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2021

The emergency repairs begun in August 2020 are now complete, and more than fixing the immediate problem, the works have secured Black Potts weir and railway bridge for 60 to 100 years.  More information in the Environment Agency update September 2021.

The Jubilee River was built to reduce the risk of flooding from the River Thames to over 3,000 properties in Maidenhead, Windsor, Eton and Cookham. It was not fully operational for several weeks from 9 October 2020 - December 2020 while emergency repairs were carried out by the Environment Agency (EA) to Black Potts Weir.  This initial work was to prevent further more serious damage to the structure of the weir and the railway viaduct above it. It enabled the weir to be used to reduce water levels during the high water December 2020 - February 2021.

The repairs require a team of divers and a pontoon supporting two cranes.  The 'grout mattresses' underwater in the walls of the river need to be repaired and covered in sheet piling.  In addition, this needs to be protected with huge boulders called rock armour.  It's a big job! 

Some problems were first noticed during a routine dive inspection in 2017, that flagged the site for re-inspection during the next high water, which happened in winter 2019-2020.  The inspection took place in August 2020.

The repair plan has been extended to secure the structure for the next 60-100 years, including resilience to  the increased flood risk due to climate change.  The plan is for work to be completed in Autumn 2021. This larger project will be more efficient than a series of smaller repair projects. For more details and photos see the May 2021 EA briefing.

To signup for early warnings of flooding by phone, text or email visit the EA Floodline Warnings page or on call 0345 988 1188.



Flood Alerts and Warnings

Flood Alerts and Flood Warnings for four areas relevant to Cookham are issued by the Environment Agency and published on the gov.uk Flood Information Service , as well as via the telephone, text and email flood warning service.

When things first start to look dicey, the Environment Agency will declare a Flood Alert for the 'River Thames from Hurley to Cookham'. This area includes Cookham village, East Cookham Rise, the parts of Cookham Dean down by the river, Spade Oak Reach and Cock Marsh. 'Flood Alert' is the lowest level of warning and indicates "Flooding is possible. Be prepared."

If things get worse, the EA will declare Flood Warnings for smaller parts of the Hurley to Cookham stretch of the Thames. Most of Cookham is covered by an area named 'Cookham village and east Cookham Rise', which includes Marsh Meadow, Cookham Moor and Widbrook Common.

For people concerned about Spade Oak Reach and Cock Marsh, the appropriate EA Flood Warning area is the River Thames at 'Bourne End'.

For the parts of Cookham Dean down by the river, the Flood Warning information is given in the area the EA call 'River Thames at Marlow and Bisham'.

The EA map of our Flood Warning areas shows which parts of Cookham fall into each area (pdf 2.9MB), with kind permission of EA Partnership & Strategic Overview team, Berks and Bucks, 14 September 2015). 

River level

gov.uk publishes a live map of English and Welsh river levels. Or for a different presentation go to the gaugemap site.

Live hourly updates of the Environment Agency river gauge at Cookham Lock (upstream) should be displayed by the widget below.  If it hasn't updated you can find the latest river level at the link above.

1.46m - highest level in these records (January 2003)..... 1.36m - 2014 maximum level reached on on 10 February, Cookham village cut off by road..... 1.24m - in 2014 the water on Spade Oak Reach road was too deep for cars when the river reached this level.....1.22m - at about ths level the sewage pumping station at Lightlands Lane stops working due to flooded electrics...1.18m  - at this level Sutton Road at Widbrook Common flooded in 2014..... 1.12m  - when the river rose this high in 2014 the A4094 north of Cookham bridge flooded...... 1.00m is the level when the Moor Road (B4447 west of Cookham High Street) started to flood in 2013, 2014, and again in February 2021, number 37 bus stops running..... 0.60m - the normal range at Cookham Lock is 0 to 0.60m, flooding is possible above 0.60m.

The Environment Agency also publishes river conditions for boaters along the whole River Thames.

Weather forecast relevant to flooding of the Thames

Why show a weather forecast for Oxford instead of Cookham? Flooding in Cookham is determined by the rainfall in the upstream catchment of the River Thames.  Oxford is roughly in the middle of the upstream catchment and so the rainfall forecast there is a better indicator of future flooding than a more local site. It takes a couple of days for rain running into the Thames at Oxford to flow down the river to Cookham.

Telephone numbers

PARISH COUNCIL VIRTUAL FLOOD HUB CLOSED 12 FEB 2021 During a flood emergency you can call the Cookham Parish Council information lines (9am - 9pm) on  07593 528 012 or  07593 528 062 if you have questions or information.  These numbers are managed by volunteers.

Environment Agency Floodline. Call Floodline on  0345 988 1188, select option 1 and enter Quickdial number 173199 to get more information about current flood warnings, river levels and the forecast for Cookham.

To report flooding in our area, or to contact the local Environment Agency Duty Officer, call the EA's Incident Hotline on 0845 850 3518 or  0800 80 70 60.

Environment Agency Customer Service Line 03708 506 506.

Thames Water 24hr customer care 0800 316 9800.

Contact the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead during normal office hours on 01628 683800. Outside normal office hours, call the emergency RBWM contact number 01753 853517.

Joint Emergency Planning Unit for West Berkshire Council, Bracknell Forest and Windsor & Maidenhead Council can be emailed via EmergencyPlanning@westberks.gov.uk. The telephone number for their Emergency Planning Duty Officer is 01635 503535.

Quick Links

Cookham Flood warnings for TODAY from the gov.uk Flood Information Service

Environment Agency guide to preparing your property for flooding (pdf 1.1Mb) for householders and small businesses.

5-day flood risk forecast for England and Wales from the gov.uk Flood Information Service.

New buildings - Improving the flood risk performance (2007) DCLG, defra, EA managed by CIRIA

Real-time Lightning Maps