The River Thames Scheme: developing green infrastructure while addressing the challenges of flooding

Who is delivering the River Thames Scheme (RTS)?

Working in partnership, the Environment Agency, Surrey County Council and local borough councils are delivering the River Thames Scheme (RTS).  


The scheme represents a new landscape-based approach to creating healthier, more resilient and more sustainable communities and is a scheme of national significance.


What are the aims of the scheme?

  • Deliver a new flood alleviation channel built in two sections through Runnymede and Spelthorne to look as much like the natural landscape as possible.
  • Add capacity improvements to existing river structures.
  • Develop a network of high-quality habitat to achieve biodiversity net gain.
  • Construct new active travel routes to encourage cycling and walking.
  • Create new areas of green space for recreation.

Why do we need the scheme?

The scheme covers part of the largest area of undefended, developed floodplain in England and communities in the area have suffered major floods in the past. With the increase of wetter and warmer weather, the risk of flooding is likely to become a more frequent occurrence.

What is the green infrastructure of the scheme?

The scheme will deliver these improvements by creating more green space along the river for leisure activities such as jogging, walking, cycling, sports and games. These green spaces can provide social, mental and physical health benefits for our community and areas will be as accessible as possible.

How can I shape the scheme?

In early 2024 the RTS will launch its statutory consultation and we encourage businesses and residents to come and have their say.

We will be able to share the details of these events from early January 2024. You can go to our website  for information on the scheme. You can also follow us on our social media channels.

If you have any questions you would like to share with us directly, please email: