A number of improvements are being made to locks along the River Thames as part of a £5.1m upgrade programme.

The Environment Agency is investing the money to improve 13 locks, walkways and mooring facilities.

Abingdon and Culham are both set to reap the benefits of the scheme, which covers the area from St Johns Lock, Gloucester, to Teddington Lock, near Twickenham.

The scheme will continue through to February.

Work is already under way to upgrade up to eight moorings, stabilise a bank and add new mooring bollards in Abingdon.

At Culham, improvements will be made to walkways and mooring bollards.

Paul Power, Environment Agency engineering manager for the River Thames, said: “With continued high levels of investment we are pleased to be tackling an ambitious programme of refurbishments and improvements this year.

“I’m sure boaters and other visitors will enjoy the improvements next boating season and for many years to come.”

Improvements at Abingdon involve stablising the underside of the bank by using a line of steel sheet piling.

The work will also protect the face of the bank against boat wash and erosion by using a technique called rock-filled gabions.

These are wire baskets which are filled densely with rock and stone.

This is due to be completed by the end of next month.

At Culham lock, work will begin in November on improving the tail layby – an area of riverbank on the downstream side of the lock where boats can moor and get access to land while waiting to go through the lock.

Other improvements will include the widening of the walkway by one metre to improve access, and placing mooring bollards every four metres.

The Environment Agency has produced a map detailing the works and how long locks will be closed.

See visitthames.co.uk/ winterworks for details