To make sure that capacity for boat use and water flow is maintained, the water levels through the lock pens are dropped and visual inspections carried out. If sediment builds up, Environment Agency teams schedule sediment removal with a dredger. This helps to maintain a deep channel so very little vegetation grows.
The Environment Agency also inspects for fallen trees that will reduce the river flow and arranges removal of them in partnership with the riparian owner. Following the recent storms, Environment Agency teams are removing fallen trees from the River Medway that increase flood risk to properties in Tonbridge.
Any overhanging vegetation that is a hazard to navigation is removed using an Environment Agency contractor between March and May each year. Outside this period the Environment Agency removes any overhanging hazards as they occur.