The Thames Barrier prevents the floodplain of most of Greater London from being flooded by exceptionally high tides and storm surges moving up from the North Sea. It has been operational since 1982. When needed, it is closed (raised) during high tide; at low tide it can be opened to restore
the river's flow towards the sea. Built approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) due east of the Isle of Dogs, its northern bank is in Silvertown in the London Borough of Newham and its southern bank is in the New Charlton area of the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
The Thames Barrier is one of the largest movable flood barriers in the world. The Environment Agency runs and maintains the Thames Barrier as well as London’s other flood defences. The visit will include a tour guide who will cover topics including the history of the river, the risk of flooding in London and the environment and wildlife of the Thames. The information centre is an exhibition where you can learn how The Thames Barrier was designed,
built and works. A working model of the Barrier, video of the construction and a virtual technical tour will be available. A coffee shop is on-site where refreshments will be available free to members.