Faringdon's Rushey Weir becomes automated

Rushey Weir Image copyright Bruton Knowles
Image caption Rushey Weir has new automated gates as part of a "modern flood defence"

The oldest weir on the River Thames has become automated as part of a programme designed to reduce flooding.

The £2.8m works to Rushey Weir near Faringdon, Oxfordshire, marked the completion of an Environment Agency project to update weirs on the river following widespread floods in 2007.

Steven Drennan, from consultants Bruton Knowles, called it a "modern flood defence ready for the next 200 years".

The Grade II listed weir was built in 1790 and reconstructed in 1887.

Its paddle and rymer systems were described by the Environment Agency as "outdated" and "heavy and awkward to move", and could cause injury to staff.

They have been upgraded to three automated gates, with a small section of the existing system kept as a heritage feature.

Mr Drennan added: "Contractors have also installed a fish pass channel on neighbouring farmland which... allows migration upstream past the fast-flowing weir of various species of fish."

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