NCA Profile:115 Thames Valley (NE379)

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The Thames Valley is a mainly low-lying, wedge-shaped area, widening from Reading, which includes Slough, Windsor, the Colne Valley and the southwest London fringes. The River Thames provides a unifying feature through a very diverse landscape of urban and suburban settlements, infrastructure networks, fragmented agricultural land, historic parks, commons, woodland, reservoirs and extensive minerals workings.
Hydrological features dominate the Thames Valley, and include the Thames and its tributaries, part of the Grand Union Canal and the reservoirs which form the South- West London Waterbodies Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar site. These features provide essential water supply services for London and the surrounds, as well as being important areas for wildlife and recreation in an essentially urban landscape. Flows and water levels in the River Thames are managed by a series of locks and structures upstream of Teddington. Flood defence and water quality improvement measures, such as the restoration of wetlands for flood management, provide opportunities for biodiversity and recreation.
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