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The charity making life better by water

Visit the Tees Barrage

Is it a dam? Is it a weir? No. It’s a barrage. Which is basically an artificial barrier across a river or estuary to prevent flooding, aid irrigation or navigation, or to generate electricity by tidal power. And ours does all of that!

Visitor centre and welcome station

Take the walkway over the Tees Barrage. You'll find our small visitor centre within the north pavillion – you'll get a great view of the river.

The pavilion also houses our welcome station and community room. It's run by our volunteers and used by partner groups like Tees Wildlife, Groundworks North East and The Environment Agency.

Managing the Tees Barrage operation

The south pavilion houses the control room and Canal & River Trust offices.

The barrage is managed by a team of seven and is operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It controls the flow of the river, preventing flooding and the effects of tidal change. The river level upstream is permanently held at an average high tide height. Unsurprisngly, watersports have flurished and now you can go canoeing, jet skiing, dragon boat racing, rowing, paddleboarding and fishing.

Vital statistics

For those who appreciate numbers, the Tees Barrages doesn't disappoint:

  • started in 1991, it took four years to build
  • at a cost of £55m
  • is 70 metres wide
  • the four hydraulic rams weigh 21 tonnes
  • they operate four fish belly gates, each are eight metres tall and weigh 50 tonnes

Behind the scenes visits for groups and school visits

We can arrange exclusive tours for groups of the barrage and control room

For details and availablity contact Lee Butler or Reece Hugill.

We can also arrange Explorers school or under 18 group educational visits with pond dipping, water safety sessions and other activities. Contact Claire Cavendish for details.

Last Edited: 06 November 2018

photo of a location on the canals
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