A £1.4m repair program to Thames locks in Oxfordshire and downstream begins on Monday.

The Environment Agency will be carrying out significant works to gates from Shifford Lock near Bampton and Clifton Lock near Abingdon.

The maintenance is part of the EA's annual winter repairs program along the non-tidal Thames.

Waterways manager Barry Russell said: "We maintain and operate 45 locks in total.

"These are part of a portfolio of more than 1,000 navigation structures on the Thames that we look after.

"Many of these are important heritage assets which we are custodians of on behalf of the nation, and without them, boating on the Thames as we know it simply wouldn’t be possible.

"So taking good care of them is a huge responsibility for us, but one we’re very proud to have."

This winter the EA is carrying out repairs on six Thames locks in total – the two in Oxfordshire plus one in Berkshire, two in Surrey and one in London.

Together, they will have a total of £1.4m spent on them.

Funding for the work comes from boat registration fees and government. The annual investment in their upkeep ensures the locks are in good working order, enabling boaters to carry on cruising.