Following the recent heavy flooding and on behalf of local residents, the Parish Council has been requested to encourage all residents in School Road who have ditches on their property to keep them well maintained. We have set out below some of the responsibilities of residents and ask please that this advice is followed. Thank you to those residents who do currently maintain their ditches.

If you have an ordinary watercourse (or ditch) running through your land or along the boundary of your property you are likely to be the riparian owner or joint riparian owner, unless the watercourse is known to be owned by someone else.


Your responsibilities as a riparian owner:

As a riparian owner you have responsibilities in relation to the watercourse flowing through or adjacent to your property. Your legal duties are to:

  • Pass on flow without obstruction, pollution or diversion affecting the rights of others.
  • Maintain the bed and banks of the watercourse (including trees and shrubs growing on the banks), and for clearing any debris, natural or otherwise, including litter, even if it did not originate from your land.
  • Keep the bed and banks clear of any matter that could cause an obstruction, either on your land or by being washed away by high flow to obstruct a structure downstream.
  • Keep clear any structures that you own such as culverts and trash screens.
  • These are some but not all of your responsibilities, and failure to carry these out could result in possible civil action from others up stream of the water course.


Your responsibilities as a riparian owner are based on the following legislation: Flood and Water Management Act 2010

  • The Land Drainage Acts of 1991 and 1994
  • Water Resources Act 1991
  • National Rivers Authority (now the Environment Agency) Land Drainage byelaws 1981
  • The Public Health Act 1936

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