Well maintained watercourses, e.g. brooks, streams, ditches and culverted watercourses, reduce the risk of flooding.
The Council's Community Protection Service Area can offer advice to the land owners with watercourses on their land (known as Riparian Owners) on keeping channels and culverts clear in order to prevent problems such as disputes or legal action. Where more than one land owner may be concerned, we will liaise between all parties to achieve the best results.
Owners should keep their watercourses free of rubbish, garden refuse and any other debris. Watercourses should be kept clear of excessive undergrowth, trees and tree roots, etc. growing within the channel. Materials arising from clearance work should be deposited clear of the watercourse to avoid re-entry.
A neglected watercourse and/or culvert could result in the District or County Council taking action under the Land Drainage Act 1991 and may also potentially expose the owner to liability for the cost of any damage caused by flooding.
Bank erosion is a naturally occurring gradual process. Severe erosion can cause unwanted widening of the watercourse channel, collapsing banks and undermining of property. The process of erosion can be reduced by various methods of bank stabilisation. Any works proposed should be discussed with the Environment Agency or District Council before commencing.