Do you have a river, stream, ditch or culvert running through, or alongside your property?
If so, you are probably responsible for its maintenance and this guide is for you.
You can also download a copy of the water living leaflet to refer to. Please be aware that this guide is due for an update. For the most recent advice on clearance of obstructions, please read the Waterside Living guide information.
Someone who owns property which is next to a watercourse or has a watercourse running through it, is called a riparian owner.
Legally, riparian owners have certain rights and responsibilities relating to the stretch of watercourse that flows through or alongside their land. It is not only farmers who are riparian owners.
Homeowners may not realise that the ditch at the bottom of their garden belongs to them and that they may be responsible for its maintenance.
If you are a riparian owner, there are certain responsibilities which you have a legal duty to fulfil to help manage flood risk and protect the environment.