Riparian ownership

“A riparian owner is the person, or people, with watercourses on, next to or under their property.”

What are my responsibilities as a riparian owner?

  • To pass on water flow without obstruction, pollution or diversion that would affect the rights of others.
  • To maintain the banks and bed of the watercourse (including any trees and shrubs growing on the banks) and any flood defences that exist on it.
  • To maintain any approved structures on their stretch of the watercourse and keep them free of debris. These may include trash screens, culverts, weirs and mill gates.
  • Riparian Owners must not build new structures (for example a culvert, bridge or board walk) that encroach upon the watercourse, or alter the flow of water or prevent the free passage of fish

How do I maintain the watercourse?

a) Keep growth of vegetation (trees, weeds, reeds, grass etc) under control 

b) Keep watercourses free of debris (e.g. litter, grass cuttings, and fallen trees and branches) 

c) Remove excess silt 

Here are some good URLs:

http://www.sussexotters.org/pdf/Advice%  20on%20Wildlife%20Friendly%20Weed%20Clearance%20  and%20Veg%20Management%20in%20Watercourses.pdf

https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/104184/Good-Practice-for-Watercourse-Maintenance-.pdf

http://www.theriverstrust.org/media/2017/04/Pinpoint-21.0-Soil-Management-Managing-ditches.pdf

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