Living next to a river – Riparian Rights & Responsibilities

Many of West Coker’s residents live next to, or even astride the River Od or its tributaries and culverts.  If you are one of these people, you have what are called ‘Riparian Rights & Responsibilities’.  You can go fishing (with a licence), but YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for certain repairs and maintenance, and if you fail to do what the law requires, you could be liable for damage elsewhere.  Here are two extracts:

“You should keep the banks clear of anything that could cause an obstruction and increase flood risk, either on your land or downstream if it is washed away. You are responsible for maintaining the bed and banks of the watercourse and the trees and shrubs growing on the banks.”

“You must keep any structures, such as culverts, trash screens, weirs and mill gates, clear of debris.”

If you are affected, please read the official leaflet which spells out all you need to know. Click HERE

There is further information on this government website HERE