Environmental management – guidance

Riverside ownership: rights and responsibilities

This guide ('Living on the edge') explains your rights and responsibilities of riverside ownership.


Living on the edge

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If you own land or property next to a river, stream or ditch you are a ‘riparian landowner’ and this guide is for you.

This guide explains:

  • your rights and responsibilities as a riparian landowner
  • the roles of your risk management authority and other organisations you may need to work with
  • who is responsible for flood risk management and flood defences, and what that means in practice
  • how you can work with your risk management authority and other organisations to protect and improve the natural environment of our rivers and streams

For any other questions about this publication, please email enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk.