What is a Watercourse?
A watercourse is defined
as any channel through which water flows. Watercourses can be
natural or man made, open on the surface or enclosed underground
(such as in a culvert).
naturally, they serve to drain the land and assist in supporting
animal and flower life. Historically,
watercourses receive and take away water run
off from buildings, roads, fields and parks. In the process of
development many have been culverted or altered in other ways.
However not all
watercourses will transport water, some act purely for storage to
prevent water from collecting elsewhere and seasonal flows may also
make watercourses appear dry. In times of heavy rainfall these play
an important role in accommodating flood water.
Different types of watercourses
Watercourses fall in to
watercourse shown to be designated as main on the Environment
statutory flood map. These are usually a larger stream or river
with a significant effect on the overall drainage of a catchment
area, however smaller watercourses can also be designated as main
rivers. The Environment Agency has authority, powers, rights and
responsibilities for regulating main rivers.
Main rivers in Bedford Borough are;
- The River Great Ouse
- The River Till
- Risely Brook
- Pertenhall Brook
- The Mina River (a short stretch of the River Nene)
b) Ordinary watercourses
Any other river, stream,
ditch and culvert (other than a public sewer) not designated as
main. The responsibility for maintenance of these lies with anyone
who owns the adjacent land or property. Where these fall in
IDB land they are regulated by the IDB, outside of this Bedford
Borough Council will be the regulator.