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River flooding

Rivers flood when the amount of water in them exceeds the flow capacity of the channel.

The Environment Agency has direct responsibility for designated Main Rivers including the River Tame, River Rea, River Cole (downstream of Formans Road), The Bourn, Bourn Brook, Wood Brook, Stonehouse Brook, Hawthorne Brook, Hockley Brook, Perry Brook, Plants Brook, Hatchford Brook and Westerley Brook.

Birmingham City Council has responsibility for all other rivers and watercourses which are termed ‘Ordinary Watercourses’, however many are the responsibility of landowners.

Landowners who own land bounding upon a river or other body of water are, under common law, riparian owners. Riparian owners responsibilities include the maintenance of the bank and bed of that section of watercourse, in order to avoid any obstruction of flow in the watercourse.

Further details of this can be found by viewing the Environment Agency’s guidance document on riverside ownership rights and responsibilities.

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