Letter: “New Forest’s drainage ditches in the area are not performing as they should.”
Following from the recent autumnal deluge of rain, I observe that many drainage ditches in the area are not performing as they should.
Property owners should be aware that where there is a ditch, or other water course, is between their property and the road, then the property owner is responsible for the maintenance of the ditch under ancient Riparian responsibilities.
One of the worst unmanaged ditches that I have seen was outside a pre-school business where the ditch was completely full and level with the driveway, leaving a 3ft deep water hazard.
Maintenance should include keeping culverts under driveways clear, keeping vegetation on the ditch sides to a minimum, keeping the ditch bottom clear and below the line of flow from any adjacent culverts. Any vegetation or other blockage will disrupt and reduce the flow rate.
Well maintained ditches will move water away and help keep roads, pavements and gardens dry.