15. Riparian Rights and Responsibilities
Themes: Ecology and management; Public engagement
- Improve understanding of the river and the issues facing it
- Control or eradicate invasive non-native species
- Increase the amount and quality of in-channel, bankside and floodplain habitat
- Increase local knowledge and appreciation of the river
This project aims to improve landowners' understanding of their rights and responsibilities as riparian owners, and stimulate action for the river.
Much of this stretch of the Lea flows through private land, including large and small estates and gardens, grazing and other types of farm land, and the Verulam Angling Club. Local councils own several stretches with public access. All these owners of the river and its banks have responsibilities, such as avoiding pollution and ensuring that invasive non-native species such as Himalayan Balsam do not spread from their land. By providing information to local residents and others with riparian land, we aim to improve understanding and suggest positive riparian management. HMWT leaflets about Himalayan Balsam and the latest edition of the EA's 'Living on the Edge' are distributed each year. Most if not all of the landowners are conscious of their responsibilities and many take an active interest in the welfare of the river.