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Thread: Can I leave an open ditch in field

  1. #1
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    Can I leave an open ditch in field

    Do I need to provide any measures around the open ditches described below:

    I have uncovered 2 x 150yr old underground water culverts each about 200m long in one of my fields.

    This uncovering has created access ditches for both culverts about 0.5m deep to 1m deep from culvert top to ground level.
    I have left the culvert sandstone tops in place.

    I need to monitor the culverts over a number of months to determine how much ground water they deal with before I design a new field drain system.
    To carry out the monitoring I will lift selected culvert tops, identify water flow and return the tops immediately.

    The culverts are about 0.75m (30") wide & 0.5m (20") high and consist of flat sandstone slab bottom with loose laid sandstone walls covered with flat sandstone top.

    The culverts can be traced through lower land eventually discharging into a river.

    No one except me has permission to go into the field.
    The field does not have any public footpath through it or on its perimeter.
    The field is fully enclosed with stock proof 1m high fencing including 2 top runs of barb wire with 60% of the perimeter having hedges, it has one gate from another of my fields.
    I have removed all stock from the field.

    Any help and advice would be welcome.

  2. #2
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    Re: Can I leave an open ditch in field

    Quote Originally Posted by quintain View Post
    Do I need to provide any measures around the open ditches described below:

    I have uncovered 2 x 150yr old underground water culverts each about 200m long in one of my fields.

    This uncovering has created access ditches for both culverts about 0.5m deep to 1m deep from culvert top to ground level.
    I have left the culvert sandstone tops in place.

    I need to monitor the culverts over a number of months to determine how much ground water they deal with before I design a new field drain system.
    To carry out the monitoring I will lift selected culvert tops, identify water flow and return the tops immediately.

    The culverts are about 0.75m (30") wide & 0.5m (20") high and consist of flat sandstone slab bottom with loose laid sandstone walls covered with flat sandstone top.

    The culverts can be traced through lower land eventually discharging into a river.

    No one except me has permission to go into the field.
    The field does not have any public footpath through it or on its perimeter.
    The field is fully enclosed with stock proof 1m high fencing including 2 top runs of barb wire with 60% of the perimeter having hedges, it has one gate from another of my fields.
    I have removed all stock from the field.

    Any help and advice would be welcome.
    What is your issue?
    you have uncovered some old drains, you must not obstruct them as your neighbour has a right of drainage across lower land.
    I expect that it was all part of a larger estate, and when it was split, these drains will have been forgotten about.
    if you look at your deeds , it may be the case your neighbour may have a right to service them
    I expect you will be within your right to tap into them for your own drainage needs
    Ixworth Solar Farming Ltd.

  3. #3
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    Re: Can I leave an open ditch in field

    What is the problem?
    They must be working OK, or lose you would flooded out.
    The landowner higher up does have the right to discharge through your.
    Seems like leave well alone.

  4. #4
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    Re: Can I leave an open ditch in field

    Hi every-one

    My post forgot to add the important matter of safety.

    Do I have any liability if I leave the ditches open and some person in the dark of night falls into them and injures themselves.

    BTW I fully accept the need to receive/allow water from other grounds and allow it to flow through my land.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Re: Can I leave an open ditch in field

    Hi every-one

    My post forgot to add the important matter of safety.

    Do I have any liability if I leave the ditches open and some person in the dark of night falls into them and injures themselves.

    BTW I fully accept the need to receive/allow water from other grounds and allow it to flow through my land.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Re: Can I leave an open ditch in field

    I think you mean drain covers rather than open ditches, yes I would not like to leave them open. you may even find animals getting in and blocking the drain. This aside from any liability issues
    When you talk of open ditches it would normally mean something 5-6 feet wide and 2-4 feet deep running down the side of a field or road etc.
    Ixworth Solar Farming Ltd.

  7. #7
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    Re: Can I leave an open ditch in field

    Quote Originally Posted by quintain View Post
    I need to monitor the culverts over a number of months to determine how much ground water they deal with before I design a new field drain system.
    To carry out the monitoring I will lift selected culvert tops, identify water flow and return the tops immediately.
    If you want to see how the water flows, I'd get a piece of plywood or something to cover the holes. Much easier than constantly lifting sandstone flags.

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