How we manage flooding

Herefordshire Council is a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and it has the 'lead' role in managing flood risk from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses across the county. We work with Emergency Services, Environment Agency, Met Office, and the utility companies to tackle flooding within the county. Together with other partner authorities and key stakeholders in Herefordshire we have produced a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy. You can find the latest information from all of these agencies through the Flood information service.

We work closely with organisations like the Environment Agency to help prevent flooding. Our assessment of potential risks in the county means we know which areas are mostly likely to flood. However, as flooding can happen anywhere, not just near rivers or streams, we have to be ready with contingency plans so we can react quickly should the worst happen. That means we can make faster decisions about which roads should be closed, for instance. We can also ensure that people have up-to-date information and the practical help that they need.

Landowner responsibilities

If you own land next to a river, read the Guidance on owning a watercourse on GOV.UK that outlines your rights and responsibilities. For more advice on ditch and drainage management please see our ditch and drainage responsibilities page.

We also have plans in place in the event of a reservoir failure and flooding at tourism sites, such as caravan and camping sites.

If you would like to know more about how we manage flooding in Herefordshire, call our Emergency Planning team on 01432 260000 or email

Making changes to a watercourse

So that flooding is not made worse, we need to ensure that ditches, drains and streams continue to flow properly. That's why we ask you to apply for Ordinary Watercourse Consent if you want to block them or change their direction.

The consent we issue covers works (including temporary works) that affect water flow within the channel of an ordinary watercourse. This could be a new pipe (culvert), bridge, dam, pond or other structure in the watercourse or a change to the alignment or the banks of the watercourse. Our Ordinary watercourse consent information sheet contains further details and examples of structures that might require consent.

Please read the Guidance notes for ordinary watercourse flood defence consent and gather the information, plans, and check any other requirements before you make an application for consent. This will avoid unnecessary delays in processing your application. If you are unsure about whether you need to complete an environmental appraisal before submitting your application, please contact us for advice. If your site is near to a nature conservation site, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your proposals before you send us your application.

Apply online for ordinary watercourse flood defence consent

Download a paper Application for ordinary watercourse flood defence consent

Yazor Brook/Widemarsh Brook hydraulic model

The area around the Yazor Brook in Hereford is of particular flooding concern. If you want to build or develop properties here you should look at our flood data first.