British Waterways Search

This is a search of records relating waterways (rivers, canals, streams etc) which will reveal such things as ownership of and responsibility for the riverbank, fishing and mooring rights, licences to extract water and drainage rights. It is sometimes called a Rivers Authority Search.

Why order a British Waterways Search?

When purchasing a property in close proximity to a waterway, or which has a waterway running through it, a waterways search should be considered. It may be that there are rights to access the land to fish, to moor boats, extract water or drain waste. Also, the land owner may be under an obligation to maintain the bank (and potentially the waterway itself). Alternatively the bank may be owned by the environment agency.

Ordering the British Waterways Search

No doubt there are others, but the only provider of a British Waterways search I have so far found is Searchflow. Searches can be ordered online, though an account will need to be created, or by telephone.

The Waterways Search Result

I do not have an example search result and would be obliged to any reader who can e-mail me an example. Obviously any rights or responsibilities which are revealed should be reported to the purchaser. If there is an obligation to maintain the bank then enquiries should be raised as to exactly what is expected of the land owner and whether any work is required immediately.