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A Flood Group has recently been set up in Clapham to provide a first response in the event of flooding or a village emergency.

The Group will not be able to protect individual properties but will be able to help divert water and rescue vulnerable residents.

If there is anyone in your property who might need particular assistance please let us know on claphampc@btinternet.com or 346366.

If anyone is interested in joining the Flood Group or could provide help in an emergency e.g. medical training, 4 x 4 transport etc. please also let us know.

Personal information will be held only for use in an emergency and will only be passed to Emergency Services as necessary.


Clapham Flood Plan – summary sheet

Contact Details:

  • Environment Agency Incident Hotline  0800-80-70-60
  • Bedford Borough Council 01234 267422
  • Environment Agency  www.gov.uk/flood
  • National Flood Forum  www.floodforum.org.uk
  • Floodline 0345 988 1188 or type talk: 0345 602 6340 (for the hard of hearing).
  • Clapham Co-ordinator (John Reid) 01234 358351       07885 418533

                                     (Ann Paice) 01234 346366       07873 887370  

  • Anglian Water 0345-714-5145
  • Gas 0800-111-999
  • Electric 0800-783-8838


Using flood data from 2014, the main flood-risk areas in Clapham are:

  • High Street from the junction of Green Lane through to the junction of Oakley Road and Milton Road.
  • Folly mobile home park at the rear of the Spar shop.
  • Flood water from the river could access the High Street at the following points - Green Lane Junction, Tranquada Close, Tesco Car Park, Motorvogue Renault Garage, the Spar shop and Fox and Hounds Pub. 
  • The brook running between Milton Road and The Glebe could also flood with water likely to congregate by the Fox and Hounds/Suzuki Garage


In the event of a Flood Warning (4 – 6 hours), Flood Group members will feed information to Bedford BC, assemble equipment, put emergency centres on standby, contact property owners and update COPS Facebook page.  They will start designated door knocking routes if necessary.

In the event of a Severe Flood Warning (Threat to Life), Emergency Services, Bedford Borough Council and Environment Agency will direct operations.  Flood Group work may be halted due to dangerous conditions.  Emergency centre will be opened and Flood Group will assist at the centre.


Following a flood, Flood Group will assist with the recovery.

  • identifying numbers of residents affected and extent of damage
  • door knocking – checking on neighbours
  • identifying clear up needed and reporting to Bedford Borough Council e.g. used aquasacks, residents’ carpets/furniture etc.
  • creating a log of residents that may require further assistance from Bedford BC


Do You Have a Watercourse adjacent to Your Property?  If so you may be a riparian owner.

What is a riparian owner?

A riparian owner is someone who owns property which is next to a watercourse or has a watercourse running through it. Under common law, riparian owners have certain rights and responsibilities relating to the stretch of watercourse that flows through, or alongside, their land. Some riparian owners may not realise that they are responsible for maintaining the ditch at the bottom of their garden. Riparian owners have certain rights, but are also legally obliged to fulfil certain responsibilities under laws enacted to help manage flood risk and protect the environment.

Riparian owner rights

1. Riparian owners have the right to receive a flow of water in its natural state, without interference in quantity or quality. If you think that landowners upstream or downstream have altered or redirected the watercourse you share, and that this is affecting the flow of water through your land, you may wish to contact Bedford Borough Council’s Flood Risk Officer on 01234 718523 for advice.

2. Riparian owners have the right to protect their property from flooding from the watercourse and to prevent erosion of the watercourse banks. For most works within 8 metres of a watercourse you must apply for formal consent from the Environment Agency. An ‘ordinary watercourse’ is any channel through which water flows (such as a river, stream, brook, beck or a ditch) and which is not defined as a ‘main river’ by the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency manages the maintenance of ‘main rivers’.

Riparian Owner Responsibilities

1. To maintain the watercourse and to clear any obstructions (natural or otherwise) so the normal flow of water is not impeded. It is the responsibility of the riparian owner to clear any debris from their stretch of the watercourse.

2. To maintain any approved structures on your stretch of the watercourse. These may include culverts and weirs. If a riparian owner wishes to build a new structure (for example, a boardwalk) that goes across the watercourse or alters the flow of water, then permission should be received from Bedford Borough Council and/or the Environment Agency.

3. To maintain the banks and bed of the watercourse (including any trees and shrubs growing on the banks). Riparian owners must not alter or divert the water flow without permission as this might affect properties downstream.

4. To accept the natural flow from upstream neighbours and transfer it downstream without obstruction, pollution or diversion. A riparian owner must accept flood water through their land, even if high water levels are caused by inadequate capacity downstream.



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