Land drainage

Maintaining watercourses so agriculture can thrive

There’s a well-observed saying in agriculture: ‘You can’t farm with wet feet.’

Defra has estimated that, during this decade, 35,000 hectares of high-quality horticultural and arable land will be flooded at least once every three years. Without effective drainage, heavy downpours can quickly ruin crops, threatening productivity from arable land. The same is true at the other weather extreme – when scarce seasonal rainfall threatens serious drought.

FarmlandLSIDB Digger working
UK river

What we do

LSIDB manages 500 kilometres of water courses all year round, ensuring that private and publicly-owned land, mostly arable plus some grazing, is efficiently drained or supplied with water to remain productive and usable.

We dredge and clear drainage ditches using specialist plant; plan, install and maintain buried drainage pipes for farmland fields that discharge into the water course network; and we operate and maintain six pumping stations to maintain optimal water levels according to conditions.

Who pays?

Our land drainage work is funded by charges on development, drainage rates paid by landowners, and a special levy upon the eight local authorities within which the Board operates.

Sources:

1 ADA

Fast facts

IDB districts serve 50,000 farms or land growing crops and raising livestock for food in England & Wales. 1
Over 50% of Grade 1 agricultural land in England is situated within IDBs. 1
Internal Drainage boards are constituted under the Land Drainage Act 1991.
IDBs are custodians of historical drainage systems with roots that extend back for centuries.

Latest from LSIDB

News
News
December 15, 2023

Postcard from the Past

Postcard of the Severn Catchment Drainage Board Operations Team from 1934/1935

News
News
December 15, 2023

ADA Flood and Water Conference 2023

LSIDB Officers attending ADA Flood and Water Conference

News
News
December 15, 2023

Pumping Stations Public Consultation 2023

Two consultation events at Oldbury on Severn and Whitminster were held

News
News
December 15, 2023

Postcard from the Past

Postcard of the Severn Catchment Drainage Board Operations Team from 1934/1935

News
News
December 15, 2023

ADA Flood and Water Conference 2023

LSIDB Officers attending ADA Flood and Water Conference

LSIDB is committed to providing innovative solutions to the wide range of challenges related to drainage and flood protection, within our designated area and beyond.

Dr Manjit Pope

Chief Executive Officer