The owners of a guest house in Cumbria feel let down by the flood protection services they have received.

Nigel Dixon, manager of Seatoller House in Borrowdale, Keswick has been battling the effects of flooding in the area, including a large culvert which has been ground out of the guest house’s driveway.

He said: “A lot of the debris that comes down with the flood water it collects at the door.”

Nigel filled six wheelbarrows with gravel, slate and silt when clearing the area outside the guest house after a flood.

“I’ve managed to fill some of what’s gone from the drive with that," he said.

Improvements may need to be made to make the driveway suitable for the return of visitors but the business has been impacted by the Covid-19 restrictions.

“We don’t want to spend any money at the minute because we’re closed.

“It’s not the first time it's happened. This is probably the worst I would say because it wasn’t the worst flooding we’ve seen but it’s the worst the drive’s ever been.”

Seatoller House pay £600 per year to Water Plus for highways drainage.

“I’m sure there’s many other businesses up and down Cumbria that must be paying a fortune for highway drainage and we don’t seem to get anything for that," he added.

Nigel believes he and co-owner Malcolm Barton have lost the 'postcode lottery'.

He claims that if the guest house was based in the Severn Trent area, they would only pay £6 per annum.

A spokesperson for water retailer Water Plus said: “We’re really sorry to see the damage from water running off a highway to the driveway at Seatoller House. We’re keen to help the B&B and we’ll look at raising the subject of drainage of roads in the area with the wholesaler, particularly when there’s been more rain or after storms.

“Surface water drainage charges are set by the wholesaler for the various areas across England, who agree prices with the regulator, and all water retailers would include this in water bills. This covers taking the water away and treating it. We have more information around reducing costs around rainwater and water use at: 

And further details about industry charges for surface water can be found at:

When asked what more he would like the local authorities to do, Nigel said: “It does always feel like we have to personally repair any damages.

“It would be good if, as soon as there’s been a massive deluge of rain, they were out actively trying to clear the drains.”

Seatoller House is set to reopen for visitors on May 17 following the prime minister’s announcement yesterday.

A spokesperson for Cumbria County Council said: "Highway drainage is in situ to drain surface water from the highway."

They asked anyone with issues of highway drainage to them so that an officer can be allocated to investigate further.