Cows straying from right of way into garden

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Cows straying from right of way into garden

Postby dvconnect@gmail.com » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:02 pm

Cows straying from Right of way
A little advice please – I live on a ROW and we regularly have horseriders cyclist and ramblers passing through but recently a neighbouring farmer has purchased some land which means they now drive their cattle along the route to access their new land. I have no objection to them doing this, however twice already the cattle have ended up in our garden causing damage. I have just fenced along the garden which should help keep them out but I have a big gap where we park the cars (it would require more than 2 farm style gates to cover) and the cost to fit gates will be prohibitively huge.

Is it my responsibility to stop the cows straying from the right of way and to keep the cows out of my garden?


Many thanks
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Re: Cows straying from right of way into garden

Postby Mattylad » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:04 pm

I doubt it, it is more likely that the farmer is responsible for his livestock.
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Re: Cows straying from right of way into garden

Postby jonahinoz » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:50 am

however twice already the cattle have ended up in our garden causing damage.

If the farmer has a RoW to drive cattle, then you can't stop him. Is this a PUBLIC ROW, and if so what classes of user have that right? The farmer probably DOES have the right, but its worth checking. The farmer should be responsible for any damage that his animals do, but there is something in my memory banks that he is not resoponsible if his animals stray onto your property from an unfenced road. Don't ask me where I got that idea from.

I have read (but not recently) of similar complaints from residents of recently built houses who were not allowed to erect fences in their front gardens.
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Re: Cows straying from right of way into garden

Postby dvconnect@gmail.com » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:24 am

thank you for the replies - the farmer has stated to me that we are responsible for fencing in the highway - it will be difficult for us as there will be a significant cost to us to install gates. I guess i am just frustrated that their cattle damage our property but it is our responsibility to shell out lots of money to stop the herd getting in.

In relation to the ROW I didn't realise there were different classes - although I am fairly confident that the farmer does have ROW. Again I don't have any objection to them passing cattle through. Where would I find out what classification the ROW has?

Thanks again.
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Re: Cows straying from right of way into garden

Postby mr sheen » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:55 pm

Animal droving along routes that have become roads and paths etc to and from agricultural land was one of the first activities to happen on routes and therefore where there is an access route to agricultural land and a gate into his specific land, it can be assumed he has a right to drive livestock to and from the field.
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Re: Cows straying from right of way into garden

Postby Janieb » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:08 pm

Have you considered an electric fence?
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Re: Cows straying from right of way into garden

Postby jonahinoz » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:12 pm

If its a PUBLIC ROW, the councils definitive map should show it.

if the farmer has a private ROW or easement, his or your Land Registry records should show it .... assuming that his farm/land has changed hands in the last 40 odd years .... which it has.

There are ROWs with rights for pedstrians, pedestrians pushing wheel barrows, pedestrians accompanied by animals, and vehicles, etc. You name it, and somebody somewhere will have it writen into their deeds. Of course, at one time, probably both your house and the farm were owned by the same person (the Squire), possibly even leased by the same person. Tenants did what the squire told them .... or found somewhere else to live.

If this "droving " has started recently, it might be interesting to find out if any previous occupier of the land could have gained a prescriptive easement (Google) by continuous use for 20 consecuitive years.

Who owns the lane?
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Re: Cows straying from right of way into garden

Postby mr sheen » Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:49 pm

jonahinoz wrote:if the farmer has a private ROW or easement, his or your Land Registry records should show it .... assuming that his farm/land has changed hands in the last 40 odd years .... which it has.

If this "droving " has started recently, it might be interesting to find out if any previous occupier of the land could have gained a prescriptive easement (Google) by continuous use for 20 consecuitive years.



ROW's to agricultural land are often not on deeds.
If there is a gateway that has been there for years and road frontage, a prescriptive easement was probably gained over 20 years before any previous occupier was born. For agricultural land, a Judge is more likely than not, to rule in favour of a right to drove animals to and from agricultural land since this has been going on in the countryside for hundreds of years.

In relation to damages - insurance companies may pay up once and may or may not try to claim from the farmer, but after once and with the property owners being fully aware of the droving of animals along the ROW, the insurance companies would probably look to the property owners to take precations to prevent further damages by protecting their own property.

Alternatively you can take your chances with small claims which may or may not be successful.
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Re: Cows straying from right of way into garden

Postby harebell » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:31 pm

You might like to take a look at the Animal Act 1971 (link below) which talks about the responsibilty for livestock trespass. It seems that under normal circumstances the owner is liable for any damages caused by trespassing livestock but not if they stray from a highway on which they are legally allowed. However, I am not a lawyer so maybe someone with the knowhow could read it through.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1971/22

The farmer who owns the track which passes between my property and garden/outbuildings also drives through livestock. Like you I have a wide entrance to my yard/parking/garden which is not gated. I cannot gate it as it is used by visitors/deliveries etc. as a turning area. The farmer has a dog and a farm helper who makes sure that the cattle or sheep stay on the track. We have on occasion also helped by standing on our yard to stop any cattle coming in.

I understand your distress as we had a herd of 10 bullocks in our garden who had escaped from their yard and we spent a couple of days making repairs to the lawn. The farmer was not that concerned but did bring round a bottle when he realised how mad I was about it.

I think your farmer should at least give you some prior notice so that you can erect a temporary blockage like a car or even a couple of wheelbarrows. Otherwise electric fencing (the tape kind) is not that expensive but you would still need to know when to put it up or have the farmer put it up.

Hope you can work it out amicably.
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