illegally cut trees

Re: illegally cut trees

Postby MacadamB53 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:40 am

Hi ukmicky,

I'm well aware of private criminal prosecutions.

I was simply stating what I would expect in the OP's shoes - plod to attend as a minimum.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby charabang » Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:20 am

I tried four times to get police to even just look at....I do have a police ref number to show I called and tried reporting. Same with my insurance incase I need to get legal expenses on household insurance.
Meanwhile farmer wants to burn the cut trees and I dont want him to until I know what is happening to sort damage out. The contractor has fixed his machine and is back out in the orchards today ripping more conifers out around the 100 acres, and burning piles....it strikes dread in me hearing the machine and seeing the smoke. I told the farmer not to burn the pile yet...he sounded annoyed as the contractor does this and is only here for a couple more days. The trees are laid out on farmers land but they are mine! and this is not my fault...and Im not being rushed.

Meanwhile...tree experts all say something different about what to do do replant. Some say gut all 35 stumps and plant one row of Lelandii at 4 metres to create screening then row of 5 to 8 big semi mature trees to give texture etc....others say big trees will fail because of acidic soil and shade and size. One person suggested leaving the ten foot stumps and seeing if they bushed up in two years...bushy stumps!!!
It seems some companies just want to sell and plant big expensive trees not caring if they might all fall down in 6 years time when the guarantee runs out.
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby COGGY » Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:45 pm

Hi
Put it in writing to the farmer that you do not wish the trees to be burned. Either by email or recorded delivery. Did you take the advice re the Police, asking for the Duty Inspector. If they refuse again, ask the name and number of the person refusing and tell them you are making a note of it and of the time. That often makes people suddenly more helpful.

Kind regards
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby Roblewis » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:18 pm

I still think this may an opportunity to ditch the Leylandii and plant something more native to this country. Certainly large trees are subject to sudden failure - watering well and regularly with plastic pipe to take the water to the deeper roots can help BUT! does not guarantee success.

f you still want some leylandii then there other acid liking trees that grow strongly that would accompany them if creating a canopy to be proud of in 5-10 years although not as tall as previously.

I cannot see any reference to the contractor having supplied his insurance details - these are a must so you must write again demanding copies. You can do an initial letter of claim yourself and require these details if necessary, but this is the next stage if the contractor does not respond. Suggest to the farmer that he might like to withhold payment until the contractor has supplied the relevant information to yourself - it might work.
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby APC » Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:45 pm

Do you know if he has a Forestry Commission felling license? Sounds like he's gonna take out more than 5m cube this quarter. Consider reporting it here: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-93ZEAH
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby charabang » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:23 am

I sent farmer a text saying that if he put in writing that he and/or contractor accepted responsibility for damage and intended to do what is necessary to address, then trees can be burnt. I pointed out that if he was relying on contractor to take half or any responsibility then I needed to know, as contractor will probably I said if there was going to be a responsibility dispute then I needed to know now so I can start ball rolling with legal expenses claim etc. I sent text yesterday afternoon and haven't had a reply yet. ...so will put in writing today if I can get his email ..or post registerd. I put notices on the trees not to burn...so if they do burn them then that will be criminal damage as they are my property and I have said not to...so that would be with intent.

Re planting...Im inclined to leave 20 of the front row of ten foot stumps as a screen (they look ok at eye level as they are a foot plus thick)...then plant a staggere group of different trees behind them, like Spruce/pine etc. Some people say the stumps will die of shock and some say they will bush out at the top...they will be stumps still but I can hide them with other trees in front of them and they act as the border/screen to the orchard. That means there are 20 less trees to stump grind/plant reducing cost and making more room to spend on other trees. Im not trying to fleece farmer, Im trying to salvage something from the loss.....and that's what I will tell a judge if farmer doesn't go along with what I want.
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby charabang » Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:08 pm

Well....today the farmer contacted the contractor on holiday to say he needed to send me an email admitting responsibility and providing insurance details so that he could go ahead and get the cut trees burnt. I got the email....saying he was sorry, admitted the mistake and giving his insurance details. That's half the battle....whether the insurance will agree to any quotes I provide is another thing. But big relief that Ive got that far. Im still not sure the insurance company wont dispute that half the liability lies with the farmer, but will cross that bridge....and will keep farmer in loop with report/quotes
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby arborlad » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:43 am

charabang wrote:...Meanwhile farmer wants to burn the cut trees and I dont want him to...........



I would let the farmer burn them. There value to you was while they were still attached to the trunks and on the skyline, unless you burn logs yourself or know someone who does, there's little in the way of recoverable timber there and even if you thought there was, how would you go about it, and on whose land, the trees were removed from your land by machine, if they were returned the same way - could you deal with them?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby Roblewis » Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:02 pm

arborlad is right - now you have a written admission and insurance details let them get rid of the timber. Contact the insurers for the contractor and put them on notice of claim. Talk also to your insurers as they will most likely be happy to negotiate the claim for you. If not then it is a matter of legwork so to speak and submit the three quotes to them directly.
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby COGGY » Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:37 pm

Would there be a market for the trees, as logs for a log burner?

Regards
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby arsie » Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:14 pm

charabang wrote:Well....today the farmer contacted the contractor on holiday to say he needed to send me an email admitting responsibility and providing insurance details so that he could go ahead and get the cut trees burnt. I got the email....saying he was sorry, admitted the mistake and giving his insurance details. That's half the battle....whether the insurance will agree to any quotes I provide is another thing. But big relief that Ive got that far. Im still not sure the insurance company wont dispute that half the liability lies with the farmer, but will cross that bridge....and will keep farmer in loop with report/quotes

Tbh I find your post is a bit confusing - too many he's - and it is not clear either whose insurance you are talking about.

My understanding is that the farmer as the second party is responsible to you for your damages (you being the first party), even if a contractor actually carried out the dastardly work for him. Any issues between the farmer and his contractor (a third party) is the farmer's problem. This talk of 'half the liability' is legal nonsense. The contractor is responsible to the farmer. The farmer is I think trying to come to a cheaper solution probably to avoid making an insurance claim, by trying to get his contractor to admit some liability. A bit of a juggling act.
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby COGGY » Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:23 pm

Have you taken plenty of photos, both of the cut down trees and the stumps? I assume you will already photos of how the trees looked before.

Regards
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby charabang » Wed Oct 29, 2014 3:46 pm

The HE is the contractor...the contractor has admitted it was his mistake, the contractor has said he will rectify and the contractor has given me his insurance details. I have contacted the contractors insurance and sent them an initial letter and pictures.
I have loads of pictures and couple of vidoes
Today the contractor's assistant carried the trees off to another burning pile nearby and they are now ash. i was hanging on to them until I had the admission of responsibility from someone.
I agree that it seems the farmer should be held responsbile or partly responsible but if what I have to work with at the moment is the contractor's insurance and admission then that is where I will begin and see what happens. I did tell the farmer I thought the contractors insurance .I have no legal knowledge and I have not got legal advice yet because the first chat is a few hundred pounds and my interpretation of the law is that you have to get the 3 quotes and offer them to the guilty person first before you start any legal proceedings...otherwise yu are not seen to be trying to avoid court. I have also been to court before and lost many thousands of pounds in legal costs to the other side when I thought I was 100% in the right. So Im trying to take the right steps first.
The wood could have been used for logs but the storage and chopping etc would have been another headache at the moment and it doesnt make great log burning wood (I have woodburner and have some logs from a tree in wood that fell two years ago and it wasnt great burning).
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby arsie » Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:00 pm

Thanks for clarifying.

You have been 'burned' by the law before so I don't blame you taking the contractor's admission of blame as the path of least resistance. As you say, the legal route would be to claim from the farmer who commissioned the work which accidentally led to the destruction of your trees, obtaining quotes etc etc.

Given you have the contractor's admission in writing and his agreement to use his insurance that seems an easier way.

You still need to agree what the contractor should replace your trees with and when. Hopefully you will be able to review the size, number and quality of the saplings beforehand and not find the day after he has been and planted some small cheap seedlings that will take for ever to grow. I would find out where the saplings are coming from and check/agree beforehand what you are getting. You might also contact his insurer to confirm what they are being told.
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby Roblewis » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:14 pm

The path way is a claim, preferably insurance against the malfeasor, the contractor. He may then seek to counter claim against his client if he so chooses but that is not your concern. I think I would have anticipated a competent contractor clearly marking ALL trees to be felled in close agreement with the client. It avoids any misunderstanding by those actually doing the felling. This was not done and so the contractor has an uphill task avoiding a claim in negligence especially when he has admitted this already by accepting fault in writing.
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