Please help - Hedge trimming disposal

Please help - Hedge trimming disposal

Postby Blocky » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:28 am

Please can you give me some advice and help me resolve something which is getting way out of hand.

My elderly neighbour has an immaculate garden, plastic grass, beautiful flowers. We have hedge borders. I have no idea whose hedge it is but we both trim it. I cut my side and the top, he cuts his side. I dispose of mine in the grren(brown bin) he throws his cuttings over my fence.

He's there all day. I work 12 hour days and work hard when I get home to keep on top of a mature garden. I've planted bedding plants to add colour and I've seeded and grown a lawn from scratch on a scruffy old vegetable patch, which I inherited from the previous owner. The previous owner had an old greenhouse, which I dismantled and removed.

By all accounts, my neighbour belives that it's the law that he can dump the trimmings over my fence where and whenever he likes.

I thought he had to "offer them", not just chuck them over.

I attempted to talk nicely to him, but the grumpy old man slammed the door in my face after telling me that my garden was a tip, that I was lazy, and that until I complied with his high standards of gardening, he would continue to throw the trimmings into my garden when he wanted.

I remonstrated that I would even come round and collect them but he insists that he can just throw them.

The last lot yesterday landed on a butler sink which I have filled with beautiful petunia's and really looked after them.

I'm at a loss as I don't want to go to a formal process, but what can I do with this horrible grumpy old man, I'm not Allen Titchmarsh and I don't have all day to garden like he does.

Is there somewhere which publishes the law related to this that I can print off and send to him with a letter?

What is the worst thing is that his elderly wife is an absolute darling of a lady, and is not very well. I feel really bad that this is happening as she has been so nice to us. Him, on the other hand...well!
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Postby mr sheen » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:51 am

Cut the hedge right back hard so that it doesn't need any more trimming - end of problem and bitter dispute avoided
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Postby Conveyancer » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:27 am

Throwing anything into your neighbour's garden is a trespass even if it belongs to your neighbour. This is not written down anywhere in an Act of Parliament, it is just the law.

It is true that if you prune a neighbour's tree or bush you have to offer the arisings before disposing of them. In practice the law does not expect any to ask for permission to dispose of hedge trimmings.

Whilst the law is on your side, in practice you cannot really take this very far. The best you can do is to inform your neighbour of the law in a letter.
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Postby Blocky » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:51 am

mr sheen wrote:Cut the hedge right back hard so that it doesn't need any more trimming - end of problem and bitter dispute avoided


I doubt he'll want to do that, especially as he regards my garden as a tip. It would mean he could see in, and I don't want that either particularly.
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Postby despair » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:07 pm

Your neighbour is clearly of a generation who has this mistaken belief of chucking back the arisings of a hedge is whats right

Clearly he believes the hedge to be yours

So I would tell him that since its your hedge and its illegal for him to throw back the hedge trimmings you will be replacing the hedge with a fence

I will bet he then claims the hedge is part his
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Postby mr sheen » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:17 pm

You could take the hedge out and put up a fence. Discuss it with the neighbour first and it may resolve the issue.

The alternatives - sort out the issue with the neighbour, change the hedge, live with the cuttings being thrown over or initiate a dispute by sending a letter that has no substance to support you if it continues.
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Postby Blocky » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:31 pm

mr sheen wrote:You could take the hedge out and put up a fence. Discuss it with the neighbour first and it may resolve the issue.

The alternatives - sort out the issue with the neighbour, change the hedge, live with the cuttings being thrown over or initiate a dispute by sending a letter that has no substance to support you if it continues.


If as "Conveyancer" suggests above, that the throwing of garden refuse into my garden consistutes a trespass, and that his actions are damaging other plants within my boundary, then surely there must be some recourse.

To remove the hedge (it's big and long) would be a huge job, followed by significant cost to put up a fence. This person is unlikely to discuss this with me as he slams the door every time I attempt to resolve the issue sensibly.

I don't see that he has the right to get away with his bullying actions.
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Postby mr sheen » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:46 pm

It shouldn't be done but it is being done, in which case you have the alternatives outlined to address the matter. Whilst it may be unfair there is no realistic redress in the law for this.

You can remove the problem by dealing with the hedge which would probably end up being much cheaper than legal action anyway. If you send a letter outlining the 'legal position', you risk escalating the situation and if they just carry on, there is nothing you can do leaving you no choice but to 'back down' - in such cases neighbours often see this as weakness and situations often get worse - but the choice is yours.

Often the responses people get here are not at all what they expected. However they are generally unbiased and objective.

Consider it from the perspective of the neighbour coming here with the comment -
my neighbour has sent me a letter telling me that returning the cutting from trimming his hedge is illegal because it constitues a trespass and is threatening legal action
Response - you should 'offer' the trimmings back and dispose of them if he doesn't want them; however there is nothing he can realistically do about it legally.
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Postby Blocky » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:01 pm

I very much appreciate the objective opinions being raised. I suppose I could always fire a few snails and slugs over the fence in reply...balloons full of weed killer into his flower beds. I quite like those options.

It does seem ridiculous that this grumpy old man can actually get away with this behaviour. This after all was the generation that we're supposed to respect.
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Postby mr sheen » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:14 pm

He may not know that his behaviour is unreasonable, he may think he is returning your property and may think he is in the right since removing the cuttings may be considered theft (an old law relating to taking arisings such as fruit from trees).
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Postby WILL*REMAIN*STRONG » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:55 pm

Blocky wrote:I very much appreciate the objective opinions being raised. I suppose I could always fire a few snails and slugs over the fence in reply...balloons full of weed killer into his flower beds. I quite like those options.

It does seem ridiculous that this grumpy old man can actually get away with this behaviour. This after all was the generation that we're supposed to respect.


Please don't do awful things to their property, he may be an annoying old grump, but unless he is really damaging your property it isn’t worth getting yourself into trouble over a grumpy man who at worst is being a little inconsiderate.

A carefully written letter asking very politely for the dumping of clippings to stop might work. Give him a chance to see your side of things, even offer to do the work for him. It might be that he sees the hedge as yours and doesn't feel he should have to cut it back and as mr sheen says, he might think he is doing the right thing by returning the cuttings.

Always try a few approaches before it becomes handbags at dawn. You never know, his lovely lady might read the letter and give him a talking to.

I hope you can resolve this. If the problem worsens contact the citizen’s advice bureau and they might be able to advise a different course of action. I don't think it will be classed as fly tipping because it is on private property but I couldn't say for sure. Perhaps make an appointment with them and find out if there is anything you can do legally to sort this out if the letter fails. Keep a copy of the letter and I know it goes without saying but keep it nice and friendly. :)

Best of luck.
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Postby Blocky » Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:44 pm

you are of course saying all the right things to me. I know all of these. The first time I asked him not to do it, he told me the garden was a tip. I spent 6 weeks really hard work on it, every evening and most weekends. We put mesh and shingle down and created flower beds. He chucked some bramble bush on those.

I went away a few weeks back and came back to find more clippings stuffed over a minuture conifer.

Yesterday I returned from the IOW to find the hawthorn and three other seperate piles of trimmings across my flower beds and garden.

What would you have done. I knocked on his door and told him that He shouldn't do this but he slammed it in my face.

I'm not offerering to do anything for him. He is rude, and he is a bully.
I
I even gave him a lift into town in the deep snow we had this winter, when he was stood at the bus stop. did he say thanks? not a word. Nice bloke.

He gives old people a very bad name.

However, I shall consult the CBA and see what they say, because he needs to be taught that his grumpiness and bullying won't and shouldn't be tolerated.

I think the big problem is that our idea of a garden is totally different. i like to see the birds and animals nesting in the mature trees and bushes and he wants the whole thing looking like a florists.
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Postby despair » Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:20 pm

If he is like my elderly relatives were any plant that grows over 4ft high is simply not acceptable

They too would retiurn all cuttings no matter what was said to them and consider that everyone elses garden was a tip compared to theirs

Sad to say if you looked round corners and beyond theirs too was far from the immaculate impression first glance gave

Is there nothing of this "grumpy old mans " that grows over your boundary that you could chuck back

My NFH thinks throwing over all the rubbish from their 100ft of conifers is acceptable behaviour
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Postby WILL*REMAIN*STRONG » Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:14 pm

Blocky wrote:I think the big problem is that our idea of a garden is totally different. i like to see the birds and animals nesting in the mature trees and bushes and he wants the whole thing looking like a florists.


Your garden sounds nicer. :wink:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-storie ... -22470619/

It seems that many people use hedges as a way to torment their neighbours. Either side can be the tormentor.

Seeing as this neighbour has been very rude and offensive towards you and how you keep your garden and you have tried the softly approach, I feel you should involve the police. Yes I know some will say ‘the police have better things to do’, but if this man is going to keep aiming his spite towards you and he is creating messes for you to clean up and is behaving quite anti-socially, the police just might be able to calm the situation.

I suppose another option would be to take out an injunction against him littering your garden. All fairly drastic measures, but if you feel bullied then something’s got to give.

I do sympathise by the way, he does sound very unpleasant. I always hope that people can sort things out amicably, but I suppose it isn’t always possible. See what CAB have to say and keep us updated because this is a problem many people face and it doesn’t seem like an easy one to solve.
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Postby mr sheen » Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:34 pm

Ooh no....contacting the police to complain that the bloke next door is a grumpy old g*t...well I've heard it all now - 80% of the over 70's would be guilty of this new offence.
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