Neighbours overgrown hedge

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EllieMay
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Neighbours overgrown hedge

Post by EllieMay » Mon May 18, 2020 1:13 pm

Hi I hope this topic hasn't been covered before but could certainly do with some advice.
Our neighbour has a piece of agricultural/pasture land that runs from the back of his garden, along our front drive/garden and ends half way down the length of our house. Here it butts up to our piece of agricultural land. We know from the Deeds that we own the hedge and drainage ditch that adjoins our front boundary with them and they own the hedge & ditch that butts up to our land. The previous owners had the paddock edged with poles & stock fencing so although the hedge was 'outside' his fencing he was able to maintain it from his side and by hopping over the 3' fence to trim the hedge on 'our' side. The hedge was always kept down to 4' height. However a few years back new people moved in and they have been difficult from the off. The first thing they did was erect 6' closedboard fence along the boundary with us. This of course meant it was impossible to maintain his hedge from his own land. The hedge grew both high and wide and although we asked him politely if he would trim it back he just ignored any request to maintain the hedge. This hedge is now 25' tall, cuts out all the light and sun from our stables and the ditch is totally overgrown with dropped/dead branches, leaves, brambles, nettles. This ditch serves to bring surplus rainwater etc from the fields higher up, it passes just a few feet from our house and then runs along the ditch down our front garden and over livestock/farmland lower down. Along the way it provides drinking water for livestock. We recently told him how bad the situation with his hedge and ditch is and advised we were concerned with flooding given the very wet winters. He shut the door in our faces! We know we can cut back the hedge where it over hangs our land but apparantly can do nothing about the height. But, what do we do about the drainage ditch? We are now in our seventies and the upkeep of our own land is getting harder - do we really have to clean out the ditches, clear the brambles and nettles and all the dead branches off HIS hedge? It sticks in our craw because we have a ROW over his land at the end of our driveway to acces the road and he has steadfastly refused to do any maintenance on his hedges along this for the last 10 years. There has been endless complaints from delivery drivers whose vehicles get scratched from branches growing into the ROW and overhead branches scraping the vehicles rooves. We have maintained our own driveway and half of length over the ROW. He does nothing. He pays a gardner to keep his lawns tidy and trim hedges within his own garden so we feel like his unpaid gardeners maintaining his hedges. Any advise please on how to deal with this??

Collaborate
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Re: Neighbours overgrown hedge

Post by Collaborate » Mon May 18, 2020 1:44 pm

It's all been done before in some form or other.

1. Look at the high hedges rules and see if it applies to you. If it doesn't then there's nothing you can do about the height.

2. They cannot drain from their land on to yours other than through the established watercourse. If they allow their ditch to become clogged such that it floods your land you will have the right to compensation. Make sure you evidence your warning to them.

3. You can go on to the ROW land and cut back the overhanging vegetation. Every landowner is entitled to do this to preserve the route of the ROW.

EllieMay
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Re: Neighbours overgrown hedge

Post by EllieMay » Mon May 18, 2020 5:38 pm

Thanks for the reply. We figured we couldn't do anything about the hedge height as it isn't predominantly evergreen. Also knew we can go and cut back all the ovrgrown hedges from the ROW - just niggles that someone can buy a property with so much upkeep and then push the responsibility for it onto someone else.

Had hoped there was at least something that could be in our faviour for the upkeep of the drainage ditch but....... There are times when the law just isn't there and neighbours can be extremely inconsiderate without any accountability. Big Sigh.

Collaborate
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Re: Neighbours overgrown hedge

Post by Collaborate » Tue May 19, 2020 5:32 pm

What law would you like to be there which isn't there right now?

silverbirch89
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Re: Neighbours overgrown hedge

Post by silverbirch89 » Tue May 19, 2020 5:33 pm

I would ask a friend or younger relative, or maybe your grandson (without being presumptuous!) and his mates, and say here's a bucket of cold beers, lads, come and chop all this lot down. They'll have a laugh, you'll get your hedge cut and the neighbour won't have to lift a finger.

If you were feeling particularly aggrieved, you could pile up all the arisings and leave them on his land, even on his driveway. Then feign ignorance if he kicks off. The ignorant deserve ignorance.

Or, just forget the silly neighbour - pile it all up somewhere out of the way and in 12 months you'll have some free compost for the roses.

Once it's cut and cleared, take dozens of datestamped photos of every angle, file them away for a rainy day.

EllieMay
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Re: Neighbours overgrown hedge

Post by EllieMay » Wed May 20, 2020 9:56 am

Hi Collaborate

I guess I hoped there would be a law that enforced people to maintain their own hedges/land/ditches especially when their lack of doing so impacted badly on others.

Collaborate
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Re: Neighbours overgrown hedge

Post by Collaborate » Wed May 20, 2020 10:18 am

EllieMay wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 9:56 am
Hi Collaborate

I guess I hoped there would be a law that enforced people to maintain their own hedges/land/ditches especially when their lack of doing so impacted badly on others.
Problems with that:

1. What do you mean maintain?
2. Do you want to make people keep their hedges to a certain height?
3. What part of the law that we have at present do you think is not up to the job, and how would your proposed law solve that?
4. How would the law be enforced?
5. Would you make it a crime, or would it be a civil matter?
6. If civil, how would you enforce it in a manner different to how it is enforced now?

arborlad
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Re: Neighbours overgrown hedge

Post by arborlad » Wed May 20, 2020 2:29 pm

EllieMay wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 1:13 pm
.................... and the ditch is totally overgrown with dropped/dead branches, leaves, brambles, nettles. This ditch serves to bring surplus rainwater etc from the fields higher up, it passes just a few feet from our house and then runs along the ditch down our front garden and over livestock/farmland lower down. Along the way it provides drinking water for livestock. We recently told him how bad the situation with his hedge and ditch is and advised we were concerned with flooding given the very wet winters. But, what do we do about the drainage ditch?



Sometimes ditches can form part of the local flood relief scheme, the Environment Agency might be interested. How large is the area that he has excluded by the fence?..............an Adverse Possession claim put in by yourselves, may sharpen his mind to the problem.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

EllieMay
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Re: Neighbours overgrown hedge

Post by EllieMay » Wed May 20, 2020 4:22 pm

Thanks Arborlad - something to look into to hopefully find a solution.

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