Native hedgerow cut down by neighbour

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Native hedgerow cut down by neighbour

Post by J&J » Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:51 pm

My family have a field on Dartmoor adjacent to where we used to live. We have recently planted the field to woodland and are keen to establish it as a place for wildlife.

The owner of the house closest to the field has in the past expressed his concern for diminished views. He then expressed his desire to maintain the hedgerow closest to his house. The hedge is on the other side of a road from his boundary so there is no uncertainty that it is our boundary. We agreed to him maintaining the hedge in accordance with a letter that set out the terms for the works. In summary it stated that the hedge could be carefully maintained with all existing rowan, ash and holly trees to remain untouched. We allowed the cutting back of hazel. We agreed that the work was to be carried out by a qualified tree surgeon once every three years only.

At Christmas I visited the field to find that some fairly vigorous cutting back had been carried out. However we felt that the work was still in accordance with the agreement as the trees remained. I visited again this weekend (end of Feb / 2 months later) to find that the hedge including all the trees have been cut down to approximately 30cm stumps. They have left nothing except some lopsided holly which has been vigorously cut on top but left to hang over the inner boundary, making them quite unstable and potentially undermining the bank. A beautiful established rowan tree is indistinguishable. We did not agree to this extent of cutting back, the frequency of cutting or the removal of trees. We are devastated at the loss, as some of the trees were approximately 30 years old.

Could anybody advise on what can be done to try to re-establish the hedge in the best possible way and what can be done to do to get the neighbour to compensate for the trees lost? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

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Re: Native hedgerow cut down by neighbour

Post by span » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:09 pm

Dunno, but a nice row of nice leylandii might make him appreciate what he once had but destroyed.

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Re: Native hedgerow cut down by neighbour

Post by stufe35 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:20 pm

Realistically there is probably no faster way to re establish the hedge than just to let it re grow.(which it will do suprisingly quickly.)

Ideally lay the hedge in a few years time.

I would suggest writing with photos explaining he has exceeded the terms of his agreement and that he should not touch the hedge again, the previous agreement now being with drawn.

You could go after compensation but my personal thoughts are, it appears you have no evidence he did the cutting and if it gets to court he will simply deny it, and you will just have a large legal bill.

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Re: Native hedgerow cut down by neighbour

Post by Roblewis » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:19 pm

Growing out naturally is the best bet and of course a letter fully rescinding the previous maintenance agreement. Moral here is never to trust anyone beyond your control to maintain any of your property

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Re: Native hedgerow cut down by neighbour

Post by snyggapa » Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:35 pm

problem is of course, that if he's ignored the terms of a "nice letter", he will ignore the terms of removing his rights under the "nice letter"

if you can't prove anything, sadly you lose. I would be tempted to let it re-grow, but also plant a crop of lleylandi a few yards further back so it can't be reached without obvious trespass (can't be "trimmed from the street"). If that planting was in the shape of an obscene graphic, all the better :twisted:

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Re: Native hedgerow cut down by neighbour

Post by APC » Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:36 am

If the land the hedge was on was anything buy residential, consider mentioning this to the council as it may have been protected by the Hedgerow Regs 1997(?)

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Re: Native hedgerow cut down by neighbour

Post by cleo5 » Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:01 pm

You can get your solicitor to send him a brief letter in which you now rescind your permission to allow him to cut your hedge and if he ignores this you can take out an injunction against him (cost £150 approx.)
Then let the hedge regrow. It will grow faster than you think.
I speak from bitter experience do not let anyone cut your hedge other than someone paid by you to do so. You never know what might happen.
It will soon be bird nesting time and should he touch it at these times you can contact RSPB

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Re: Native hedgerow cut down by neighbour

Post by jonahinoz » Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:51 am


Isn't there something protecting ancient hedges on edges of villages?

Can the hedge owner be prosecuted for a neighbours actions?

How about a nice big caravan parked inside your boundary?

John W

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