hedge dispute

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  • hedge dispute

    My deeded plans show that my neighbour's hedge encroaches upon my land by 6ft and for a length of 100ft.
    I've sent him a polite letter asking him to remove the hedge to the correct boundary line and that I would go half towards all the costs.
    Despite this, I anticipate a tussle even though the plans are clear and show no ambiguity.
    Would I be able to dig up the hedge - carefully and without breaking the roots - and leave them on his garden behind the correct boundary line? Or does this constitute criminal damage?
    There is no question of adverse possession, the hedge has been up 4 years only and previous to the hedge's existence there were no plans regarding the issue (I have a newly converted Barn and the land originally formed part of the Farmhouse - the deeds for the barn were drawn up before the hedge was planted).
    Last edited by Curly.158; 27-02-2012, 14:26 PM. Reason: more information required

  • #2
    It is rare that a deed plan is "clear and shows no ambiguity" or that a "correct boundary line" can be established with complete confidence. That alone means you need to proceed with caution. Whilst the law does not totally discourage self-help, the consequences of applying it when you are wrong, even if you act in good faith, can be serious. Whether you can dig up the hedge depends on whether the stems are within your boundary and that can be difficult to establish. You are entitled to cut the hedge back to your boundary, but again you need to know where the boundary line is.

    The best way forward is by agreement.


    • #3
      Thanks for your swift reply, much appreciated.
      The deed plans really are as clear as I suggested in my original post. There is no doubt whatsoever that the hedge encroaches upon my land.
      Of course, I shall attempt a compromise solution but as a last resort, I need to know whether the action of carefully removing the hedge from my land constitutes criminal damage, bearing in mind it's been there some years and the neighbour will probably contest it was planted innocently (although my neighbour's gardener tells me that he was instructed to "nick a few feet" when he initially planted the hedge for my neighbour).


      • #4
        You should probably post your query on the "Garden Law" forum. See link below.



        • #5
          I would say the same there and refer to these two threads:




          • #6
            I would also advise looking at this site:


            in particular these sections:




            • #7
              Many thanks for all your replies - a wealth of information there!
              The good news is that my neighbour now agrees with my assessment of the situation and we have come to a compromise solution (he will attempt to transplant the hedge to the correct position and if it fails to "take", we will split the costs for a wall to be built).
              I'll keep you all informed of progress.
              Many thanks.


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