boundary issue

Joined
13 September 2021
Messages
7
We have lived in our property for 42 years and have a fully boarded fence around our paddock. Our neighbours have very recently planted what appears to be a laurel hedge very closely up against part of our fence but on their side of the property. They are complaining that our horse has damaged their new hedge and require compensation. They did not approach us about the planting of the hedge, which would have been the neighbourly thing to do. Who is in the right here? I know that we should fence against our own property, but the circumstances in this case seem a little different. Your comments would be appreciated.
 

eggs

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 February 2009
Messages
4,765
I don't know of the legality of this situation but when our neighbour planted a new hawthorn hedge right up against our fence the horses did have the odd nibble on it which she complained about. In order to keep the peace I used some electric fence for a couple of years to keep them away from the fence line until the plants were more established.

I would worry about laurel though as it is toxic to horses.
 

SlinkyMinxy

Well-Known Member
Joined
29 July 2011
Messages
54
Location
Devon
I had a very similar situation a few years ago, but I was the owner of the hedge and my neighbour's horses were doing serious damage to it, partly due to dodgy fencing which the neighbour did nothing about. I spoke to the legal helpline provided with my house insurance and according to their solicitor, the neighbour was in the wrong and therefore liable. The reason was something along the lines of if the horse's head crosses the boundary, then they are trespassing onto your neighbour's land and if they are causing damage, the neighbour can actually force you to stop, using a court injunction if necessary. I had no intention of taking things to that level, but it did scare the neighbour into mending his fencing!

Regardless of the legalities, I wouldn't want my horses eating laurel so would fence off a strip to keep them off it.
 

paddy555

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 December 2010
Messages
7,935
We have lived in our property for 42 years and have a fully boarded fence around our paddock. Our neighbours have very recently planted what appears to be a laurel hedge very closely up against part of our fence but on their side of the property. They are complaining that our horse has damaged their new hedge and require compensation. They did not approach us about the planting of the hedge, which would have been the neighbourly thing to do. Who is in the right here? I know that we should fence against our own property, but the circumstances in this case seem a little different. Your comments would be appreciated.

I'm not sure why they should have approached you about planting a hedge on their own property. 4ft is nothing to a horse's neck and head. I think you should have foreseen the problem and fenced them away at the beginning. Basically your animals have damaged your neighbour's property and you failed to stop them so it is reasonable you make good the damage.

It might have been neighbourly to tell you they were planting the hedge just in case you didn't realise. However whereas planing a laurel hedge where horses could eat it and where they could have put their head over a fence would bring panic to most horse owners then to someone who knew nothing about horses they may not have even realised.
 

Hallo2012

Well-Known Member
Joined
29 June 2016
Messages
1,045
id be irritated at losing grazing and having to maintain the strip of no mans land so i'd attach tall (at least 7 foot) posts to the current fence and run 2 lines of electric along it above the fence to stop them eating it and inform the neighbours that any over hanging branches will be trimmed back immediately as its toxic.

we did this with something toxic, cant reme,ber what now, and it worked well as no irritating lines of electric to maintain within the field or no mans land to mow and they were ok with the pruning back level to the boundary fence.
 
Joined
13 September 2021
Messages
7
I'm not sure why they should have approached you about planting a hedge on their own property. 4ft is nothing to a horse's neck and head. I think you should have foreseen the problem and fenced them away at the beginning. Basically your animals have damaged your neighbour's property and you failed to stop them so it is reasonable you make good the damage.

It might have been neighbourly to tell you they were planting the hedge just in case you didn't realise. However whereas planing a laurel hedge where horses could eat it and where they could have put their head over a fence would bring panic to most horse owners then to someone who knew nothing about horses they may not have even realised.
They have a horse of there own, so should realise the danger of laurel hedging. We only have one horse of a size to reach over the fence, the rest are rescue Shetlands who cannot reach. We have removed the offending animal as soon as we became aware of the problem.
 

Peglo

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 June 2021
Messages
153
Our horses (or especially my TB) has had a munch on a couple of neighbours plants. We were fortunate that they took steps to save their plants from the beasts and either put electric tape between our fence and their plants or added on a tall bit of fencing onto our fence. Of course it was my horse doing the damage and my responsibility but they are very good neighbours. Now we have electric fencing on the fence so they can’t reach over anymore and the gardens are safe!!
 
Joined
23 November 2020
Messages
15
We have removed the offending animal as soon as we became aware of the problem.
In which case, you have acted to mitigate the problem, and the Laurel can now re-grow without being nibbled by your horse.

What compensation are they looking for? I'm not sure one could easily calculate the loss of 'growing tips' to plant?

For the benefit of 42 years of peaceful harmony, I'd go round with a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates for neighbourly relations - your horse was technically at fault......
 

Green Bean

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 February 2017
Messages
497
My first objection would be that your neighbour planted a hedging plant that is well known to grow as high as it is wide right against your fence. In time (a year or two) this plant will push your low fence over. I would send them a recorded mail letter stating that they have knowingly planted something that will damage your fence based on its proximity. I would then follow this up with a visit to your solicitor to find out what rights you do have. It is not always clear cut with hedges on boundaries so I believe this needs to be dealt with while the plants are immature.
I would begrudgingly agree with others about keeping your horses away from the offending hedge, which you said you have done already - you have complied with and actioned the complaint so it closes the matter as laurel will grow back as it verges on being a weed.
 
Joined
24 November 2010
Messages
23,255
Location
The yard, home or coal face.....
Our horses (or especially my TB) has had a munch on a couple of neighbours plants. We were fortunate that they took steps to save their plants from the beasts and either put electric tape between our fence and their plants or added on a tall bit of fencing onto our fence. Of course it was my horse doing the damage and my responsibility but they are very good neighbours. Now we have electric fencing on the fence so they can’t reach over anymore and the gardens are safe!!
at least you sorted that out asap.
Fence off the bigger one from accessing. Also cut back anything that grows over the boundary whatsoever.
Do tell neighbour what you are doing - a, fencing horses from eating it and b, you will have to cut anything back that grows over as it is toxic to horses.
 
Joined
13 September 2021
Messages
7
In which case, you have acted to mitigate the problem, and the Laurel can now re-grow without being nibbled by your horse.

What compensation are they looking for? I'm not sure one could easily calculate the loss of 'growing tips' to plant?

For the benefit of 42 years of peaceful harmony, I'd go round with a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates for neighbourly relations - your horse was technically at fault......
In which case, you have acted to mitigate the problem, and the Laurel can now re-grow without being nibbled by your horse.

What compensation are they looking for? I'm not sure one could easily calculate the loss of 'growing tips' to plant?

For the benefit of 42 years of peaceful harmony, I'd go round with a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates for neighbourly relations - your horse was technically at fault......
My first objection would be that your neighbour planted a hedging plant that is well known to grow as high as it is wide right against your fence. In time (a year or two) this plant will push your low fence over. I would send them a recorded mail letter stating that they have knowingly planted something that will damage your fence based on its proximity. I would then follow this up with a visit to your solicitor to find out what rights you do have. It is not always clear cut with hedges on boundaries so I believe this needs to be dealt with while the plants are immature.
I would begrudgingly agree with others about keeping your horses away from the offending hedge, which you said you have done already - you have complied with and actioned the complaint so it closes the matter as laurel will grow back as it verges on being a weed.
 
Joined
13 September 2021
Messages
7
Unfortunately he is a very belligerent type, and is difficult to deal with and has history with many people. He is claiming damages of £650, with seems rather large as some of the plants have died from the base on planting and the other nibbled ones will soon recover.
 

TPO

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 November 2008
Messages
6,788
Location
A ray of sunshine 🌞
I'm assuming there is just the one fence between field and garden. Who owns that?

If its OP could they affix those lightweight solid fence panels that are 6ft high? I believe 6ft is maximum height not requiring planning permission?

That way garden is totally closed off to the horses and it provides them with a nice wee windbreak
 

canteron

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 October 2008
Messages
3,325
Location
Cloud Cockoo Land
Write to them and say that you understand their problem and of course will take steps to ensure that the horses cannot access their hedge anymore and that if they do please would they contact you immediately so you can rectify and also ensure your animals don't eat dangerous plants.

Then go on to say that regarding compensation, you would like that to be part of a larger hedge management problem, as once established the laurel hedge will potentially damage your fence and that it will need continual - and costly - maintenance from your side to make sure it doesn't enroach on your property, this will be essential to protect your horses, perhaps they would like to come round for a drink to discuss.

Bet you never hear from them again, hahaha.
 

Goldenstar

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 March 2011
Messages
40,227
You need to fence against your own stock damaging things on others property so the double fence is the way to go .
You need to get pictures of the damaged hedge.
The damaged Laurel ( it breaks down to cyanide when eaten ) will mostly regrow .
OP How big where the plants when they planted.
 

paddy555

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 December 2010
Messages
7,935
Write to them and say that you understand their problem and of course will take steps to ensure that the horses cannot access their hedge anymore and that if they do please would they contact you immediately so you can rectify and also ensure your animals don't eat dangerous plants.

Then go on to say that regarding compensation, you would like that to be part of a larger hedge management problem, as once established the laurel hedge will potentially damage your fence and that it will need continual - and costly - maintenance from your side to make sure it doesn't enroach on your property, this will be essential to protect your horses, perhaps they would like to come round for a drink to discuss.

Bet you never hear from them again, hahaha.
from the other thread on this the neighbour is a man and clearly a bullly. I would guess OP is female and he wants a victim. If you get into tit for tat conversations of my horse damaged your plants and your plants are going to damage my fence it is just giving him more ammunition.
OP look at your house ins re legal cover, do you have public liability cover for the horses, do you have BHS gold membership, ins cover for damage done by your horse. IF you have any of those ask them for advice as the first stage. Detach yourself from this man and his bully tactics. If he bullies you over this successfully he will bully you over something else. I know, I live next to one. :D

If he mentions compensation again ask him for his claim and a full breakdown of his figures along with evidence of the damage done (pics) and advise you will pass this on to your solicitor who will arrange no doubt for someone to inspect the damage and asses the compensation. It doesn't mean you will just that he is going to have to do some work not just ask for money.
If you can get your own pics over the fence then do so and as I said to you before get some idea of the cost of replacing the plants.

What size were the plants when planted? were they strikes or every expensive 5 ft high plants?

Finally I can see you are upset and probably equally furious. If so then your neighbour has won in causing angst. Detach yourself, treat it at arm's length and simply deal with the facts. Don't let him see it has got to you. That will just give him satisfaction.
 
Top