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Returned home to find neighbour in my garden

(216 Posts)
OyO Mon 11-Jun-18 11:56:01

I don’t know what to think about this.

I’m supposed to be at work all day, as normal. Came home early with some kind of sickness bug to find my neighbour standing in my garden chopping away at a hedge.

I was completely startled and said ‘hello? Can I help you?’ To which she responded: ‘well you were never going to cut it’ and brazenly carried on. I asked her to get out of my garden, she took her time and then climbed a ladder to go over the fence and back to her side. She’s now leaning over the hedge into my garden and still trimming it.

I’m at a loss. She’s so brazen I’m not sure if I’m being unreasonable in thinking she’s cheeky or not.

We have a 6ft fence separating us half way then a 5ft hedge. The hedge belongs to her and sits on her boundary. It’s an unruly hedge which overhangs into our garden and has done for the last 3 years (since we moved in). Our cat lounges under the overhang as it offers shelter and we have a family of dunnocks that live in the actual hedge. They’ve been there for years and we feed them daily plus have a bird bath for them.

The cat is now terrified hiding indoors right now and the dunnock nest has clearly been disturbed due to how far back she’s cut the hedge.

It’s a private garden. She’s in her 70s and doesn’t speak to anyone except to police their gardens. She once collected up all of the blossom from her front garden that had fallen from someone’s tree and dumped it on their drive (it blew back again confused).

She’s right, I was never going to cut it back because I didn’t want it cutting back. Is she allowed to do this?

I’m also worried that she may pop into the garden whenever she feels like because she really didn’t seem to fussed about me catching her.

mmmgoats Mon 11-Jun-18 11:57:41

I would say she's allowed to cut the hedge if it's on her property - BUT I can't see that she can just wander onto your property to do so!

ChardonnaysPrettySister Mon 11-Jun-18 11:58:41

It’s a crime to disturb nesting birds.

What a cow.

Jozxyqk Mon 11-Jun-18 11:59:51

Tell her, she's right, you weren't going to cut it back until the birds had finished nesting. Maybe she's killed the nest, hopefully not. Hope she feels guilty, interfering baggage!

Aprilshouldhavebeenmyname Mon 11-Jun-18 11:59:53

Can you put a sprinkler system in the garden? Cat will learn to dodge it, doubt neighbour will!!

AjasLipstick Mon 11-Jun-18 12:00:58

No she's not allowed. Put a note through her door saying

"Dear X I would appreciate it if you do not enter my garden again. I do not plan to cut the hedge due to wildlife in it. You are invading my property and my privacy by entering my garden. I am having security cameras fitted shortly and I will take action if I find out you have done so again"

70 isn't old. She doesn't sound like she'd delicate...climbing ladders and so forth.

She was rude to you so you might as well stamp out her bullying ways immediately.

pigmcpigface Mon 11-Jun-18 12:02:13

I think she's probably allowed to cut her side and the top. She might need to lean over to cut the top on your side if the hedge is wide. But she shouldn't really be doing it this time of year due to the birds and I don't think she is allowed to cut your side. (I could be wrong).

Minisoksmakehardwork Mon 11-Jun-18 12:02:20

Report her for disturbing nesting birds. Usually people grumble when their neighbour's hedges and trees overhand in their garden. They are told to trim it and return the trimmings to their neighbours. Clearly it didn't bother you so she had no right to enter your garden.

how to report for disturbing nests

ivykaty44 Mon 11-Jun-18 12:03:28

She not allowed to come into your garden - no
And if you don’t want to trim her bush you don’t have to

She should have asked first

Aprilshouldhavebeenmyname Mon 11-Jun-18 12:03:53

Or I can lend you this......
Guaranteed to keep all manner of oddballs off your property!!
grin

Shumpalumpa Mon 11-Jun-18 12:05:33

I would report her for disturbing the nest.

She can't cut on your side of the property.

Justaboy Mon 11-Jun-18 12:06:22

Why not just go and talk to her?. At 70 odd shes propbally a bit set in her ways and sees this as a totally different problem to how you see it!

If it were my neighbour I'd be bloody gald if they'd come round and trim their boundary hedge!.

Easier to talk than to start an over the fence war perhaps?

CheeseyToast Mon 11-Jun-18 12:07:25

Outrageous! I had a neighbour come onto my property to spray weedkiller across everything. They thought it would look tidier for selling their property. I was so mad.

OyO Mon 11-Jun-18 12:08:12

She seems the type to really drag a neighbour feud out so I’ve always tried my best to avoid her. She’s definitely not delicate, she has that prison warden vibe.

She’s clearly trespassed by climbing into my garden but is she also trespassing by climbing a ladder to lean over and cut it?

I really want to check on the birds but I’m not going out while she’s chopping away, she might take my head off.

A sprinkler system is a good idea. Never something I’ve had to consider as I’d never imagined a neighbour would climb into my garden.

I can post a note. I’ll say I have cctv too, I like that. I’ll wait until I’ve calmed down a bit.

TERFragetteCity Mon 11-Jun-18 12:09:22

If the hedge belongs to her then she can cut it. She just can't come over to your side to do so.

well you were never going to cut it

Why would you be cutting her hedge?

You need to tell her expressly not to enter your garden on any premise.

BlueBug45 Mon 11-Jun-18 12:10:28

Go to talk to her about the nesting birds explaining you are a twitcher, and if you cut the hedge later in the year make that extremely clear.

OyO Mon 11-Jun-18 12:11:21

Thank you for that link, minisoks. I will report her if they’re disturbed, which they unfortunately must have been.

grin thank you, April. That is just what I need!

She’s still chopping away.

She’s definitely not the type to have a polite conversation. She’s determined to trim this bloody hedge.

DorisDances Mon 11-Jun-18 12:13:45

I agree that you need to have a conversation. Be aware that anything formal however will need to be reported as a neighbour dispute if you are a home owner and come to sell your house.

I hope you are able to resolve amicably.

GardenGeek Mon 11-Jun-18 12:15:53

What you mean right now she is chopping your hedge on your land?

She can chop anything that overhangs her side, up to your fence.

SHE IS NOT ALLOWED TO TOP THE HEDGE. So run along the top doing the height not the sides.

She is not allowed to chop anything leaning over. She can only go on her side vertically to boundary.

I would just get her to stop. You have said no, you dont want her too.

MAN UP AND GRAB A HOSE. Say if you do not stop doing that. I am going to hose you. Now stop leaning in my garden, and dont ever come in here again.

You can call the police but its a civil matter, so we logged it with our Solicitor as a record if it needs to be bought up again. If he does it again, we will have solicitors account and can send some scary letters.

That sounds dramatic but our neighbour tried to fell a whole tree with a chainsaw in our garden and I had to scream at him to get out.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Mon 11-Jun-18 12:16:29

I'd get out there and tell her to stop chopping or you'll call the police.

I would also make it clear that she is not to set foot in your garden again and if she wants to cut the hedge to ask you first. Cheeky cow.

beetfarmer Mon 11-Jun-18 12:16:53

Why don't you go out there and ask her wtf she thinks she's doing?

footballmum Mon 11-Jun-18 12:19:31

Christ sake! Get out there and tell her to fuck off! I despair that some women on here are so timid that they won’t assert themselves even when their property is being destroyed! So what if you upset her?!

Stefoscope Mon 11-Jun-18 12:19:39

It's cheeky of her to come into your garden, hopefully she'll think twice about doing it again now you've caught her. I can sympathise, my next door neighbour is the garden police and gets riled up every year when I don't cut my side of the hedge in a timely enough fashion for her. Also when I do begrudgingly come out to cut it to keep her quiet (personally I would like to grow it taller my side for better privacy), she demands I don't let any pieces fall over to her side as she's just 'swept' her lawn! grin

ThumbWitchesAbroad Mon 11-Jun-18 12:20:48

Have you called the council?
There may be relevant info in this page, although it's not directly related to the complaint you have - but they might be able to help you with what you can tell your neighbour www.gov.uk/government/publications/high-hedges-complaining-to-the-council/high-hedges-complaining-to-the-council

SirVixofVixHall Mon 11-Jun-18 12:21:11

She can’t cut anything that is your side of the boundary , and as people upthread have said, it is illegal to disturb nesting birds. Coming into your garden is outrageous ! I’d tell her firmly not to come into your garden again. What the hedge does on your side is your business. Are you certain the hedge is hers ?

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