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Neighbour stole our woodland?

(983 Posts)
TwittleBee Sun 27-Jan-19 07:00:13

Our DGrandad left me and my sister his woodland when he passed away a few years ago. It isn't anything that special (as in its not protected and hasn't any distinguished species) but does have a TPO on a couple of trees. It is a place that my sister and I visit occasionally and thought that perhaps we could use it as a place to "wild camp" with the kids this summer for a few weekends. Even had insipiration from what George Clark created in a piece of woodland in his series Amazing Spaces and thought maybe one day with enough money we could do the same.

Anyway, we went down there this weekend to have a look to see if we could maybe clear a patch for a good tent destination, Thought it be good to do this now before everything starts flourishing in the spring.

To our shock it's all been fenced off and there has been some very obvious clearing of trees and shrubs! We knocked on the nearest house to ask what's happened to our woodland and the couple that lived there informed us that they have now taken it as their own and have started keeping it in order for past couple months. They said that it now makes our land legally theirs?

Obviously we shall be seeking legal advice but in the meantime, can what they claim actually be correct?

Just seems so unfair? Surely that would mean I could just fence off any land and claim it as my own?

RemodellingMyHouse Fri 12-Apr-19 09:16:07

Once you've removed the fencing, get in their and spend a week doing some maintenance, coppicing, building wildlife habitats etc. Take lots of photos, post a blog about it online...

That's the kind of evidence you'll need for the future with greedy neighbours like this.

RemodellingMyHouse Fri 12-Apr-19 09:16:28

'^ get in there, even

CoraPirbright Fri 12-Apr-19 09:26:17

What disgusting pieces of shit your neighbours are to intimidate and bully your other neighbours like that! Wish you could get the police on to them! Urrgh - cant stand bullies!!

Fab fab news about your job - congratulations!!

ElsieMc Fri 12-Apr-19 09:53:08

I would just write back (yourself) to their solicitors and state that the land YOU own is not for sale and that they must remove the fences within the next seven days, failing which you will have them removed and will store them for a fee. Tell them adverse possession is not applicable in this case for the reasons pp have stated (Trust etc).

Say you will firmly challenge any application to the Land Registry. You can ring them yourself and make them aware of the situation. Tell their solicitors that your address for service is........

No need to incur further costs at this stage and you can just get ad hoc legal advice which need not bankrupt you.

I can understand why you do not want the stress op but do move matters on. They will be furious at this response because you have not rolled over.

Fwiw, I think involving other neighbours has limited value because as you have seen, they have disappointed you but that is their decision to make. You are separate and your rights are important here. Good luck.

Hereward1332 Fri 12-Apr-19 10:02:03

If they have offered to purchase it, isn't this fatal to the claim of adverse possession? It acknowledges they do not own it.

eurochick Fri 12-Apr-19 10:15:40

OP I'm glad you have a new job.

Your solicitor really needs to be taking a hard line. And I'd be inclined to remove the fencing they have left on your land and returning it to them. They are proper CFs!

PCohle Fri 12-Apr-19 11:49:17

Hereward quite possibly but not if the correspondence is marked "Without Prejudice". I'd be surprised if their solicitor has dropped the ball on that one but worth double checking OP.

TwittleBee Fri 12-Apr-19 11:52:13

New thread - 1st post answers a few things I hope

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