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Garden privacy ideas

(34 Posts)
BlogOnTheTyne Thu 24-May-12 13:57:22

When we moved into our house, a main attraction was the fact that we weren't overlooked at all...until the neighbours decided to put a large trampoline against their fence plus kid's playhouse on stilts and the agricultural land on the other side was rented by people with horses who ride there a few times a day.

In each case, the height of any fence is far below the height of people overlooking - on a trampoline, playhouse and horseback. In fact, on the trampoline and playhouse, they can even see over the line of 8ft trees on one side.

Is there anything more we can do to retain a bit of privacy in our garden or will we have to accept that we're going to be overlooked indefinitely now, like many many people are of course?

There's no room for more trees and we wouldn't be allowed to raise the boundary height further.

The horse people are really nice and try not to be intrusive - from what we can see/ feel but the trampoline/playhouse people (with young DCs) have been v difficult about various things over the last few years, meriting us having to go to the police at one point to ask advice (long story). No longer on speaking terms with them. So we're looking for solutions on our side and within our control.

How might we rig up canvas shields/sheets or something, without this appearing ridiculously ott? Is there anything more discrete that we can do, as the summer arrives and we want to sunbathe?

Bienchen Tue 19-Jun-12 21:45:48

No to yew as it is very slow growing and it would take a long time to get the level or privacy the OP requires. Mature yews would be very costly for that very reason.

mrswee Thu 21-Jun-12 10:35:24

Do the horsey people have to park right behind your fence? is it possible you could engage wit them nicely and ask them to park in an other part of the field? perhaps it seems natural for them to park by the fence and of course they will have not thought about how it makes you feel when a car pulls up loudly right behind where you are sitting!

LadyMud Sat 07-Jul-12 16:50:02

Have you checked to see whether planning permission was granted for:
a) erecting a tree house
b) change of use from agricultural to equestrian purposes, inc riding lessons, and car parking

I'm not entirely sure of the law here, but it's worth phoning the local planning department to enquire.

BlogOnTheTyne Sun 23-Sep-12 07:38:04

I'm resurrecting my old thread because since I last posted, things have got much worse and I'm hoping for a bit of support and some practical advice.

The people who rent the field adjoining our garden, have been there most of the daylight hours throughout the summer, having riding lessons, driving and parking their cars, erecting a small shed next to our fence etc. Even worse, they've recently erected a massive, massive stables building but I think it's called a temporary shelter as it was put up directly onto the grass, without foundations. This has blocked a lot of our rural view.

I find it impossible to wander out into my garden or to do any gardening at all because if just feels too embarassing to have several people a few feet or even inches away from our see-through fence, getting on with their own business. Every single time I look out of our house windows, I feel awkward, as the people are there in the field and it looks as if we're watching them, which we're not.

Another horse owner has also started using the field for their horse, which means there can now be about 6 people beside our garden, right there on and off all day from 6.30am till 9.30pm.

However, even worse, there is now a real threat that the rented field will soon be sold to property developers and the grassy lane beside our house and garden will become a public thoroughfare.

This is already used several times a day by the 'horse' people to drive their cars to the field or ride their bikes along there. When we bought the house, the lane was used only twice a year by a farmer who occasionally brought a flock of sheep for temporary grazing.

I am trying to be reasonable about the whole situation but really struggling to come to terms with the complete change in our own lifestyle, from having a home and garden in a semi-rural setting, backing on to rarely used grazing and agricultural land - to a 'riding-school' soon to become a housing estate.

I realise that greenbelt is now being released for residential housing. I realise how lucky we've been to have the setting we love for our home and garden. Many people will never have this.

However, I am still struggling with facing a future where my dream of continuing to develop our garden and spend increasing time out there, as the DCs get older, looks very different. I can't imagine wanting to spend time in the garden, surrounded by people, buildings overshadowing, vehicles going past and increased noise.

We've had brilliant wildlife in the garden in the past - grass snakes, lizards, newts etc in the pond, woodpeckers, heron, jays. All these will dwindle with the population of the land around us.

I don't know if this is really the right section to be posting this but as the bottom line for me is my passion for gardening feeling threatened and compromised, now and in the future, I thought I'd post here again and ask....

Has anyone else had to come to terms with change of land use beside their rural home/garden, from peaceful, wildlife-filled setting to built up, noisy, polluted and developed locality?

How do you come to terms with this? Have you still been able to enjoy your garden if it's gone from rural to urban setting? Have you been able to come to terms with the reduction in your property's value? Can you accept greenbelt being ripped apart to make way for needed housing - and, if so, how to you get to that point of acceptance?

tiggytape Sun 23-Sep-12 18:43:42

We've had some of the same issues with privacy but live in an urban setting so are more used to it I guess. As more and more houses spring up though it does get worse. We live in an area where garden-grabbing is big business so it gets more and more closed in over the years and you do feel a bit like being in a goldfish bowl sometimes.
I have concentrated a lot on screening (fast solutions like vines and slower but better solutions like hedging and shrubs).

I don't know a lot about planning but I had heard that developers hate newts and wildlife because any protected species has to be given extra consideration and sometimes developments cannot go ahead if rare wildlife will be affected. Maybe it is worth keeping a record and some photos of the wildlife you have just in case it is useful if there's ever a consultation about developing the area?

LadyMud Mon 24-Sep-12 21:30:22

Errrm . . . I already gave you some practical advice

Pannacotta Mon 24-Sep-12 21:50:30

I posted before and cant give any advice about the legalities but it does sound as if you coudl at least make the garden more private and secluded with your planting.
If you plant tall shrubs closer to the house they neednt be as tall as if they were at the boundary in order to give you screening.

You can still have a wildlife garden whatever happens in the next plot, there are lots of ways to do this such as creating a wildlife pond, leaving some parts of the garden to go wild and using plants to attract bees/birds etc.

I would look into the change of use as LadyMud suggested before.

BlogOnTheTyne Wed 26-Sep-12 12:34:25

Thanks you, Tiggy, LadyM and Pannacotta. LadyMudand Pannacotta, thank your for your previous suggestions. From what I've found out, horse pasture is considered the same category as agricultural use and riding lessons, temporary stables and parking vehicles related to horse care all fall under the same category. So no hope there. Similarly, the treehouse is considered a 'temporary structure', so didn't need planning permission.

I know my only way forward is going to have to be continuing to plant along the boundary, although there's an issue with about one third of that boundary line, as planting would come too near to the swimming pond and threaten its structure and lining. So I can't actually plant trees here. I'm trying to find a clever way of legally incorporating some kind of custom made trellis on stilts along there or seeing if a root barrier will prevent tree roots penetrating as far as the pond, which is only about 3 or 4 feet from the fence line.

Where I live, loads of greenbelt is being torn up for development, even against the wishes of the villages parish councils, as the government plan is to build ever more affordable housing. So I don't think the wildlife will prevent a keen developer making millions, sadly.

Thank you for trying to help out. I'll keep planting and hope that in time, I achieve some kind of privacy again.

Buna Thu 31-Jan-13 18:17:39

Hi I saw your message about privacy and felt sorry for you straight away. There is a perfect solution which is that you install Post and wire supports and have a row of trained pleached trees. The training keeps them two-dimensional, so to speak. It's a very elegant solution but the initial outlay is a bit expensive. I've got a gardening blog here on Mumsnet and if you want to track me down by messaging on it, I will send you some images. Good Luck. Catharine Howard's Garden Blog is it's name and mine too.

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