Gransnet forums


Footballs over the fence

(116 Posts)
pattieb Sat 19-Jun-21 18:08:19

The family next door constantly kicks footballs into our garden. I know we have to give them back but tend to make them wait a while or ask for them back.
Some days there can be as many a three or four.
We’ve tried to reason with the neighbours but they just don’t see it as a problem.
They just say they are children and they love football. The son is 15 !

Txquiltz Wed 23-Jun-21 19:29:31

I rather enjoy the opportunity to hear the sounds like my own kids made years ago. Returning a ball or several balls gives me exercise and a chance to let kids interact with older people. Hopefully they come to see me as a friend in an older body and not a grumpy old coot.

NotSpaghetti Wed 23-Jun-21 19:37:41

Mostly we want to be friendly.
But if you live next to a really "bad case" it is draining and sadly, rather grim.

NannaSpecialK Wed 22-Jun-22 20:47:39

So, if an angry, abusive, violent child is kicking a heavy ball in to my garden 6 times a day, and destroying my garden and potentially injuring babies playing in my garden, this is just fine, and I should smile and throw his weapons back in the hope of a bar of chocolate? Really?

LadyWee Wed 22-Jun-22 23:45:41

Wow some posters are very grumpy! In the grand scheme of things it’s not really a big deal is it! ? given they are at school/college for a fair part of the day as well..

MissAdventure Thu 23-Jun-22 00:43:45

I doubt anyone would enjoy footballs being kicked, full force at their fence.
It's like relentless torture, and the force used by a teen is so much more than a little tot would use.

I used to have a goal post kindly painted on the outside wall of my flat so that local teams could gather and play a lovely game against it.

Dickens Thu 23-Jun-22 01:43:53

Everyone is entitled to enjoy their own garden.

Some take a lot of time and trouble planting flowers and shrubs etc.

Others like to sit out and eat or drink.

The odd ball coming over because young children are playing with a ball is not a problem. A 15 year-old relentlessly kicking a ball against an adjoining fence IS a problem. It's quite simply anti-social behaviour. Footballs are kicked hard, and high - he should take himself off to the park.

"He likes football". Not a justification for such inconsiderate behaviour.

Athrawes Thu 23-Jun-22 10:54:42

Young people I can manage but 15 year olds are another kettle of fish. We have spates of little people's balls sailing over our fence but we do throw them back if we're around or they pop round to ask for them - and are very polite which is nice.

Ladyleftfieldlover Thu 23-Jun-22 11:02:05

We had a terrifying neighbour when I was small. We had a big garden but balls would go sailing over the fence into her garden. We would wait until she was out and climb over the fence to get the ball back. Strangely, she was my step grandfather’s widowed sister in law. My mum, who was a nurse, nursed her through her final illness.

Washerwoman Thu 23-Jun-22 14:42:20

Our neighbours GC regularly come round and play football in their big garden.They are not keen gardeners and have just an enormous lawn and very few plants. We however have spent a lot of time and money on our borders and veg plot and our garden is my main hobby.I never mind them coming around for balls as they are pleasant and polite children.In fact we've now said don't keep asking just come and get it.Or I lob over any balls I fund. Before long our GCs will be their age .
However even I got a bit fed up earlier this summer when the whole family moved in for a few weeks whilst between houses and it was every evening and several balls each time thudding over into the flowers.Plus a lot more shouting than usual.However their Grandparents are lovely neighbours otherwise and it's not worth falling out over one battered clematis that will recover.

Lovetopaint037 Thu 23-Jun-22 17:38:17

We just throw them back. They are good kids and are just using the garden as children do.

Mine Thu 23-Jun-22 17:45:52

I have the kids next door to me play football in their garden every day and the ball comes 9ver our fence most times...Happily throw the ball back....Dont see the problem....My children did the same and my neighbour was always moaning..

Yammy Thu 23-Jun-22 18:01:07

We have boys next door 17 and 15 they have a GOAL net in the front garden and a huge grassed back garden they never use because three of their fences are low.
When DH saw them climbing over the dry stone wall to retrieve the ball he went out and told them to come round and carefully get it, no need to knock. The ball very rarely comes over the wall now I think part of the fun was climbing the wall without us seeing.
Not all children or teenagers are innocent I've worked with them too many years to believe that. Put a high net up it's your garden and you have the right to sit in it in peace and quiet.

biglouis Thu 23-Jun-22 23:46:18

Im mobility impaired so I am not going to run after whiney neighbours and their over entitled grandkids. If balls come over they get thrown out into the street (for any kids who want them and get to them first) by my nephew on one of his twice weekly visits.

Shandy3 Fri 24-Jun-22 11:20:59

I used to pass them back with comments like.. you'll never make the squad/team with misses like that!
The balls stopped coming over! ?

Moggycuddler Fri 24-Jun-22 11:28:26

Don't go out and offer the balls back, and pretend you are not in and don't answer the door if they knock to ask for them. Make them wait some time (days) for their balls back and they may be more careful. Can but hope!

Saggi Fri 24-Jun-22 11:46:38

When we had a family of three kids living next door ….. balls…. arrows….. toys….. teddies all got thrown into our garden. After endless retrieving jobs on my part I told all of them that the back gate was open and to help themselves . They did…. peace!

sandwichgeneration Fri 24-Jun-22 11:58:49

A minor irritation but I would have swapped that for the issues I had with a previous neighbour many years ago who was a drunk, threw his (multiple) beer cans into the garden, swore at me, shouted and screamed through the night, banging on the walls to annoy me...yes, I'd take the footballs in exchange for that.

GoldenAge Fri 24-Jun-22 12:16:19

pattieB - set some neighbourly rules along the lines of live and let live. Example: I once lived next door to a family with boys who played football and the ball frequently came over. I had no problem with that in principle but in practice, the ball often landed in a flower bed causing damage to my efforts, once it broke a window in my shed, and on another occasion it hit my elderly mother who lived with us on the head as she was sitting in her wheelchair with a cup of tea causing pain and fright - not funny and not acceptable. I spoke with the neighbour, made it plain that when kicking the ball the boys needed to be aware of what might happen as a result of their boisterous kicking, and I took pains to photograph any ball that landed in a flower bed. Needless to say, the bill for the replacement glass and a few plants exercised my neighbour's mind and the boys were given some lessons in respect for others. The idea that kids can run riot in their own back gardens is fine with me but that's where it stops, they can't do it in their neighbours' gardens. I find the phrase "they're only children" quite misplaced, it extends to "they're only boys after all" in the situation where we see misogynistic behaviour towards girls. If kids are lucky enough to have back gardens then they can temper their activities so that they learn basic respect for other people. My own football-mad grandson who frequently kicked a ball into one particular neighbour's garden but was unable to get the ball back because the neighbour was rarely in and when he was in he told my grandson off in no uncertain terms soon learnt to that my grandson soon learnt how to control his football.

montymops Fri 24-Jun-22 12:17:07

We used to get footballs etc over the fence/hedge - didn’t bother us- just used to think back when our own three were of that age and no doubt, annoyed our patient neighbours in one way or another. The young chap next door used to pop round most days - I’d let him in- he knew where the keys were, to open the terrace door and access the garden - so he’d nip in , fetch his ball, nip back - relock the door - replace the key - always said thank you and nipped off home next door- no problem ? Now he’s grown up a bit - he’s not often kicking a ball about so it does stop eventually.

Buttonjugs Fri 24-Jun-22 12:36:13

I used to tell the lad next door to just come in through the back gate and get his balls back. I didn’t mind the balls coming over but I couldn’t be bothered throwing them back!

Gingerbit Fri 24-Jun-22 12:56:17

I am disabled and cannot throw balls back over fence I would have to move my car unlock side gate and then let them get said balls sometimes they lift a fence panel out when I go out

4allweknow Fri 24-Jun-22 13:03:45

I have a neighbour who is tormented by kids kicking footballs into her garden. There is a grassed area, surrounded by 3 roads and one side of her fencing is on the remaining edge. There are legal conditions on the area prohibiting any ball games or cycling. Signs have been badly damaged, the company who owns and manages the area has taken them down and basically given up. The residents all contribute to the maintenance of the area. Her GD when in the garden has been struck by balls, cups of tea knocked out of hands, fencing broken. Door bell can go 5/6 times after school, kids wanting the ball back. Last year it was so bad during school holidays she starting telling kids a ball will only be returned to an adult to make sure the ball actually belongs to the person asking for it. (Older kids usually send the youngest kid to ask but the ball doesn't belong to them.) Of course adults moaned about having to get of their a..e and go get the ball. Some said they didn't have time to collect a ball, no thought about the neighbour who was having to answer door then go get the ball from garden. Got so bad the police became involved giving advice that balls should just be handed into police station say once a week and people informed to collect there. Stopped a lot of the problem but neighbour always on tenterhooks it will all start again with good weather and school holidays looming. Some folk have very short memories. Yes, you are obliged to return a ball, but there is no stipulation on method or timescale. If any damage incurred, whoever owns the ball is responsible for recompense. I had a brother who was a professional footballer, played twice for his national team . Never allowed a ball in the garden, always taken to a park or allowed on his own when older. Dad always said no one can play football in an average garden, they can only kick a ball and those who do that, usually have very little control of the ball. My two sons were never allowed to kick a ball in our garden. And this is not a deprived area by any means parents are just lazy - out of sight - out of mind and not bothering them! Try my neighbour's tactic, balls returned at end of day or end of week.

nannypiano Fri 24-Jun-22 13:07:12

I have lived very peacefully alone in my house for ten years, with my nearest neighbour a lady on her own also, who never made a sound. Then she suddenly sold her house due to illness to a couple in their 30's with a 3 year old little girl who cries loudly for long periods. For the first couple of months there were 2 or 3 balls in my garden daily. It didn't bother me much. I just threw them back. But as time has gone on they have erected a second fence on their side 18 inches higher than mine, A double swing concoction, that is higher than the fence they erected and the latest purchase is of course a trampoline. Our gardens are small, as modern properties tend to be. They party regularly with no concern for other people and still the balls keep coming over. I don't really want to move but if the situation worsens, I might have to.

Dickens Fri 24-Jun-22 13:29:04


I had a brother who was a professional footballer, played twice for his national team . Never allowed a ball in the garden, always taken to a park or allowed on his own when older. Dad always said no one can play football in an average garden, they can only kick a ball and those who do that, usually have very little control of the ball.

I think this gets to the heart of the matter.

Young children playing with a ball, throwing it to each other, or inexpertly playing 'football' and sometimes sending the ball over the neighbour's fence is completely different from a young teen male of 15 developing his 'football skills' by continuously kicking a ball against a fence or kicking it so hard and with such force that it frequently lands in someone else's garden. That kind of football should not be played in a small back garden where houses are built close together.

Parents can drive or take their growing adult male to a local playing field or the nearby park. Even if they would prefer that he disappeared into the back garden whilst they sprawled on the sofa in front of the TV. OK, a bit of stereotyping there, but let's no pretend that it doesn't happen.

Adult teens can be tedious with their needs and wants - ferrying them around and dropping them off to parties and then having to pick them up again. But that's what being a parent means... you can't always make it easy on yourself.

grandtanteJE65 Fri 24-Jun-22 14:01:12


The family next door constantly kicks footballs into our garden. I know we have to give them back but tend to make them wait a while or ask for them back.
Some days there can be as many a three or four.
We’ve tried to reason with the neighbours but they just don’t see it as a problem.
They just say they are children and they love football. The son is 15 !

Why is this a problem?

Either chuck the balls back, or don't.

If the children come in without asking and damage your garden ask the entire family in one afternoon, and say that it upsets you that your flowers or vegetables are ruined by their balls.

Right now, neither you nor your neighbours understand the others point of view. Try solving that problem first.

My nieghbour's dog barks if I work too near our communal fence. I just say, clearly addressing the dog, "It's just me, and I am on my side of the fence, so you don't need to bark." it worked with other dogs, so I assume it will work with this one too.