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My hedge is destroyed

(143 Posts)
Cava Sat 11-Jul-20 21:44:00

Hubby and I had a nice trip to coast today ... git back around 5pm to find that out front bushes had been cut and dumped on our pathway. A chap we have never seen before (but apparently has lived at the top of our quiet culver sac for three weeks) Came down to say that he ‘had done us a favour’ and that they were making his children ‘walk wide’ on their way to school. I asked him who he was and why he didn’t just knock and ask us to do it and I commented that it was ‘poor form’ to do this when we were out and without asking. He became defensive and aggressive and walked off. I’m shocked. We have lived here for 15 years and this man thinks he can just move in and change the landscape to suit him!
I don’t understand why he didn’t just ask us.
By the way he did a very bad job and it looks a total mess.
Is this legal?

LullyDully Sat 11-Jul-20 21:56:45

That is very odd and very rude behaviour. Sounds like he has a personality disorder. I would be mad too never the less.

tanith Sat 11-Jul-20 22:00:44

I’d also be mad unless your hedge was overhanging the path/pavement seriously. I’m not sure there is anything you can do unless you’re prepared to start a neighbour dispute with the man who sounds thoroughly horrible.

Grandmafrench Sat 11-Jul-20 22:09:05

Maybe drop into your local Police Station when you have time - with photographs and of the rubbish before you think about moving it. Just tell them what happened, tell them how shocked you are, the poor state of your hedge and his aggression - maybe they will be minded to go and have a word with him. It is certainly extraordinary behaviour and, of course, he has taken it upon himself to interfere with your property without consulting you or seeking your permission.

The hedging was probably overhanging the pavement? The pavement would be Council property; so they could be asked by anyone in your cul de sac to insist that you cut back your hedge if it constituted a nuisance. Or someone could call on you, in a normal way, and ask whether you could cut the hedge back a bit. No one has the right to cut it themselves or damage or change your hedge boundaries or any of your property without your knowledge or permission. That's ridiculous. That would still be a bad idea even if the hedge was between your own and a neighbour's garden. Not sure whether he is renting or has bought his home but he needs to have someone in authority (especially if he is aggressive and in the wrong) enlighten him about the law and remind him that if he does something like that again, action will be taken against him. If you speak to the Police,they will at least have a record of your complaint just in case he should take it upon himself to do something else in your locale. I wouldn't just let it go - it will encourage him into thinking that his behaviour was o.k. ( I wonder if does need to do something about his extra wide children. )

Cava Sat 11-Jul-20 22:20:48

Thank you for your supportive responses ... I still feel incredulous at what has happened and I will put it on record by informing the police ...

suziewoozie Sat 11-Jul-20 23:15:50

I’d report it online - not many police stations around and I don’t think it’s really fair to take up face to face time. Give them as much info as possible and say you are really shaken up - as others have said, it’s important to log it in case it’s the start of a pattern of behaviour. I think strictly speaking it counts as criminal damage but actually what concerns me is that he sound unbalanced. Good luck, hope the police listen

Esspee Sat 11-Jul-20 23:27:48

I would be inclined to take him to the small claims court to recoup the amount of money it would cost to replace the damaged hedge.
Have it costed (including removal of the stuff he cut off) and present him with the bill. If he refuses to pay take him to court.

merlotgran Sat 11-Jul-20 23:34:30

Did the man just cut back the front of the hedge that was overgrowing the pavement or parts of it that would not affect his children's walk to school?

It's your responsibility to ensure the hedge does not impede the passage of people walking down the road but he had no right to cut it back unless you gave him permission - which you clearly did not.

There are so many disputes over hedges that the police will be reluctant to intervene unless his behaviour was threatening, in which case he'll probably deny it.

You would have to prove that he entered your property while you were out which could be difficult unless he has obviously cut back the hedge by accessing your garden.

He might genuinely think he has done you a favour but went about it the wrong way. You had every right to be angry.

The hedge will recover. Try not to get into an ongoing dispute which will cause you more grief.

kittylester Sun 12-Jul-20 07:21:07

Good advice merlot

I thought the form was to inform the council who would inform the hedge owner that it needed cutting back.

BlueBelle Sun 12-Jul-20 07:34:19

Really really cheeky I d never have the guts to do that and I ve walked past some that you practically have to go on the road for, but I don’t think legally he can just cut someone else’s hedge I d be very very annoyed too cheeky bugger
Much better to have knocked on your door and ask if you d like him to give it a trim as it was causing problems If he felt that strongly I do think the legal rules are that you can cut anything over hanging your garden and you have to give the clippings back so that’s probably why he put them in your path however I m not so sure about a public path I doubt that’s the same rules but down to the council itself

EllanVannin Sun 12-Jul-20 07:41:50

What's the front or appearance of his own house like ?

craftyone Sun 12-Jul-20 07:49:37

why did you think it was ok to have a hedge overhanging a public pavement? He was well within his rights to tell the police, you would have had a visit and been instructed to cut your own hedge back. Mobility scooters, pedesrians, all blocked by your thoughtlessness. You should feel thoroughly ashamed cava

Cava Sun 12-Jul-20 07:54:03

It has left me a bit spooked to be honest ... who would do that? I have never even seen him before .. apparently he rents house up the road. I always think it’s wise to get along with neighbours and I think we need to tread carefully but at the same time dint let him push us around. Hubby is furious too... a bit of colourful language in our house last night.
Thanks all

rafichagran Sun 12-Jul-20 07:58:20

How far was the hedge over the pavement? This man went about it the wrong way and he should have spoken too you, but is it worth arguing about and getting into a dispute with him.

Cava Sun 12-Jul-20 07:59:01

Actually it is a quiet cul de sac and not many foot passage and it was not overhanging as much as you have described. We usually ‘get them done’ at this time of year but it was delayed a couple of weeks because of a family illness which had taken a lot of time and energy lately. I am not ashamed at all... I look after my property very well and if this man had come and spoke to us right away we would have done as he wanted without question.

Cava Sun 12-Jul-20 08:00:20

His house is a townhouse and only a drive out front. He rents and has only been there three weeks

MawB Sun 12-Jul-20 08:04:59

Many types of hedge (Beech for example which we have) should be pruned in August, partly to be sure all birds’ nests are empty but also, if pruned too early, will just sprout again.
Nobody has the right to touch your hedge so he is entirely in the wrong.
Last year I turned a blind eye to my neighbour trimming back their side of my hedge a bit as their drive is quite narrow - and guess what, their side is sprouting unevenly! I have reassured them that pruning is in hand for this year now and booked within the next fortnight. .

MawB Sun 12-Jul-20 08:06:53


why did you think it was ok to have a hedge overhanging a public pavement? He was well within his rights to tell the police, you would have had a visit and been instructed to cut your own hedge back. Mobility scooters, pedesrians, all blocked by your thoughtlessness. You should feel thoroughly ashamed cava

That a bit judgemental!

Mobility scooters, pedestrians all blocked
Are you sure of these facts Craftyone ?

suziewoozie Sun 12-Jul-20 08:33:04

I still think his behaviour is concerning in that it is so beyond reasonable and normal, I would worry what next. I would still report it.

Cava Sun 12-Jul-20 08:33:33

Yes I agree MawB
Crafty tone if two adults were walking by they could comfortably pass the hedge but this chap has four sons and maybe he wanted them to walk side by side. As I said he only needed to knock and ask. This is a quiet cul de sac and I notice that most people seem to walk down the middle of the road as a rule .. we normally do get them trimmed but this year, due to family illness, it was postponed a little and was going to be done next week. I do not feel ashamed and I look after my property very well and am mindful if the needs of others around me

Cava Sun 12-Jul-20 08:35:47

Suziewoozie I am very concerned about his behaviour and feel very unsettled by it. These are not the actions of a balanced person... and he’s only been there three weeks ... scary!

Iam64 Sun 12-Jul-20 08:51:38

I understand you feeling concerned and unsettled by this behaviour Cava. A straight dealer would have knocked on your door, rather than cut the hedge back when you weren't at home.
The advice from merlotgran is good and I'd go with that. The Police are stretched to breaking point and a neighbour dispute about a hedge isn't likely to be a priority for them. Without wishing to be critical, I find I'm often having to walk into the road because of over grown hedges.

BlueSky Sun 12-Jul-20 09:01:23

That guy was totally out of order Cava you don't touch neighbours' properties without their consent! But as others have said his behaviour is not normal, so is it worth getting into a dispute with him?

LadyGracie Sun 12-Jul-20 09:12:44

I would be on your guard but just carry on as normal, some people are born bullies or antagonisers.

We had a similar situation a few years ago.

Luckygirl Sun 12-Jul-20 09:19:29

I am assuming he cut it back rather than cut it down completely. Hopefully it will grow speedily in the next few weeks. It was a bit high-handed to do it without talking to you first.

I once came home to find that a near neighbour had completely revamped our large rockery that was on the bank dropping down towards the lane. Plants removed and moved, rocks repositioned. Her cottage was up the hill and she looked down over the bank: she said she had got fed up with looking at it as it was!!!