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Neighbours plants damaging my Mum's fence

In the recent heavy winds in Devon, part of my Mum's fence came down The man who came to fix the fence, told her that bushes in the neighbours garden were severely overgrown and that they had been pushing on the fence and weakening it.

He visited the neighbour on Mum's behalf and asked her if she would cut her bushes back to prevent the damage happening again. She, it seems was very abusive and said she wasn't prepared to do it...but was more than happy if my Mum wanted to pay for the work to be done.

Is there anything that can be done to remedy this situation? I don't see why Mum should pay but she is concerned that there could be reprucussions with the neighbour if she pushes the matter too hard.

Also are garden fences covered by her home insurance?

Thank you for this - i am in London, so am trying to do as much as possible from afar so to speak!!



  • I would pull up fencing, cut back from your side, pull down fencing.  You are under no obligation to do the whole bushes or make it pretty because the back side will be covered by the fence. 

    If the woman is determined to be a pain then you are buggered no matter what you do, this is the cheapest simplest option. 

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    Difficult. It's so much better if neighbours are helpful to eachother. Is your mum well and able-bodied enough to call round to this person and have a chat about the bushes? She could talk about how much needs to be cut back and how and when it could be done with least inconvenience. If not, is there a friend or near neighbour who could do that for her? I am assuming that she is not able to do the actual work herself. Failing that, there may be groups in your area who help older people with jobs like this without charge, or for relatively little. The question of who pays is often problematic: it is your mum who has a problem with the hedge but her neighbours ought to show consideration regarding their unruly bushes. Could they share the cost?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 85,976

    Good neighbourly relations are worth their weight in gold ... the hedge may damage the fence or the fence may damage the hedge? 

    Surely a case for friendly compromise ... If one person wants a fence and the other doesn't care either way, then surely the one who wants the fence will expect to pay for the work? 


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Never known of any insurance that will fix a fence, in this area the fences are owned by the householder. I own the South and part of the West facing fence my Neighbour owns the North facing fence which has just been replaced by them, with my permission they took down a six foot fence and put in a four foot fence as we talk and the little dog next door is lifted over into my garden for a change of scenery.  I would never touch anything beyond my border however annoying as it is a minefield of litigation in some cases.

    The options are if you own the fence then replace it, get a couple of estimates from a local installer. If your Mum can live with it put a shorter in height fence in  then chop off any of the bushes that climb over the fence, the neighbour refuses to cut back her bushes so I cannot see her being helpful on any issue. I do not recommend you doing this but as an old soldier a late night foray with a good shrub killer might come to mind, not saying i would but do not tempt me?


  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    If the shrubs are pushing the fence over, they must be crossing the boundary.  You are quite entitled to cut them back, but at your expense, I think.  Don't forget the gift of a bottle of wine (not rot-gut) goes some way to unbending neighbours.

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  • Thank you so much for all your replies. Mum is recently widowed, so it all seems rather overwhelming.

    It seems a similar thing happened a few years ago with her next door neighbours fence and the same lady, they actually went round and trimmed back the offending bushes themselves and have actually offered to do the same for Mum.

    I'm visiting her at Easter and i think an evening foray with some shrub killer just might be on the cards!! 

    Thank you 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 85,976

    Hmmm ... beware ... that could lay you open to being charged with criminal damage image

    It might also result in unpleasant retaliation ... your Mum doesn't need that ... 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thank you, it was a slightly tongue in cheek comment. It's just so difficult with me being in London and her down in Devon. She is coping really well, and then has all this. 

    I was going to take some wine down for the neighbours, as a thank you for going and trimming the obstinate neighbours shrubs for her. 

  • One question - what was there first, the shrubs or the fence?

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