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Advice on noisy neighbours in the garden

I bought my house a couple of years ago primarily for the big garden and love being out there. However a year ago a new family moved next door to me and they are a bit of a nightmare. They are out there every day during the summer shouting at each other with their two screeching young kids. I probably wouldn't notice this so much if I was in a family myself, but because I'm on my own I like my outside space to be a peaceful sanctuary and it has become the complete opposite. I've also had to block the dad on social media because he's a bit of a creep! It's partly made worse by the fact the gardens are all very open - no trees at all - so you feel very exposed out there and in each other's space (although the previous neighbours were lovely and it never felt that way at all).

It's been such a problem for me this summer that I've put my house on the market and am trying to find somewhere new, but struggling to find something in budget where the likelihood of noisy neighbours next door is going to be any less. I'm trying to figure out if there is anything I can do with my garden to make it any better for me. Has anyone ever installed a privacy hedge above a fence line (eg with red robin or laurel etc)? Or does anyone have any recommendations for extremely fast growing trees that I could put all the way down? I'm not too worried about shade as the garden is south facing and baking hot (and quite wide too). Any other ideas would be really welcomed... or does everyone think I'm better cutting my losses and might have more luck elsewhere?!


  • B3B3 Posts: 21,489
    As you've only been there a while, if you can afford it, I'd say move. Especially since it hasn't escalated into a formal complaint which you'd have to declare.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,594
    Any tree that grows fast isn't going to stop at a convenient height and there are rules about hedge heights.

    There are plants that will absorb noise and your best bet would be to contact a reputable supplier of hedging plants to decide what would suit you and your soil conditions best.  This company has a good reputation - whips uk&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&gclid=Cj0KCQjwnoqLBhD4ARIsAL5JedJs6slU0ODnEzPxaFGcN0hRA48M2O7H41k1n55TKMvrCAO2C0tLrg0aAhvfEALw_wcB but there are others .

    You can also think about planting some trees 2 or 3 metres in from your boundary to break up the sight and sound lines.   Amelanchiers are good and don't get too tall.  Heptacodium miconioides was featured on GW a few weeks ago and is on my list of plants to buy.   Look at the RHS website for more info and you can also search that site for more small trees.

    Linking them all up with a good border of shrubs would also help with noise and visual interest.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks all, I really appreciate everyone's thoughts as I'm in a bit of a pickle about it.

    B3 my initial response was the same - there's nothing that's going to truly reduce their noise so I should cut my losses. Especially as I do also have problems with yappy dogs on the other side that I'm physically connected to, but my reasoning is I could get sound proofing for that... not so easy to get sound proofing in the garden for the other side! But Blue Onion I totally agree... there are just no guarantees anywhere and as much as these neighbours are particularly loud (my cat sitter even commented on it to me) it is also about me too - I just like peace and quiet outdoors because I'm on my own. I could take or leave the house, for me it's always been about the garden and now that space has essentially been ruined for me it's tempting to go - but as you say it's so difficult to know what you'll get.

    Obelixx thank you for the recommendations - I'm going to have a look at them now.
  • Trouble is, even "fast growing" is unlikely to resolve your problem for quite some time.  If you have already put your house on the market it may not prove worthwhile expending more money - particularly in the garden as the probability is that any new owner will want to re design.
    As for finding a new home without the risk of bad neighbours, that is an impossibility in today's society when we are forced to live in such close proximity to each other.  If you buy somewhere new with lovely neighbours, there is no guarantee they won't die/move and then you could possibly end up in a similar situation.
    @B3 is correct in saying that anything "official" would have to be declared when you sell but that does not always happen and it can prove an expensive nightmare if you try to hold someone to account.
    Best of luck :)
  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble Posts: 4,024
    I am a country born person living in the centre of Ipswich.  I have houses of multiple occupation on all sides as well as bail hostels and a very useful mechanic that has a garage out the back.  I've been here for over 20 years but it's long term rent.  I've made a beautiful garden but as family's move away they noise moved in. 
     I've had to turn it into wildlife garden that people can't see into,  the pond has a solar powered water feature that babbles away and I feed the birds,  with the sound of all the birds I feel someone should make a complaint against me now. 
    Also,  I trynot to let others noise about me,  kids having fun? I'm glad they are outside and not on social media 😉
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,453
    You can buy ready grown pleached trees, not cheap but fairly "instant". Nothing really blocks noise but at least that would give you privacy
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,731
    edited October 2021
    Have to agree with Phillipa. After various inconsiderate neighbours. I vowed never to be joined to anyone ever again,has it worked no,we are detached. Still problem neighbour, sarcastic,nasty upsetting comments. Various things, folks on here are aware of. When hubby was out at work he thought I was exaggerating, said that he was thoughtless but harmless. Our last ones,moved in with the screaming toddlers,then footballs ruining our garden, THEN the teenagers. The people we were joined to were professionals in their 50s,drunken parties
     Dreadful messy weedy gardens both sides,made it difficult to sell. Guess what,both sides moved the year after us!!! I think sit down write the pros and cons. See which is the biggest list. We have messy weedy gardens both sides as before. We ARE detached,can have our TV blaring on surround sound. We are completely unoverlooked,on all sides. Have spent a lot of time and money on this place
     It's a nice edge of village but handy for everything location. I must admit a few weeks ago we did actually look online at property,it's rocketed in price,no where had a plot this size,all overlooked, could only afford a semi,and a couple of tiny detached places,which needed completely modernising.Hubby says he's too old to do that again.moving is very traumatic,we were lucky moving on to empty properties,he's never been in a chain,so has no idea.
  • Although there are laws about fence heights, there is nothing to stop you spending some serious money to plant a row of trees that have had their crowns lifted so that the foliage starts just above the fence. I have looked at this myself in the past and the companies listed by Obelixx above all sell them. You would have to hire a tree firm to plant them and whilst it would cost a few thousand, you would spend that in moving and with no assurance of peace and quiet if you did move. Then you would have a lovely boundary that would go some way to hiding the noise. Something else that i considered was a row of high bamboos in large pots. Again there are no laws against having trees in your garden and strategically placed they would help quieten the noise and provide some natural rustling noise themselves.
    Also maybe think of a patio area in the quietest part of your garden and make a natural barrier as a feature with a patio set inside what would then be an enclosed area. Add a noisy fountain to distract from the noise as well. It all costs money but so would moving and you could end up with a fabulous garden.
    I know that you shouldn't have to do any of this and it's awful to have noisy neighbours but if you move it could be frying pan and fire whereas if you like the house you are in you may be able make something of it that will end up being really nice to relax in.
    Oh and if you like music, how about noise reducing earphones? 😊
  • Doghouse RileyDoghouse Riley South ManchesterPosts: 347
    You aren't on your own, a lot of people have this problem. Sometimes even politely complaining about it only exacerbates the situation.

    The house where the garden backs on to ours was bought by a young couple from the previous owner who had grown up kids. The new couple had two daughters around four and five. Whenever they were in the garden there was a lot of screaming from them.
    They're about ten and eleven now and they still scream in the garden and have other young female friends who come round occasionally and join in.
    My summerhouse is at the bottom of my garden where I keep my two vinyl jukeboxes, (I'm "not allowed" to have them in our small house as I've an electric piano, my tenor sax and a lot of audio stuff in my den...alright our small front room.

    I play the jukeboxes when I'm gardening, this tends to be during the day when the kids are at school, but even then I don't play them loud, not everyone likes vintage pop and  Motown.
    At the week-end ther parents sometimes  sit at the bottom of the garden near the shared back fence  where they have a patio, as it catches the sun. I avoid playing the jukeboxes if I hear them there. But they don't make much effort to stop the kids screaming.

    I give up with younger people sometimes. When we got lumbered with six fox cubs under the summerhouse four years ago. We made the best of it until they made their way in the world. She came round and complained that a fox kept coming over the fence into their garden. (she could jump up onto the top of the pagoda and then onto the top of the fence). I told her the fox was the mother of the cubs under the summerhouse. She wanted to know what I was going to do about it. "Well I'm not going to shoot them."

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