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Neighboring horses eating my garden - advise please

Morning All,

Without going into too much detail, the end of my garden abuts a farmers field by way of a 4ft high timber post and rail fence. The other side of the fence (farmers side) should be a working low level electric tape fence (to stop the horses encroaching into other gardens), however this has remained un-operational for several months.

Long story short, horses dragged several plants into the field last week. Horse owner confirmed she would action the faulty electric fence. Concious of the damage (£ hundreds), i put it to one side, as she moved the horses to another fields. I wake up this morning to find they have broken out, and dragged more plants (acers, bamboos, magnolias etc).

After a call to the horse owner, who 'wont be paying for anything', what would be best course of action for me to recover the cost of damage caused by her horses?



  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053

    Police,he's repsonsible

  • Would you say the land owner (farmer), or the horse owner? Police then small claimes court?

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053

    I'd call the police,it's criminal damage

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    Take lots of photographs of the damaged plants and the spaces they came from. If you can see the horses reaching over, take a picture of that, too. Keep a record of dates of the damage and conversation with the horse owner. Good luck.

  • Posy - All done, thanks!

  • I had a similiar problem but it was resolved when I planted a yew hedge on my side of the boundary.  Electric fence is now maintained as yew can poison horses

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    Simple, ask for the name of their insurer and put in a claim. They are obliged to give it to you if there has been damage.

    I doubt the police will be interested.
  • The owner is liable.   Might not want to be.  But they are.

    A formal letter telling the owner what the damage is and what you are seeking to recover in cost.    You may need to do a claim via Small claims court... That's easy and relatively cheap and you can recover the cvost and tell the owner you'll move to that unless you can seek agreement for reasonable settlement by a given date.

    You might want to quote The Animals Act 1971 contains, amongst other things, provisions about the civil liability of owners for damage which is done by their animals.

    This sort of incident is why responsible owners have public liability insurance..... AFTER they have decent fencingimage

  • Thank you NorthernLass2! 

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    If the owner of the horses refuses to give you the name of their insurer, get hold of your insurer and they will find out immediately. And they will write official letters.

    In my experience the Small Claims Court is fine if the person you are suing pays up, but if you get involved with bailiffs it can actually work out long-winded.

    To that end make a comprehensive list of the shrubs you have lost (at full retail price), and when you replant keep them a good distance from the fence.

    I know it's the land owner's responsibility to fence their property, but life is not always so simple, and animals can be very persistent and lean on a protective wire to reach tender growth.
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