Forum home Garden design

Claiming a grass verge?


There is a grass verge outside our house that is retained by a foot high wall that curves around to abut the three foot high wall that retains our garden.

It looks like an extension of our property. When we bought the house the name sign was on it as was the for sale sign. The next door neighbour said it's ours. 

As it turns out, it isn't included in the deeds. It is lawned with some shrubs at the end and we maintain it, still have our house sign on it, but we felt awkward actually doing anything to it.

The thing is that we often catch people letting their dogs use it or trampling on it waiting for traffic to pass. If someone damages the wall they just slink off as if no one has to fix it.

Im looking for ideas about how to make it look like it belongs to someone and is in use but still allowing others to enjoy it without giving it back to the public.

Its roughly 1.5m x 8m and rectangular with one curved corner.


  • pr1mr0sepr1mr0se Posts: 1,194

    You don't say how long you have lived in the property.  There are laws regarding what is known as "Adverse possession".  Prior to 2003 you had to have had access to, and quiet possession of the land in question for 12 years;  after that date, subject to specific conditions, the time period is 10 years,  The law is complex, and you may wish to take advice on the subject.  But if you raise the issue and the true owner comes forward, you may have to abandon any claim for adverse possession.  You didn't raise the issue when you bought the property, and the land is not included in the deeds.  It may be an uphill struggle to have any meaningful claim to ownership or rights to the land in question.  A solicitor would be best able to help, I think.

  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,550

    Good idea tetley re Berberis.  We planted just that last year for the inlaws who had similar problem as ib191

    I was also surprised they come with all different colour berries, quite beautiful really image

  • TigrahTigrah Posts: 125

    Honestly, if nobody else looks after it, mows it, etc. and you've lived there a long time - and if nobody else has been interested in it - I would just plant on it. Just wouldn't spend too much money on it in case it has to be stripped out. A nice prickly shrub and maybe some winter/spring bulbs would do fine :)

  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,457

    I had the same sort of situation.  I saw when I moved in that the communal gardener had mowed a bit outside my back gate that was indistinct on the plans - they had made a bit of a mess of it and there were muddy wheel marks where they'd turned the mower around.

    I planted a triangle of Black Bamboo there and made sure I kept on top of the mowing.  The contractor never touched it again.

    However, local kids built a den in the bamboo and to the side where I'd planted a honeysuckle and someone needed access to electric meters on the side of the garages, the meter reader ripped a gaping hole in the climber.

    I thought c'est la vie and didn't worry about it.

    I've since moved but not because of that.  I'd imagine claims would be even more indistinct now for the people who purchased from me.

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    If you keep the area tidy and mown people will assume it is 'owned'. But you cannot stop people using it to avoid traffic etc.if it is a safety issue If they are trampling on the border bit to avoid traffic you could either plant prickly shrubs (bad person option), turn that bit of the border back into lawn(good person option) or ignore it (easy option). 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    only if it impacts on the public! I would hate to walk along a narrow road and have to jump back from being run over, straight into a bed of prickles!

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,358

    The bottom line is, as the verge is not your property, the council can make you remove anything you plant, especially if they get complaints. image

    If you want to make a barrier (although I thought there was a low wall, so I'm a bit confused) but are concerned about the proximity to the road, how a bout a strip of gravel for bypassers' emergencies (inexpensive) and then some dense planting, jaggy or otherwise,  to the inside of it?

    Just a thought, for what it's worth  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • lb191lb191 Posts: 80

    Thanks for the replies, sorry for the delay.

    The village has no pavements anywhere and outside my property they could safely wait at the entrance of my drive where the road widens. In fact it's probably a bit dangerous waiting on the grass because you're hidden from traffic by some trees and shrubs.

    The retaining wall is just like a step up.

    We've lived here for 7 years and no one has ever touched it but I think it's council land. Thinking about it I doubt that they retained it or planted the pre existing trees and shrubs on it either.

    I admit I was assuming it would automatically become mine if I continued to maintain it. 

    I did think of something prickly but felt it was perhaps a bit aggressive.

    I've had a think and thought perhaps to plant a load of nettles. Not much better than prickles I guess but the intention is to attract caterpillars rather than to sting the neighbours.

    I could mix in something pretty? Can anything co exist with nettles?

  • lb191lb191 Posts: 80

    A strip of gravel might be a nice neighbourly touch. I did consider a bench or even a see saw for any local kids but I was scared people would linger outside and do what they will and then slink off as per.

  • What about a wild flower patch to look pretty and encourage pollinators.This time of year you can sow mixed pkts of w/flower and poppies. There is a place a few miles away from me that is a fairly new built-up area and they have wild flower ' pockets'  scattered about...Looks really lovely and catches your eye when driving past.

    Last edited: 14 February 2017 07:55:54

Sign In or Register to comment.