Neighbour's Marauding Pigs!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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Rural_PuppyRural_Puppy Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
Hi all
I own a reasonably large acreage on a former smallholding that the previous owner has allowed to go wild. I am gradually bringing it back into use, and am considering getting a couple of pigs in to gradually turn over the roughest areas of the land without machinery or chemicals. Planning to use electric fences to keep the pigs in an area, and then moving them on.
Anyway - what has stopped me so far is that my boundary fences are not great, certainly not pig proof, and the presence of a right of way through part of the fields that would need to be fenced off to keep the beasties in and apart from members of the public.
There is a smallholder next door who grows commercially in polytunnels and we had concerns that our pigs might escape and cause damage to his crops.
However....... recently the same neighbour has decided to keep a few pigs himself, and has deliberately opened his fence to let them into our ground. A bit cheeky, as he has plenty of land of his own, although we have heard that he is known locally for indulging in a spot of land grabbing.
The herd escaped and found their way into our garden (quite a distance away from where he let them in). We managed to get them rounded up and back, and had a good natured chat with him, but now that we know he is letting them in, we need to ensure he realises this is not on in future. In any case, once we have our own pigs, we don't think it would be sensible for them to mix together. There are also a shed load of regs that cover animal movements between smallholdings that we are anxious not to be in breach of.
We are planning on writing him a short and polite letter to advise that he does not have permission to use our land for any purpose including release of livestock.
Anyone else had a similar issue? What did you do?
Thanks!

Replies

  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    Anyone else had a similar issue? What did you do?
    Thanks!
    With us it wasn't pigs but sheep. They got in, trashed a stream garden I was developing and entered another wildlife area. Fortunately, it was February, so not much damage done, despite the denudation.

    I told the neighbour it was lucky I'd chased them out, because there were laurels in the wild area and I'd other poisonous plants asleep in the stream bank. I stuck some rusty hurdles up to stop access to the laurels and waited.

    The neighbour got a new fence erected within the month.
    People who don't stand for something will fall for anything.
  • AfourteenAfourteen Forumite
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    Firstly identify/sort out the boundary - is it the ditch or the hedge/fence. Is the hedge on his side of the ditch or your side.

    If the hedge is on his side of the ditch then really it's his responsibility to maintain the hedge (and joint responsibility on the ditch - really means you end up with the spoil when it's cleaned out).

    If/as he's known for 'land grabbing' then you need to refer to your deeds - land registry does not properly identify the boundaries and has a tendancy to to put the land owner in a worse position (I know as I've spent the last eleven years trying to sort just this issue as they have it wrong and the neighbour is both trying to claim my parts of my land and expect me to pay for hedge maintenance on the same boundary!).

    It's also his responsibility to provide a secure boundary to restrain his stock no matter where the boundary is declared.
  • edited 12 November 2019 at 10:50AM
    DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    edited 12 November 2019 at 10:50AM
    Afourteen wrote: »
    If the hedge is on his side of the ditch then really it's his responsibility to maintain the hedge (and joint responsibility on the ditch - really means you end up with the spoil when it's cleaned out).
    Speaking as someone with high Devon banks with hedges on them, I don't understand how the ditch can be the other landowner's responsibility if it's behind the hedge as viewed from their side. How do they access it?


    This was the line spun to me by my neighbour when I arrived here, and I was stupid enough to believe him. So, for a couple of winters, I cleared his side of the hedge and kept the stream clear, even though I couldn't see it and only had access where the stream crossed sides.

    Then, one day I investigated properly, by examining title plans of 3 neighbours . All of them have a small but discernible amount of land the other side of the stream when the hedge is on my side. Also, I have a somewhat wider strip where the stream is on my side and the hedge is on theirs'.


    This makes perfect sense, as the person with the stream would need the right of access to cut the hedge, on their side, hedges being 3m or more wide.

    Of course,we have tractors nowadays with long-arm flails, so no need to cross the stream to cut the hedge and each owner does their side, but nothing's been invented yet to do ditching on the opposite side of hedges like ours! Here, ditches are typically cleared by 'casting up' onto the existing hedge, hence their height.
    People who don't stand for something will fall for anything.
  • edited 12 November 2019 at 11:09AM
    -taff-taff Forumite
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    edited 12 November 2019 at 11:09AM
    Tell him you really love pork and cracklng and you can't wait for the next time they escape so you can have some for Sunday dinner.
    Say it in a nice way with a nice smile but with a crazy look in your eye and see what happens...
    And make sure to tell him you've joined a local shooting club.
  • Rural_PuppyRural_Puppy Forumite
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    Thanks all for the responses. The boundary is not really in doubt here, and he has admitted that he opened up the fence to let the pigs in! Our deeds are clear, the boundary is the centre line of any ditch, hedge, fence or wall. the fence is on his side of the ditch.
    Not sure what happens if we have a hedge and a ditch, and possibly also a wall, but heh ho!
    Eating them might be an option, if only they were not so darn cute, and we are vegetarians!
    I know someone else who used Laurel to encourage the farmer of the neighbouring field to install a scare fence to stop the cattle getting close to the boundary.

    I think what we will do is send a brief letter saying that we note his pigs got onto our land on X date, we have identified the area of fence where they got through and have patched the fence. We therefore expect there will be no repeat of our land being used for any purpose without our express permission.
    With luck that will do the trick!
    Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
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