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Ditch responsibility!
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dan1



Joined: 23 Jun 2010
Posts: 102
Location: Bristolish
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 14 6:19 pm    Post subject: Ditch responsibility!  Reply with quote    

Can anyone point me to the rules/statute around who should clear ditches where they form boundaries.
My understanding was that you were responsible for up to the mid point, which in practice would mean youn shared the cost of clearing.
My neighbour maintains that a ditch on his side of our boundary hedge is my responsibility because my land's uphill
Any pointers gratefully received!
Dan

pollyanna



Joined: 03 Nov 2012
Posts: 221

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 14 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Whose boundary hedge is it? It will be marked on your farm map/deeds.

In my experience one's neighbour always wants to deny responsibility unless it is to his advantage!

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4007
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 14 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Very unlikely its your responsibility,unless the hedge was planted after the ditch was dug,
If it was,it would mean you entering his land to clean the ditch.

onemanband



Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 1473
Location: NCA90
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 14 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I thought this was going to be a thread about being feckless.
Oh well back to the grindstone.
Sorry don't know about ditches.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 14 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ty Gwyn wrote:
Very unlikely its your responsibility,unless the hedge was planted after the ditch was dug,
If it was,it would mean you entering his land to clean the ditch.


That's exactly how it does work, the ditch belongs to the person who has the hedge on their side. Our neighbour owns up to the top of the ditch at our side, with the hedge on his side. In practical terms we clean the dyke out (because we make a neater job) but we should really ask him to do it.

dan1



Joined: 23 Jun 2010
Posts: 102
Location: Bristolish
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 14 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

But does anyone know where it's "written down", is there any clear guidance, or is it decided on a case by case basis?

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33850
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 14 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It should be marked on your deeds.

dan1



Joined: 23 Jun 2010
Posts: 102
Location: Bristolish
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 14 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That's a good point, Nick, and I'll try and check that. It won't, however clear up the question of whether I'm responsible of or the whole of the ditch which is downhill of my land...

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9973

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 14 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It all stems from the old ditch and bank system. In fact unless otherwise stated on the deeds, your land extends to the side of the ditch furthest from you regardless of the lay of the land.

As far as keeping ditches clear, it used to be a job for the hedger and ditcher who trimmed or layed the hedge and dug out the ditch, the results being thrown up onto the roots of the hedge.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33850
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 14 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dan1 wrote:
That's a good point, Nick, and I'll try and check that. It won't, however clear up the question of whether I'm responsible of or the whole of the ditch which is downhill of my land...


It's Pollyanna's point.

And it the hedge and ditch are on your land, they're yours. If they're on his land, they're his. Your deeds will show where your boundary is.


Rose, can you clarify your statement? How can everyone's land extend to the far side of the ditch? That means a ditch dividing two bits if land is owned by two people. Sounds in likely.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 14 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nick wrote:
Rose, can you clarify your statement? How can everyone's land extend to the far side of the ditch? That means a ditch dividing two bits if land is owned by two people. Sounds in likely.


Another Rose can - it is a case of who owns the boundary, which is always the person who owns the land at the same side as the hedge. The person who owns the ditch (and therefore the hedge, because the hedge is planted on the spoil from the ditch) doesn't have to enter the neighbour's land to clean out the hedge or cut back the ditch because the ditch belongs to him/herself, not the neighbour). The matter of access only changed with the advent of mechanical diggers.

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4007
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 14 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I find this rather fasinating and also confusing,

If water from land uphill from one property is flowing onto another property down hill,the property Uphill has the responsibility to divert the water before entering ones neighbour,therefore the ditch should be on the Uphill side of the boundary,
Well that`s how it works in Wales anyway,but it all gets complicated when farms are broken up and sold.

I dare say things are different on flatish wetlands,where the ditches/dykes are the boundaries.

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 6326
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 14 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What about roadside ditches?

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 14 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ty Gwyn wrote:
I find this rather fasinating and also confusing,

If water from land uphill from one property is flowing onto another property down hill,the property Uphill has the responsibility to divert the water before entering ones neighbour,therefore the ditch should be on the Uphill side of the boundary,
Well that`s how it works in Wales anyway,but it all gets complicated when farms are broken up and sold.

I dare say things are different on flatish wetlands,where the ditches/dykes are the boundaries.


Yes, you could be right on the last point but I would imagine that, on uplands, you're wanting to avoid the neighbours water entering your land? The neighbour wouldn't care, as he's getting rid of it however?

Also, you don't want water rushing straight into a dyke and taking your soil & nutrients with it, better to slow it down and filter out the soil with a hedge/bank, perhaps.

Dogwalker



Joined: 20 Mar 2007
Posts: 1231
Location: Mid Wales
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 14 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Same applies in this bit of Wales.

Some of my fields I'm responsible for the hedge and ditch part way and whichever neighbour the rest. It seemed odd until I saw an old survey plan from 1750-something which had some crossways hedges dividing the fields even smaller than they are now.

The only one that doesn't go by that rule is the bottom boundary which only has a stock fence and ditch on neighbours side which are both his and that's the only relatively recent boundary change.

In practise one neighbour who owns a mini digger and rents the land from the others does them all.

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