The eight secret gardening laws you might be breaking that could get you fined up to £20k | The Sun

GARDENING season is nearly over, which means plenty of Brits will be out trying to tick off the last jobs before winter comes.

However, if your jobs consist of cutting down trees or replacing a fence, then you may want to read on to make sure you're not breaking any laws that could land you with a hefty £20,000 fine.

It turns out there are lots of jobs that could you land in trouble with your neighbour and the law, fortunately, gardening experts over at Toolstation have revealed the eight laws you need to be aware of not breaking.

While some of these laws could land you with a fine of up to £20,000 in extreme cases, a friendly chat with your neighbours can usually resolve any issues.

Tree removal and pruning

If you have a tree in your garden you want to get rid of you better think twice and do your research.

The gardening experts reveal: “If one neighbour wishes to remove or heavily prune a tree that the other neighbour values, disputes can arise over the impact on the view, shade, or privacy. "



Couple left horrified after digging up suitcase full of bones in the garden


Gardening pro shares veg that withstands icy winters, you should plant it now

While it might cause a row, if it is in your property boundary it is ultimately your choice, unless it has a Tree Protection Order on it.

“But, some trees may be protected by a Tree Protection Order which makes it an offence to uproot, top or destroy them, the experts warn.

The maximum fine for breaking this law is £20,000, so make sure you double check if it does have a TPO.

You can find out by contacting your local council for a map that shows this information. Alternatively, you can ask to speak with your local tree officer.

Most read in Fabulous


Switching up your routine can open doors to brand new experiences


Mum of three who wanted one last baby ends up having triplets


Harry & Meg could stay at Wills’ former home on UK visits after Frogmore eviction


I’m 65 & love showing my bikini body off – people can’t believe I’ve had 4 kids

Cutting down a tree even if it's in your garden could lead to hefty finesCredit: Getty

Property boundaries and fences

One of the main causes of neighbours falling out is through arguing over property boundaries and fencing.

To avoid this situation, the gardening pros recommend checking the deeds of your property to determine the correct boundaries

“Most of the time, it’s easy to determine who owns the fence as the fence posts will usually be on the owners side," they add.

“Additionally, the height of fences or hedges can cause disputes between neighbours if one party feels the height has exceeded the two metre guidance.

"Hedges and fences should be no more than two metres high, and you could be asked by the council to take them down if a neighbour complains about the height.

"Luckily, standard fence sizes are less than two metres tall so you shouldn’t have a problem.”

Feeding birds

While there are no laws against having bird feeders in your garden, and is actually encouraged to promote happy wildlife, you have to be responsible with it.

Not storing bird food properly can cause unwanted pests to come looking for food, such as rats, which will definitely annoy your neighbours.

The garden pros warn: “If the situation turns particularly bad and rats become a problem, you could be issued with an abatement notice asking you to stop and fix the problem.

"If you don’t stop the feeding, you could get a maximum fine of £5,000 or a Community Protection Notice – it would have to get pretty bad to get to this point, though.”

Garden structures and additions

A pergola is the perfect addition to a garden if you want somewhere to relax in the shade.

But if it obstructs your neighbour's view or violates local building regulations it could cause a dispute, as can sheds and other garden structures.

“If you’re not sure, have a chat with your neighbours to let them know what you’re planning and, if there’s an issue, get in touch with your local council who can give you more guidance," advise the gardening experts.

Overhanging branches and plants

“When branches, vines, or roots from one neighbour's tree or plant extend into the neighbouring property, it can lead to disagreements over potential damage to structures, blocked views, or the burden of maintenance," reveal the pros.

However, it's important to note you can only trim overhanging branches up to the boundary of your property otherwise, it could be seen as trespassing.

You can climb into the tree to carry out the work if needed, but only on your property and make sure to stay on your side of the fence if you don't have permission to enter your neighbours garden.

Fruit trees and flowers

Even though you can trim branches that hang into your garden from neighbours trees, the plants, flowers and fruit still belong to your neighbour.

Cutting them without permission would be against the law and your neighbour has the right to take them back.

the plants, flowers, and fruits still belong to your neighbour. Taking or cutting them without permission would be against the law, and your neighbour has the right to ask for them back. 

The experts add you should always check with your neighbour first, and even if the trimmings have come from a neighbours tree – you should never toss them into their garden, as this could be considered garden waste fly tipping.

Trees blocking light

There's an unknown law on adding trees to the garden if it blocks light.

“If a window has been receiving natural light for 20 years or longer, neighbours are not allowed to block it with a new tree, according to the Rights of Light Act," warn the experts.

If you are planning to plant a new one, opt for a small one so it doesn't interfere with your neighbour's natural light.

Right to privacy

We all have the right to privacy, especially in our own homes and our gardens.

This means that neighbours should not unreasonably intrude or observe activities within your garden without permission.

“Make sure to place sheds, outhouses or security cameras in positions where they won't affect your neighbours privacy.

"Most disputes over privacy can be resolved by having a chat with your neighbour, but your local authority may be able to help if you can't agree," they add.

What should you do if you think your neighbour has broken a garden law?

“You should always try to resolve any garden disputes face to face with your neighbour by discussing your concerns before turning to the law, but it’s helpful to know your rights so you can try to resolve the issue fairly.



Towie star Danielle Armstrong shows off 'normal body' after giving birth


Shoppers horrified after noughties fashion trend is making a comeback

“Failing that, you should try written communication to let them know your feelings in a non-confrontational manner. If the problem persists, you should let them know you intend to involve the council to resolve the issue," say the experts.

Fabulous will pay for your exclusive stories. Just email: [email protected] and pop EXCLUSIVE in the subject line.

Expert gardening advice

I’m a gardening expert and here’s my £2 trick to kill patio weeds & STOP them returning

Monty Don reveals how to stop slugs and snails ruining your plants all year round

I’m a gardening expert – everyone should follow these 6 etiquette rules, including NEVER mowing after 1pm on a Saturday

Expert Alan Titchmarsh reveals why you should never declutter your small garden and how to make it bigger

Expert reveals how to get the most out of your backyard all year round

Easy hack to kill weeds from your driveway cracks

A gardener's calendar – what you should be doing month to month

Source: Read Full Article