Small Woodland Owners' Group

Boundary advice

Paperwork, grants, legal issues

Postby bat » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:38 pm

Hello, bat has a 3 acre deciduous wood which is isn't really marked out that clearly on one side. Two sides are clearly defined since they border on public lanes, but the other side borders on someone else's coniferous wood and there isn't a dividing fence or such-like.


I can stand on that edge of the wood (well, maybe hang is a better word) and 'see' roughly where the coniferous trees start and say that's theirs, whereas this oak tree over here is mine, etc.


I have the land registry plan from when the solicitor did the search and it shows a thin red line to mark out the boundaries. If I superimpose this on a google satellite picture, I can make out where the red line is with respect to the trees pretty precisely (+/- a metre or two, I think) and there seems to be a line of stout yellow stakes about 20 m apart which someone has hammered in at some stage, I would guess around 10 - 15 years ago. It is all pretty clear to the eye, really, but that is all I have ever had to go on in terms of a boundary line in the last 6 months of being the owner.


Anyhow, it seems that some of the neighbour's coniferous trees come about 10 metres into what I would consider to be 'mine'. No big issue, but is there someway to clarify the boundary more? Is it worth getting a surveyor in?? Probably quite expensive?? Should I contact the neighbour, who I don't yet know, in person or in writing via the land registry info?? Just thinking that starting a boundary dispute is probably not the best way to greet the neigbours, but if I just let sleeping dogs lie for the foreseable future, I can see myself being disappointed if there is a cock-up later on when they come to do any felling, etc. Is it worth doing more extensive searches with the land-registry in case there are any larger scale plans, etc, somewhere? My impression is that the wood is part of a bigger plot that was split up a few decades ago. Any clues much appreciated.


Bests for now, bat.


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Postby ncrawshaw » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:12 pm

When I purchased my wood three years ago it was a condition imposed by the vendor that I have the boundary professionally marked out. This was one boundary of approx 300 metres. I employed ACAD Mapping, Marks Cross, TN6 3NS, 01892 853663. They charged £250 + VAT and used satellite technology and other surveying equipment to lay out the boundary to a high level of accuracy. Not sure how accurate but they moved their marker poles within a centimetre to get them right! It seemed quite a lot to pay but its correct once and for all.


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Postby Emma S » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:21 pm

land registry maps are not acurate, they just give a rough idea of a boundary, and unless there is a definative map its always open to interpretation or historical/anecdotal evidence to prove who owns what.


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Postby bat » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:01 pm

Thanks for the replies - all very useful. Yes, trees do make a pretty rough boundary. I know people argue over inches in built-up areas - the scale is a bit different here. Perhaps with a wood the LR map is good enough if that's all that both parties haveto go on?? A question to ncrawshaw. Did the surveyor mark out the boundary as drawn on the land registry plan or was it based on a more definitive map? Bests, bat.


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Postby Emma S » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:30 am

sadly I dont think there IS a definitive map, this is the problem. And when you get out into the countryside then the maps seem to be particularly arbitary. I believe they look back through deeds and such for any hint to do with measurements, although if both parties are happy with where the boundary lies on the LR map then they will probably go with that, and the map will be updated with notes to say it is a measured, definative one (there is a proper term for this but I cant remember what it is called)


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Postby bat » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:14 pm

Legal boundary? I have e-mailed the landreg to see if they can advise. Watch this space. Thanks again, bat.


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Postby Exeldama » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:31 pm

BEWARE.... my family have been involved in a 5 year dispute, involving trials, judges lots of money , stress etc.....


Avoid legal proceedings at al costs unless you are rich. As said land registry records are not accuratte there is an inbuilt disparity which i cant remember but you can find that out.


A surveyor has to have something to work off ie old deeds, what you paid for etc, the neighbour may then insist on their own surveyor who can come up with a diffrent interpretation. Neither are binding unless agreed to by both parties and re-registered as such.


My genuine suggestion is to go and talk with your neighbour. Come to a compromise and dont get hung up on a particularl nice tree or a few feet in a corner... give and take. Decided what is important to you and work towards that. Find out what is important to your neighbour and see how you can assist him.... maybe offer to clear a few trees for him on his side to keep him sweet...... this is believe me a much better way forward then being stubborn and getting into a fight.


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Postby bat » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:48 pm

Hello thanks again. All absolutely agreed. It says much the same on the land registry website.... its quite amusing.... it gives loads of advice but almost starts by saying don't go here. However, I would like to know whether there are any old deeds, etc, with a map that was marked out fairly precisely and then get a few stakes in where the boundary should be. Then we would have something to mull over or perhaps I am looking for trouble. There wasn't a proper survey done when I bought it - it was rush job without an agent, just solicitors!


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Postby ncrawshaw » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:12 pm

Hi Bat, Yes, the surveyor started off with the LR Map which formed the basis of the purchase. On this map were some distinctive points from which he could start his measurements.


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