Small Woodland Owners' Group

Fencing responsibility

Paperwork, grants, legal issues

Postby ddunkling » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:52 am

Hi All,

I own a small forest near Lockerbie in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. UPM Tilhill manage the property for me and have asked me to pay half the costs towards the neignbouring farmers fencing. I feel that this should not be my responsibility to keep the farmers sheep from my property or am I legally obliged? Any comments/advide welcome please.

Thank you


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Postby John H » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:39 pm


One of our boundaries it is written in the deeds that we are responsible for maintenance,probably because there is a river which would make it difficult for our neighbour to maintain it from his side. The rest of the wood there is nothing in writing and if the fence was in need of replacement, to maintain good will I would expect to pay half. However ours is a wood not a forest so the monies involved may not be so great.

If it is not on your deeds I would say legally you could not be made to pay.

Could you not get a grant from the F.C.


John H
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Postby RichardKing » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:52 pm

I dont know about the situation in Scotland, but in England you are not obliged to maintain any boundary with a neighbour unless it says so in your deeds.

Stock proof fencing is surprisingly expensive to install.

I allow a farmer to run sheep in a field I own, but he brings his own temporary electric fence.

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Postby jennysmate » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:02 am

My wood runs alongside a farmers field, used for growing organic wheat. It has rabbit proof fencing along this boundary, which has deteriorated over the years. The only thing I can find in my deeds is that I'm responsible for keeping the rabbit population down. Has anyone had experience of this?

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Postby MartreCycle » Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:24 pm

In my opinion....

There are several views to this - in no order...

What do you stand to lose if stock come into your wood ?

Do you really need a fence - if there are no concerns about stock entering your wood ( or the consequences of this)

If Shared responsibility - then think of it like two neighbours gardens - share means share.

When the land was purchased by yourself - there may have been an indication of fencing responsibilities ( sometimes indicated on the plan by a "T" on the fence line ).

If you are of a practical nature - you could see it as an 'adventure' - and arrange to do the fencing with them ( may be different if contractors are involved).

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Postby Kentish Man » Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:42 pm

This page may be of interest to you:

Kentish Man
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Postby RichardKing » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:48 pm

I am curious as to the outcome from the question in this thread.


A few further thoughts, If you accept responsibility for fencing, then you may find yourself liable for future costs of repair or replacement. And for subsequent owners.


The analogy with gardens is correct, but the comment "share"simply confuses the issue.

The original question stated that the fencing was the neighbouring farmers.


In financial terms the farmer would benefit both from the gain in value of his sheep and (if you decide to contribute) from your contribution to the cost of the fencing.

Perhaps you should ask for a percentage of the profit from any gain in value of his sheep while they are in the fenced field.

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