Farmers Weekly Business Clinic: Understanding the hedge-and-ditch rule

Image: Andy F / Hedge, ditch and fence, northwest of Broadwell

In general agricultural use, where a hedge and a ditch are together, the legal presumption is that the hedge owner will claim ownership of the ditch unless there is evidence or an agreement to the contrary that has been put in place.

A lack of clarity as to ownership, however, can often lead to a costly and time-consuming boundary dispute between the owners of the hedge and the ditch. Establishing the boundary position and ownership before litigation commences is therefore always advisable.

In this month’s Business Clinic, Honor Gilbert, associate and chartered legal executive at Thrings, discusses the two distinct presumptions surrounding the ‘hedge-and-ditch rule’, highlights the role of the Land Registry in determining boundary lines, and explains the hedge and ditch owners’ respective rights in the event that one needs to access the other’s land to undertake works.

Click here to read the full article in Farmers Weekly.

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