The following Property Disputes Q&A Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
The Q&A refers to the ‘hedge and ditch rule’ which is a legal presumption that when adjoining land held by different owners is separated by a hedge and ditch, the hedge and ditch will be deemed to belong to the owner of the land on the same side of the ditch as the hedge is situated, unless there is evidence to the contrary. The two presumptions that the rule relies upon were detailed in Alan Wibberley Building Limited v Insley:
the ditch was dug after the boundary was drawn, and
when a person cuts a ditch they will do so at the very extremity of their land and any soil thrown up will be put on his own land for the planting of the hedge
If the adjoining pieces of land were in fact in sole ownership at the time the ditch was dug, the presumption will not assist sin
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