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Author Topic: Who owns the drainage ditch ?  (Read 584 times)

JulianS

  • Joined Dec 2019
Who owns the drainage ditch ?
« on: December 19, 2019, 10:59:30 am »
Hi
I have a field with a thick hedge between it and the road.  The hedge has grown over the drainage ditch next to the road and as a result water flows down the road when it runs off my neighbours fields and can’t use the ditch any more.
Q. Is it my responsibility to clear out the ditch or do they belong to the council ?
Voss Electric Fence

sandspider

  • Joined Aug 2015
  • Bristol
Re: Who owns the drainage ditch ?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2019, 10:53:54 am »
If the hedge is your boundary, I'd guess the ditch belongs to the council. If the road is your boundary, I'd guess it belongs to you?

Note that I'm guessing here! You could contact the council to ask?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Who owns the drainage ditch ?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2019, 11:44:36 am »
It should also be in your deeds.  If the Council has never done anything to the ditch then it could well be yours to sort. However, if it's the Council's then you would be in the wrong by doing anything to it without their permission I suspect.
Who cuts the hedge on the road side?  If that's you, then it sounds as if you need to cut back your hedge on that side to expose the ditch anyway. 
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Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Who owns the drainage ditch ?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2019, 01:17:50 pm »
When our farm got broken up and sold whoever owned the hedge owned the ditch even though it was on the other fields boundary.  This dates from hedges being planted in the spoil dug out of the ditches when they were first made.

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Who owns the drainage ditch ?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2019, 01:54:12 pm »
Is the ditch on your side of the hedge or the road side? I know you say its grown over but you should be able to see what side it grew from. I would take the centre line of the hedge as the boundary and the side with the ditch on owns it!

A local person here was prosicuted recently a couple of years ago as a car skidded on surface water and the driver was killed. Council blamed the person who owned the field water was flowing from. The outcome was that the council hadn't cleaned a blocked drain and were liable.

I would speak to the council I think, make sure you don't agree to do anything that would make you liable for any furure maintanance in their eyes though.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Who owns the drainage ditch ?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2019, 06:16:03 pm »
Normally the overgrown hedge is your responsibility,but the ditch may or may not be as others say speak to your council as they normally have ownership of  1 yard either side of the tarmac

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Who owns the drainage ditch ?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2019, 10:06:32 pm »
When our farm got broken up and sold whoever owned the hedge owned the ditch even though it was on the other fields boundary.  This dates from hedges being planted in the spoil dug out of the ditches when they were first made.


Buttercup is correct.
It is a long established ruling, confirmed by courts over the years, that whoever owns the hedge also owns the ditch on the far side of the hedge.
This dates from when the ditch was originally dug out. Obviously the person digging the ditch would have dug it on his own land, not his neighbour's and similarly would have deposited the soil he dug out on his own land also. It then seemed customary to plant a hedge on this mound of soil that ran along the edge of the ditch. So you ended up with a field, bounded by a hedge, on the other side of which was a ditch and all belonged to the owner of the field.
So Julian S - I'm sorry to break it to you that the ditch is entirely yours, and so your responsibility to keep it clear.

                Google "Hedge and Ditch rule."
« Last Edit: December 20, 2019, 10:20:06 pm by landroverroy »
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Who owns the drainage ditch ?
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2019, 06:14:43 pm »
While we have no hedges just walls /fences / tree plantations , we have many km of open ditches running within 1mt of the tarmac , all looked after  ( or not ) by the council  ,same with grass cutting and any scrub overgrowing into the 1mt strip . A  friend  wanted to replace a fence and thought he had the ground right up to the tarmac , but the council made him take it down and move back to  1 yard from the tarmac

JulianS

  • Joined Dec 2019
Re: Who owns the drainage ditch ?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2020, 09:11:03 am »
Thanks for all the replys - really useful.  I've contacted the council, but as it's been christmas, i'm waiting on a reply.

 

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