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Wild land bordering garden - Is adverse possession still legal in the UK?

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by d000hg, 3 Feb 2020.

  1. d000hg


    17 May 2013
    Thanks Received:
    United Kingdom
    Our property is detached in the country and bordered by council-owned (they own the whole countryside round here from what they told us) woodland though actual borders are not particularly clear or well-defined.

    I'd like to (sensitively) cultivate some small bits of it for instance plant native trees for sustainable firewood production, clear tangled undergrowth, prevent overcrowding, plant native flowers. I want to be very clear we view this land as something to be cared for and cherished - while we would like to get some wood out of it it's also the view from our windows so stripping out a load of trees for quick gains is not the idea. Sadly the owner has no funds to manage their woodland so it is rather unkempt.

    Nobody is realistically ever going to check because you can't even get to the land except via our property easily. Even so while I would be prepared to plant trees I wouldn't be happy chopping them down while the land was not mine. In fact we've even resisted the temptation to gather dead wood as it is good habitat for wildlife.
    So I wondered if the law still allows you to fence off a section and then in X years claim it? If so I could care for the land in the meantime and then in X years, 'annex' a section and start periodically harvesting wood from trees we have ourselves planted.

    Has anyone here done this with similar 'dead land' adjacent to their property? As it happens, half our garden was acquired in exactly this fashion decades ago by a former owner, for use as a smallholding... we have a copy of the letter!
    Last edited: 3 Feb 2020
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  3. lostinthelight


    11 Feb 2016
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    United Kingdom
    Yes I've obtained land by AP and it's not that easy.
    I had to fence to exclude others from entering , make use of the land as if it were my own for 10 -12 years, forgot which it was now, then apply to the LR .
    They send a surveyor to check what you've said in the application is true and if ok you get Possessionary title. After another 12 years of occupancy you can apply for title absolute
    If during this period the owner or anyone with a better claim comes along your claim could fail
    It no good just fencing the land you have to be seen actively using it
    If the land is owned by the crown the occupancy has to be for many decades but there's plenty of info on the land registry website
    Last edited: 3 Feb 2020
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    United Kingdom

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