Niall Farrell speaks about Farm Boundaries.
Niall has dealt with farming matters for many years and aims to ensure that farmers stay in the fields and out of court.
Hello, Niall Farrell is my name of Patrick J. Farrell and Company solicitors in Newbridge. I’m going to talk to you today about farm boundaries. The last place a farmer wants to end up is in court in relation to farm boundaries and we say to our farming clients that they should know their rights and have very clear and firm boundaries with their neighbours.
In the event of a dispute, there are a number of sources of information regarding farm boundaries. The first is the land registry. Most of the country is covered by the land registry and they store digitized maps of each parcel of ground. But these maps are indicative, not definitive. The next source of information will be title deeds that are held by a farmer or have already been submitted to the land registry. The third source of information will be customs, practices and presumptions made by a court. An example of this is the hedge and ditch rule whereby a court will presume, unless evidence is shown to the contrary that a ditch, the bank behind it and the hedge on top of it are all located in the land of the farmer inside the bank.
The court will also look at the behaviour of the parties so that for example if one farmer has maintained the boundary for many years then the court will be more likely to assume that the boundary belongs to him.
It is open to the court to find that what’s involved is a party boundary whereby either both farmers own all of it or each farmer owns up to the middle of it. There are various rules regarding the maintenance of a boundary (a hedge or a boundary ditch) which we’ll talk about in subsequent videos.
The important thing is that farmers stay in their tractors and not at court. However, if it’s the case that a problem can’t be resolved and farmers do have to go to court then we’ll quite happily do that for them. We’ll work quickly to resolve matters are cheaply as possible.