Six laws you could be breaking in your own garden without you even knowing it

There are six laws Brits might be unwittingly breaking in their own garden without realising it.

As the lovely weather continues with lots of sun and clear skies many people might be increasingly spending time out in their gardens.

Either to relax and take a nap, or read, spend time playing with children or catching up with friends and family, for many Brits their personal green space is vital.

But legal experts at the BPP University Law School have revealed that even in the comforts of your own garden, there are a few ways you might be breaking the law, Wales Online reported.

Here are six laws you may not realise you are breaking, covering everything from trimming branches to snagging a stranger’s fruits.

Fruit theft
Many Brits might not have thought twice about picking up a piece of fruit that has fallen in their garden.

But by law, the neighbour whose tree it belonged to has a legal right to ask for it back.

Not only that, but removing the fruit yourself and keeping it counts as stealing.

To avoid any unnecessary run-ins with the law Brits should just return the fruit, or ask nicely.

Trimming branches
This is a problem countless Brits have run into where an annoying twig or branch from the other side of the fence has snaked across into their own garden.

But whilst frustrating, you are not allowed under law to simply hack off the bit of a tree that doesn’t belong to you.

Despite this, you are allowed to cut branches to your property line, where one garden ends and the other begins.

But to avoid conflict, it’s better to always ask first.

Plan ting trees

If people are spending more and more time in their gardens it’s quite natural that Brits may want to make some changes.

This could include planting a new tree. But anyone should think twice before they do so because under the Right to Light Act it could be illegal.

If a neighbour has had natural light accessible through a window for over 20 years, you can’t, by law, block it.

So if you are going to go happy-go-lucky with new trees, do it far away from any windows that don’t belong to you.

Asking your neighbours to clean up their leaves

If that annoying branch from your neighbour’s tree hanging in your garden is dropping leaves everywhere, then you’re in for some bad news.

Despite your desire for a clean garden, your neighbours aren’t under any legal obligation to clean up their leaves that have fallen into your garden.

It might be tempting to ask, but under law they don’t have to, and whilst throwing them back over might be tempting as well, it’s also inadvisable.

Taking flowers from your neighbours

Similar to the fruit theft, if your neighbour’s gorgeous flowers have fallen from a tree into your own garden, they can ask for them back again, under UK law.

Nor are you allowed steal a few. Instead, perhaps visit your local garden centre and buy some of your own.

Taking land disputes into your own hands

Finally, this issue that has probably torn more neighbours apart than anything else: land disputes.

Sitting in your garden more often, could lead to your thoughts wandering to topics such as ‘should my neighbour’s fence be that close to my house? Is that genuinely where the boundaries between our houses are?’

Unfortunately, as boundaries can actually move over the years, this kind of confusion can usually only be settled by contacting HM Land Registry.