Overgrown or rubbish filled gardens

Find out what we can do about gardens that are overgrown or filled with waste.


Plants or trees overgrowing into your garden from a neighbour’s property can be frustrating.

We will not usually get involved in this kind of dispute, as it is a civil matter. If the overgrowth is damaging your property, you should get independent legal advice.

We suggest you talk to your neighbour before taking any action.

Some trees in our district are protected by tree preservation orders (TPOs). This means you cannot take any action without applying for permission. You can find out if a tree is protected online.

If you live in a conservation area all trees are protected and you need permission before starting work.

You are allowed to cut back any unprotected overgrowing plants to the boundary line of your garden. You can pass the cuttings back through to the overgrown side, or dispose of them yourself.

Garden cuttings can be composted, put in a Green Waste Club brown bin or taken to your local household recycling centre.

It is illegal to disturb bird nests or damage the shelters of some animals. You should always check for animals before you cut anything back.

Messy or rubbish-filled gardens

Gardens filled with rubbish are not nice to look at, but not illegal. We cannot act against anyone for having a messy garden.

Sometimes an overgrown or messy garden may cause an infestation of pests such as rats, but this is rare.

If you think a neighbour’s garden is causing a pest issue on your property, and setting traps has not solved the problem, we can investigate.

Report a pest problem caused by a neighbour's garden