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date: 24 September 2020

hedge and ditch rule 

A Dictionary of Agriculture and Land Management

Will Manley,

Katharine Foot,

Andrew Davis

Rule, established in nineteenth century English *case law, that where the boundary between two properties consists of a hedge and an artificial ditch then the boundary is along the edge of the ditch furthest from the hedge or bank. The principle behind this is that when the ditch was dug in the first place, the person who dug it would have dug it on the very edge of their land and put the soil on their side of the boundary, forming a mound on which the hedge may have later been planted; hence the boundary lies along the ditch on the far side of the hedge. However, this presumption will not apply if there is evidence that the ditch is natural, or if the land on both sides of the ditch was in the same ownership at the point when it was dug. ... ...

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