Who owns the hedgerows?

Another slice of our village has been butchered by farming vandals. The lane is communal, and was a beautiful walk, but the farmer has chopped down all the trees. The Mayor said he is powerless to act because it’s their land.

Question is, who owns the trees? Isn’t there a law against this barbarism?


Not sure if this is against SF rules, so feel free to remove this paragraph:
I’m having a heated argument on my village’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/bessais.le.fromental/ and my personal page
I’m not seeking new fb friends but please comment only on this article, preferably venting your dismay and anger, in French or English!

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It’s a massacre Robert. The more trees that are cut down, the less wildlife we will see. The water will ‘run-off’ and there will be more flooding of fields. Featurless acres of land …
No excuse, unless the trees are diseased, maybe the farmer is selling the trees for wood ?
Coppicing and management I understand but this is butchery, shame for the generations that follow on ! :frowning:

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Thick Peasants! How bloody awful :frowning:

Hi Robert…

If the trees are growing on private land… they belong to the landowner.

I understand your fury, but I suspect you will find the landowner is well within his rights to remove them.

From the “scaled” Plan Cadastrale (or however you spell it) it will be possible to gauge the width of the public chemin and I suspect that when you measure the chemin in situ, it will show that the trees are outside this…

Trees and hedges were/are normally used by the landowner to mark boundaries… and planted 60cm inside their boundary. (I think that is about right).

Seriously, if the Mairie are saying there is nothing they can do… then, it is clearly private land… as the Mairie would hold all the necessary information on who owns what.


Gah, the voice of reason! Merci.

Farmers can get away with anything. No doubt I’ll have a benne full of manure and tyres in my courtyard tomorrow morning!

Depends if this is within a natural regional park, or there are constraints on the farmer from the grant he gets from common agricultural policy? There are some protections in France, but whether or not they are enforced is another matter.

See here for an idea of what might be in force

Some years ago the Mairie asked me to attend and translate…as the farmer wanted to widen a public chemin to enable his combine (or whatever) to gain access to his fields further down.

I had to explain what was happening, to his English neighbours and we more or less wept together as the most beautiful trees were demolished.

The farmer was prepared to go the whole hog…on both sides of the chemin… and down to its very end… but my horror was obviously understood by the maire, who was present (thank heaven).

Thankfully he listened to my pleas and ordered that the minimum length of chemin should be “cleared”… .with all the clearing/widening to be on the farmer’s side. Thus we ensured that none of the trees belonging to the English neighbours were “accidently” touched…except a couple that had tumbled well into the chemin itself.

It’s a fine balance… the countryside … between farmers who live off the land… and us who live on the land… if you get my drift… :zipper_mouth_face:


Thanks JJ. Can you jpeg that so I post it on fb please?


Just open it then copy and paste the link.

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Thanks! Posted.