Posted: 14/10/2014 at 12:46
Thanks for the ideas folks.
The current fence at the back is a low 3-bar job that most adults could step over, I was trying to train some shrubbery along it but I now realise it is elderberry so that won't really work. The area has several quite big trees (all planted too close and growing through each other), in between is mostly covered in brambles and there is a holly bush back there already, although not at the fence line. I was going to plant a hawthorn hedge, but I understand they are quite slow growing? Also there is a mature Sycamore in the middle of the fence line so impossible to plant very close to it....
It's difficult to describe the garden, there is a retaining wall down the side with council land level with the top of it, and my garden up to 1.8m below, but the wall stops 8m from the hospital fence and there is a steep bank behind the garage and across the back as it rises to the council level. It is right at the back of the low fence where the kids climb over.
I'm pretty sure I can erect a 1.8m fence in place of the low fence (pretty sure it's primary age kids so that will stop them along there), maybe try to get some prickly hedging to grow in the shade behind it. I'm just not sure what I do to stop them jumping down from the retaining wall into the gap between it and my garage (or onto my garage roof - I've had to chase them off there before, although not for a few years) I've been encouraging brambles and a dog rose along the top of the wall - although the council could decide to come and cut it all back at any time.
I'll need to contact planning and see what my options are for the wall, I might be allowed to put a fence on top of it, but it might affect the structure of the wall and I definitely can't afford to have that rebuilt!
I am a dog lover but I don't have time to look after a dog so a dog is out of the question, otherwise I would have got one long ago to solve the cat problem!
There is one particular kid whom I suspect, he had a couple of friends the first time I sent him packing but I'm sure it was one of them came up and told me he had been in my garden another time. I don't know where he lives, maybe only a few doors down, or maybe it's his gran who is a few doors down, but if I see him out with his mum or gran in the near future I'll stop and ask if it was him. It is school holidays here so it would make sense if it is his gran that lives near and looks after him in the holidays... I don't think I've seen him around since term started.
Berberis look bushier than Hawthorn and more shade tolerant.