Posted: 28/07/2015 at 10:39
As I explained in an earlier post, it may be possible to establish who actually "owns" the boundary, via any paperwork relating to the property in question. In any case, I should think that boundary fencing would be expected to be "fit for purpose" in rural areas especially.
A problem can arise when the land is used for a different purpose at some time - i.e. fencing or hedges which will keep cattle safely enclosed will not always be suitable for keeping sheep, so that an extra/alternative method would be needed for this "change of use" and the fencing should therefore be "fit for purpose" in this instance. This has happened round here recently when sheep have grazed land which was used for cattle, and as a result have escaped on a regular basis. In this case, I imagine that the landowner should have come to an appropriate arrangement with whoever owns the livestock on the land - sometimes it is rented out to another party - and I imagine it would be the responsibility of the owner of the livestock to ensure that the boundaries are suitable in this instance.
Obviously it's a bit different when what you want to do is to stop animals from nibbling away at any hedging etc., and I have already made some suggestions in an earlier post as to how this can be achieved.