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South Yorkshire, United Kingdom Gb

I have a 6ft fence at the bottom of my garden. Beyond that fence is the railway embankment which has various trees growing along its top. The 2 trees in my area are 1 oak and 1 maple. I have noticed in the last 6 months that there is a gap forming at the base of my fence which is getting larger. I stood near my fence and noticed how soft and pliable the ground is, also it was easy to squash the ground and my foot went under the fence making the gap a little bigger. I am wondering if the type of trees are affecting the soil or should I be looking at some other reason why the ground is soft.



Carebear, does the railway embankment slope up from your fence or down? It does sound a bit alarming. My first reaction would be that all the wet weather you have been having up there is undermining the soil, and if the railway line is below the level of your garden, you could have the beginnings of a landslip. I don't think the type of tree here is making a lot of difference. I would think you might be well advised to get an engineer to look at it. Better safe than sorry.

7 Aug, 2012


Thankyou Gattina, yes I thought it maybe alarming too as the embankment goes down to the railway (and an active one at that)! I think I may need to start with the council then. Thanks for the advice, appreciated.

8 Aug, 2012


Good idea - at least something may be done in time if there's a danger, and you'll be reassured if there isn't. Keep records of everything in case your garden starts to disappear!

8 Aug, 2012


If you are a senior and /or on benefits you could check with Citizens Advice if they offer a free surveyor service. This seems very effective for all sorts of problems for people who cannot afford a surveyor to look at a problem and write a report. My brother in law had a surveyor look at a potential landslip from his property into a public highway and was told it needed urgent attention. The problem was (expensively solved). They feel safer. They have a refurbished garden too which looks fabulous and keeps value (perhaps) on the property.

8 Aug, 2012


And in the meantime, make sure you have a supply of red flannel petticoats (see The railway Children......)

8 Aug, 2012


Guys. Thanks for all the advice. I've contacted Network Rail direct who are organising an engineer to come and have a look at the area. My neighbours fence has a gap much bigger than mine! The guys at work think burrowing rabbits may also be a contributory factor. Lets hope so and its easy to fix. Keep you posted.

14 Aug, 2012


It's good to know they've acted relatively quickly, Carebear. It'll be really interesting to know the outcome of the report.

14 Aug, 2012

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