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  • Mare's Tail

    I've just paid to have a load of top soil delivered to the allotment. Gentleman in the allotment said it has Mare's Tail. The council sent someone up and they said I have to remove all the new top soil. I have contacted the farmer who refuses to take it back and denies it has Mare's Tail. I have told him he can keep the money I paid for it 150 but he still refuses to take it back. What the heck do I do with it? Going to Citizens Advice tomorrow to see if there's anything I can do. Nightmare!

  • #2
    Is there some proof that can be produced from the top soil ? ie an actual piece of Mare's Tail. If there is then I'd get a credible witness with you and take some photos - then go back to the farmer and say you will be opening a case against him in the small claims court - if he still refuses to put things right you'll have to decide if its worth your while to follow through.

    Thew relevant bit of the "sale of goods act" is that anything you buy has to be "fit for purpose" or you can demand your money back.

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    • #3
      Do you have a photo?

      It's a tricky one. From a trading standards point of view he has delivered you topsoil. It would be hard to prove that the mares tail wasn't already there so I suspect legally there isn't much you can do.

      The fact that he doesn't want to take it back, even if he could keep the original money suggests he knew it was infected and was trying to get rid of it. I can't think of any other logical reason why a farmer would strip his land of top soil.

      Removing the top soiled it is already in the beds, unless it is heavily infested may not help if it already has its roots down.
      Last edited by ecudc; 15-04-2018, 09:30 AM.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by nickdub View Post
        Is there some proof that can be produced from the top soil ? ie an actual piece of Mare's Tail. If there is then I'd get a credible witness with you and take some photos - then go back to the farmer and say you will be opening a case against him in the small claims court - if he still refuses to put things right you'll have to decide if its worth your while to follow through.

        Thew relevant bit of the "sale of goods act" is that anything you buy has to be "fit for purpose" or you can demand your money back.
        Definitely taking photos today and will see what they say at Citizens Advice.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ecudc View Post
          Do you have a photo?

          It's a tricky one. From a trading standards point of view he has delivered you topsoil. It would be hard to prove that the mares tail wasn't already there so I suspect legally there isn't much you can do.

          The fact that he doesn't want to take it back, even if he could keep the original money suggests he knew it was infected and was trying to get rid of it. I can't think of any other logical reason why a farmer would strip his land of top soil.

          Removing the top soiled it is already in the beds, unless it is heavily infested may not help if it already has its roots down.
          I've only put a few spades of it down ... it's still in the same pile the farmer left it.

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          • #6
            If it’s still all in one place you might just about get rid of it if you hire a skip and get busy with spade/barrow, but it’ll be one heck of a job....
            You might not get every last bit but should be enough to convince council you have ‘obeyed orders’....

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            • #7
              note that the test is "reasonably fit for the purpose implied" at time of sale.
              What did you tell him? did you send him any emails etc?
              If he didn't know what it was for, he may have an argument that it was good enough to be "soil"


              Bear in mind that unlike, say Japanese knotweed, marestail is a pain, but not (AFAIK) a controlled plant, so he hasn't broken any laws. that doesn't stop it not being fit for purpose, but you should be ready to evidence why it's a bad thing.

              On what grounds are the council telling you to take it away (if they have a published policy/rules etc, this is really handy as it shows that it is publically and widely known to be an issue).

              effectively, you need to answer the question "it's soil, it's got a few weeds in, so what?"
              Last edited by bikermike; 16-04-2018, 09:00 AM.

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