Blazing trees, a smashed greenhouse and a mooning millionaire have all featured in a bitter six year border dispute between neighbours in one of Surrey's poshest suburbs. Gerald Mead and wife Heather, of Forest Lodge, Forest Drive, in Kingswood, have been locked in an escalating conflict with neighbour, Neville Williams, over a narrow strip of land between their properties - each worth well in excess of £1m.
Mr Mead, who has lived there for 19 years, insists he owns the land and has planted trees on it over the years, but his neighbour of 12 years is equally insistent it belongs to him. Mr Williams, 53, says that a document from the Land Registry, seen by both parties, proves this, and is within his rights to cut down Mr Mead's trees and put up a "conifer screen" instead.
After a war of words lasting years, Mr Williams, a director of several companies, took matters into his own hands and started chopping down the trees this summer. Then, while the Meads were away on holiday, more trees were cut down. An attempt to burn the severed trunks got out of hand and spread to more of the trees, destroying the Mead's greenhouse - an accident for which Mr Williams has apologised, and offered to pay.
The latest flashpoint came last month when Mr Neville mooned at the Meads - which they captured on camera. Mr Williams said: "Yes I did remove my trousers but I only did that after 18 months of Mrs Mead hiding in the bushes taking photos of me." Police have been called in and have spoken to both parties. Unable to resolve the conflict, they have referred the men to mediation - although an earlier mediation attempt failed a few years ago.