AN elderly woman told how she has been “bullied and victimised” by her neighbours after fencing off a green next to her house.

Carol Snape, 75, has been attempting to extend her garden by erecting fencing around the unclaimed piece of land next to her garden.

But residents have reacted furiously at the sight of the fencing between Florence Road and Oxford Road, Canvey.

And Carol claims she has been subjected to a hideous amount of abuse ever since, and one neighbour even smashed the fence panels overnight on Wednesday last week.

The resident believes she is doing nothing illegal by fencing off the area, as it is unclaimed land.

She said: “I spoke to a solicitor who had been dealing with land disputes for over 30 years.

“He told me it was unclaimed land so if I fenced it off I could register the land with the land registry, and in 12 years I would become the owner if no-one came forward.

“It’s a 12 foot by 6foot section, but I have been bullied and victimised about it.

“I am at my wits’ end.

“I had only put two panels up, and my neighbours were already out starting the dispute.

“One neighbour said if I put the fence up he would smash it down, and then said he was going to drive his car onto the green and park it there.”

A petition was immediately started calling for the fence panels to be removed, and gained hundreds of signatures within a few days.

The green was described as a ‘utopia’ by some residents, who allow their children to play on the open space safely within site of their homes.

The area is popular with dog walkers as well.

But now Carol feels like she is being bullied by neighbours who haven’t attempted to discuss the issue, but preferred to trade insults and damage her property.

She added: “I just wanted a bit of extra garden to put some plants and have somewhere to sit.

“I am 75-years-old and I am being abused by my neighbours.

“Then on Thursday morning, I get up and someone has been out there overnight and smashed the fence panels.”

However, Castle Point Council has disputed that the resident was legally free to fence off a section of the open space.

A spokesman from Castle Point Council said: “The land is public open space and has been maintained by the council for many years.

“The resident has no right to fence the land.”