Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied
May I clarify for the avoidance of doubt you have only been maintaining the land for the last five years or so please?
had wood pile on it and cleared it two years ago and grassed it
Sorry for the delay in reverting to you.
The law relating to adverse possession or squatters rights has changed and tightened since the introduction of the Land Registration Act; Sincethe introduction of that legislation, it has been very difficult to adversely possess registered land. If the land is unregistered the position is simpler. You need to show 12 years of occupation of the land with unregistered land. If you are unsure if it is unregistered you can check at the Land Registry by completeing a form SIM and sending it with a plan.
For registered land unfortunately the position is more difficult. If you were to make such an application for possession of registered land you need to show 10 years of occupation but all the council as registered owner need do is object to your application and your application will automatically fail unless you can show one of the following applies:
The first condition is that it would be unconscionable because of an estoppel for the neighbour as owner to seek to dispossess you of the land and the circumstances are such that you ought to be registered as the proprietor. For example that the neighbour advised you you could have the land
The second condition is that you are for some reason entitled to be registered as the proprietor - for example you inherited the property - this is unlikely to apply
The third condition is that you have been in adverse possession of land adjacent to the neighbour for at least 10 years under the mistaken but reasonable belief that you were the owner of it, the exact line of the boundary with this adjacent land has not been determined and the estate to which the application relates was registered more than a year prior to the date of the application.
Based on what you say you would need a further 5 years of further occupation of the land before you could mount an application. The Land registry tend to look for evidence of enclosure as primary evdence of occupation and control of the land.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?