A keen gardener is being sued by her wasp-sensitive neighbour in a "trivial" £200,000 court fight over fruit falling from her apple tree onto next door's lawn.

Dunsfold and Hascombe Horticultural Society member Antoinette Williams and her Surrey neighbour Barbara Pilcher, are at war over claims Williams has plagued her life with smelly compost bins and rotting fruit from her apple tree.

Wasp-allergic Mrs Pilcher claims she is now a "prisoner in her own home" and has been unable to use the bottom of her garden due to the pong of composters and hordes of stinging insects flocking to fallen apples which have dropped from Mrs Williams' tree onto her grass.

Central London County Court heard that Mrs Pilcher is thought to have already run up a "horrific" £200,000 lawyers' bill in the fight with her green-fingered neighbour.

She claims she has suffered years of harassment, trespass and nuisance and seeks compensation - plus an injunction to prevent any future problems.

But gardener Mrs Williams is defending the claim, and says her neighbour's case is groundless and "trivial".

Barbara Pilcher outside Central London County Court (


Champion News)

She also told Judge Laurence Cohen QC that Mrs Pilcher ramped up tensions herself when she "made a very rude gesture" at her in a clash over car parking.

The court heard that Mrs Williams moved into Frensham Cottage, Dunsford, near Godalming, nearly 40 years ago, while Mrs Pilcher bought adjoining Farleigh Cottage, in 2010.

But in 2013 tensions developed over the boundary between their two rear gardens, followed later on by claims from Mrs Pilcher that Mrs Williams had blocked her right of way through her garden and allowed damp to filter into her home.

Oliver Newman, Mrs Pilcher's barrister, told Central London County Court the first alleged "incident of trespass" came in April 2013 when Mrs Williams strayed into the neighbouring garden and removed a plant.

Other flare-ups followed over the months and years. The feuding neighbours had one highly charged brush in January 2015, when Mrs Pilcher called the police, complaining her neighbour had banged on her front door and shouted at her, before repeatedly driving over the grass verge and gesturing rudely.

Picture shows the adjoining homes of warring neighbours Barbara Pilcher (left) and Antoinette Williams (right) in Dunsford, Surrey (


Champion News)

In court, Mrs Williams insisted it was she who was provoked by her neighbour after Mrs Pilcher gave her the middle finger from her window earlier in the day.

Pressed by the judge to expand about the gesture, Mrs Williams explained: "I would rather not do it in court - I do apologise - because she put the third finger up and it's not in my demeanour to do that."

Mrs Pilcher also claims damages for nuisance based on how her neighbour's fruit falls into her garden from Mrs Williams' apple tree, attracting insects and also how her neighbour positioned composters at the boundary of their gardens, allegedly causing a stench for Mrs Pilcher.

Mrs William's failure to properly prune the apple tree, Mrs Pilcher's barrister says, has meant wasps have descended on the garden.

Last year, Mrs Pilcher retrieved around 1,000 fallen apples from the ground in her desperation to avoid being stung again after a 2018 wasp attack that left her hospitalised, the court heard.

Picture shows the back garden of Barbara Pilcher's home, Farleigh Cottage, in Dunsford (


Champion News)

Upon Mrs Williams' refusal to cut the tree back, the claimant exercised her right to do so in June 2014. Mrs Pilcher's culling of the tree further frayed tensions, the court heard.

With the original dispute over boundary rights now resolved, Mrs Pilcher is currently pursuing claims over damp seepage, obstructing her right of way - plus the allegations of harassment, nuisance and trespass.

Mrs Pilcher has logged some of her neighbour's alleged antics on CCTV and kept a "diary of incidents", the court heard.

She also claims Mrs Williams harassed her by "coughing and making noises near her" and by pinching her post.

And her barrister told Judge Cohen the stress of the alleged feud have made her begin cognitive behavioural therapy.

"The claimant has been left feeling like a prisoner in her own home, frightened of how Mrs Williams will react to any action, having to hide from her and with her family reluctant to visit her."

Mrs William's lawyer branded Mrs Pilcher's trespass, harassment and obstruction claims "trivial", and said he had hoped they would have been dropped before reaching trial.

The trial is continuing.