/ Just been told to 'get off my land'
I was on a clear track at the time, my route was taking me to a bridleway and all on farm access tracks, i.e. not across planted land. I didn't have a dog, wasn't hunting and I fail to see what the problem was really.
What an arse....
And what did you do?
If you were on a public wright of way you can report the land owner to your council rights of way.
> If you were on a public wright of way you can report the land owner to your council rights of way.
I don't know if it was. It is marked as a track on the OS map (2 parallel dashed lines) but I don't know if it was public or private.
I explained where I was going (it was only about 800m), that it was all on tracks and asked if that was ok.
He said no and then sat and waited until I was back by the road!
Not Scotland then?
And if you weren't on a public right of way or on Open Access land, are you surprised? If you have a path in your garden, does that give everybody the right to use it?
On the other hand, if you were on a right of way / Open Access land, do what dazmac suggests (assuming of course that he was in fact the landowner).
Assuming you are south of the border (due to your reference to bridleway)it doesn't sound to me like you were on a public right of way, and so unfortunately the landrover was legally entitled to ask you to leave.
Rights of way are marked as pink on 1:50k and green on 1:25k OS maps. If its CROW access land then thats a different matter, but ordinary farmland tends not to be.
Obviously you weren't on a right of way then, so calling the landowner an arse is out of order.
If the OP wasn't on a right of way, that prolly means the landowner was within his rights. It does not necessarily mean he wasn't being an arse.
I once walked down a driveway in rural Surrey asking if they could help me find the right of way as i didin't want to trespass. I was duly told i was trespassing on their driveway and ordered to leave.
I moved back to Scotland 4 weeks later.
Different case entirely. Your garden is paid for by you. Most farmers only survive thanks to the taxes paid that fund the CAP. The OP was not doing any harm. The appropriate response from the farmer would have been to tug his forelock and say thank-you sir, please carry on.
> I once walked down a driveway in rural Surrey
> I moved back to Scotland 4 weeks later.
Unless I have misunderstood Scottish access law you aren't allowed to walk down private driveways there either, Reverend?
> Unless I have misunderstood Scottish access law you aren't allowed to walk down private driveways there either, Reverend?
You must be right...i haven't had any mail for years and god knows where my newpapers have been going!
> Obviously you weren't on a right of way then, so calling the landowner an arse is out of order.
Right of way or not, I was causing no trouble. The landowner may well have been well within his rights but I still think he was an arse. I was walking down a track in the countryside, not crossing his garden, walking down his drive, spoiling his crops or otherwise being a nuisance!
you still have no right to be there just because its a hell of a lot bigger than a garden and possibly he claims subsidies, how many house owners claim child tax credit ect?
Oh, sorry, my mistake - I stand corrected.
Ok, you still think he was an arse, and that's fine - provided you also accept that others think the same epithet applies to your good (trespassing) self.
Maybe he's been experiencing trouble of some sort prior to today - people vandalising his tractors or stealing stuff or mutilating his cows, and it's made him a bit defensive. Maybe he's had a run in with the local militant walkers, or maybe his mum has just died.
No right of way (and you knew it) means you were in the wrong. The Farmer is perfectly within his rights to tell you to get off his land because it's his land...
Giving him aggro a) Won't help you cross his land and b) Probably won't give him any cause to give quarter to 'wanker ramblers' (as he now sees you) in the future.
But it's ok - you've moaned about it on the internet, so I'm sure someone will be along to tell you you're right soon enough.
> Giving him aggro a) Won't help you cross his land and b) Probably won't give him any cause to give quarter to 'wanker ramblers' (as he now sees you) in the future.
I didn't give him aggro, why have you presumed that I did? Or is 'wanker ramblers' actually indicative of how you see walkers?
> No right of way (and you knew it) means you were in the wrong. The Farmer is perfectly within his rights to tell you to get off his land because it's his land...
> Giving him aggro a) Won't help you cross his land and b) Probably won't give him any cause to give quarter to 'wanker ramblers' (as he now sees you) in the future.
> But it's ok - you've moaned about it on the internet, so I'm sure someone will be along to tell you you're right soon enough.
Having dealt with less than cooperative farmers on numerous occasions when kids have gone for an explore on d of e, the issue is usually less that they are an arse but more that they are pig sick of folk wandering aimlessly where they shouldn't be.
Your OP makes it sound like you were in a sulk while/after he told you to get off his property.
And yes, I often see myself as a wanker...
"Unless I have misunderstood Scottish access law you aren't allowed to walk down private driveways there either, Reverend?"
Actually you are - not always of course, but a long drive that is far from the house should not be barred. I was in this situation today where a road to the hill had one of those foul keep out signs which litter England - nearly 1km from the house. Not ignored entirely, just modified my route a wee bit to avoid the house. Still used the "drive" though.
The first action taken under the new law was to open the gated bridge on the drive of Alltchaoruin in Glen Etive.
I was once told to get orf my land - on my own land! Loved that, still p-ing myself laughing.
Meanwhile - why does walking down a road on a farm, something we take for granted suddenly become an evil act 2 miles north of Berwick?
As a generalisation you are correct, however in some circumstances, in Scotland you may take access via private drives, see last sentence of:
'3.16 Some larger houses are surrounded by quite large areas of
land referred to as the “policies” of the house. These are
usually areas of grassland, parkland or woodland. Here, too,
you will need to make a judgement in the light of the particular
circumstances. Parts of the policies may be intensively
managed for the domestic enjoyment of the house and include lawns, flowerbeds, paths, seats, sheds, water features and
summerhouses. Access rights would not extend to these
intensively managed areas. The wider, less intensively
managed parts of the policies, such as grassland and
woodlands, whether enclosed or not, would not be classed as
a garden and so access rights can be exercised. In these areas
of grassland, parkland or woodland, you can also exercise
access rights along driveways, except where the ground
becomes a garden, and pass by gatehouses and other
However the OP was using a farm track, so hypothetically if it were in Scotland access would have most likely have been permissible (see last 4 bullet points in particular):
'Where and when you can exercise access
2.2 Everyone, whatever their age or ability, can exercise access
rights over most land and inland water in Scotland, at any time
of day or night, providing they do so responsibly. These rights
do not extend to all places or to all activities (see paragraphs
2.11 to 2.15). Provided you do so responsibly (see Parts 3 and
5 of the Code), you can exercise access rights in places such
• hills, mountains and moorland;
• woods and forests;
• most urban parks, country parks and other managed open
• rivers, lochs, canals and reservoirs;
• riverbanks, loch shores, beaches and the coastline;
• land in which crops have not been sown;
• on the margins of fields where crops are growing or have
been sown;grassland, including grass being grown for hay or silage
(except when it is at such a late stage of growth that it is
likely to be damaged);
• fields where there are horses, cattle and other farm animals;
• on all core paths agreed by the local authority;
• on all other paths and tracks where these cross land on
which access rights can be exercised'
Source SNH website
I was once told that the footpath I was on wasn't a footpath then after I showed him it on the map he said 'It's not there for you folk from London to wander up and down, it was put there for postman to get from one farm to the other.' The 12 scouts I was with were then told not to follow me as I didn't know what I was doing.
I had followed a footpath that the farmer had left the entrance to overgrow and taken the sign at the road away. We met him at the farm end where the signpost that he hadn't removed pointed back down the footpath we had just come along that 'didn't exist.'
So if you are on benefits you've to allow the public into your garden and house then?
Actually, they can remove a trespasser 'using no more force than is reasonably necessary'. However, the Police advise against landowners using any physical removal as it 'could' open up the landowner to all sorts of counter-claim etc etc.
> I didn't give him aggro,
Trespass on it's own is a civil offence.
Trespass + some other crime, say poaching, is a criminal act.
You do not need to be asked to leave before committing an act of trespass.
Therefore if you are on private property you are trespassing. If you won't leave then the landowner, or someone acting for the landowner can use 'reasonable force' to remove you from the said land.
And if you are on private property and committing a crime, such as poaching, and you are the landowner or his/her agent you are well within your rights to make what is commonly referred to as a 'citizens arrest'.
Don't listen to the self righteous pillocks saying he wasn't being an arse and blaming you - he was being an arse and so are your detractors. You were doing no harm, walking along a track, causing no damage or anything, nothing wrong with that morally. Years ago this wouldn't have happened but alas in the South of England it is getting more and more common, often new landowners have a different attitude to most before. The same sort of problem arises when out mushrooming - an accepted country practice but one which such property maniacs challenge too.
The problem is that they can be intimidating and even if they have no right to use violence against you, it's only a civil matter, it's a bit like road ragers... once they get started you don't know when they will stop.
PS. You could come on ukc complaining about being raped and robbed and there'd always be some to pop up to say what did you do to provoke them :-)
> Not Scotland then?
After reading some of the posts on this thread, I'm thankful the majority of my UK outdoor activities are in Scotland.
I'm amazed that no-one south of the border has looked at the Scottish access laws and realised it is possible to have a sensible balance that can protect privacy and business at the same time avoiding completely pointless 'get off my land' incidents like the one in the OP.
> Don't listen to the self righteous pillocks saying he wasn't being an arse and blaming you - he was being an arse and so are your detractors. You were doing no harm, walking along a track, causing no damage or anything, nothing wrong with that morally. Years ago this wouldn't have happened but alas in the South of England it is getting more and more common, often new landowners have a different attitude to most before. The same sort of problem arises when out mushrooming - an accepted country practice but one which such property maniacs challenge too.
I don't know which part of the UK you're talking about but I'm most definitely not happy when I catch anyone pinching mushrooms without having the common civility to ask first.
You were technically trespassing if off a right of way but his response may well have been coloured by previous experience of anti-social trespassers or he might be a subsidy sucking arse..who can say?
Even when you KNOW you are on a public right of way you really should avoid all conflict and just nod and smile and make your way off and report it to the RoW officer at the council who will look into it. It's just not worth risking a slanging match or worse just because you don't like to be told you are wrong.
> Therefore if you are on private property you are trespassing. If you won't leave then the landowner, or someone acting for the landowner can use 'reasonable force' to remove you from the said land.
I believe you are wrong. Can you provide anything to counter what is written here:
A farmer came haring up in his pickup, raising a massive cloud of dust.
Ammusing, because he had a go at us for raising dust - we were obviously stopped and all being on decent enduro bikes could have easily got away if we wanted.
He was aggressive and refused to tell us where the byway DID go.
He told us there were 'private property' signs, yet when we went back, they were all facing the other way, so we wouldn't have seen them.
The sign for the byway turning off on his property was well hidden by ivy.
If people have done everything possible to make it clear where you can legally ride, I can understand getting angry. But when people are quite happy to try and cover up the legal routes, they start to lose the moral ground to my mind.
Thankfully I'm lazy, but was tempted to find out who he was and maybe contact some of the people he does business with (presuming it was his place), with some appropriate moaning.
I quite agree but the nature of the land is different, more crowded, more expensive, more "get off my land" -ish. Without wanting to harp back to "the good old days", I'd say there has been a change in attitudes, when I was a youth you could more or less wander where you wanted, most people were less possessive, farmers tolerated harmless access to fields and tracks, whether they were rights of way or not so a law like the Scottish one wasn't necessary. Now, mostly due to the change of attitudes of some land-owners it clearly is. Many places I walked freely back then now have fences and "no entry" signs, sometimes on public paths even.
Golf clubs, horsey setups, hunting establishments have popped up everywhere and are amongst the worse, not to mention "gentleman farmers" playing back to the land, plus rich land owners, Paul McCartney, for example, who have fenced off acres and acres, cameras and heavies on patrol included.
You loikes 'em to tug their forlocks, duz ee?
Your a couple of centuries out of sync.
It's not with such a tolerant attitude that things will change though, is it? They are morally wrong, whatever laws made by land owners for land owners may say.
> It's not with such a tolerant attitude that things will change though, is it? They are morally wrong, whatever laws made by land owners for land owners may say.
If you spend thousands of pounds on sowing grain only to have people wandering all over your crops I think you'd want them to stick to the paths. There's nothing morally wrong with owning land.
Footpaths should be re-routed through the proper methods, not just allowed to become overgrown. There should be, if there isn't already, a law requiring land owners to maintain clear paths. Most do.
I recently came to a new housing development where the footpath was still in existence. It was signposted and ran between two houses. You had to turn sideways to get down it, take your pack off and two people wouldn't have passed. It's not just farmers.
> You loikes 'em to tug their forlocks, duz ee?
> Your a couple of centuries out of sync.
You really are a fool sometimes!
Is not about your rather quaint idea of forelock tugging a simple please will do. Good manners cost nowt.
Don't you understand the simple idea of asking rather than just punching something.
The owner of the land could commit several criminal offences if he forcibly removes the trespasser and his/her property from the land. The best and safest course of action is to obtain a court order, which if breached may then turn into a criminal matter.
If the police do attend an incident such as this, they are merely there as observers for any possible criminal offences committed by either party. The police cannot assist in the removal of the trespassers or their property from the land in question. The police do have some powers against larger groups of occupiers if damage has been caused."
> The problem is that they can be intimidating and even if they have no right to use violence against you, it's only a civil matter, it's a bit like road ragers... once they get started you don't know when they will stop.
I agree with you. It's an unpleasant shock coming from Scotland to find the landowning attitudes rife in England. Mirrored by the UKC posters!
How many years ago?
I can think of a few times I've been told to leave someone's land, all in Yorkshire, all between 10 and 25 years ago.
Can't really see the point in making an issue about it - there are enough places that we are allowed to go. And add to those all those places we're not allowed to go but the landowners don't object, and most of the country is covered. Except the south of England, but who'd want to go there anyway ;-)
Sounds to me like the landowner was being an arse and you were, in my opinion, doing nothing wrong. However, as you wern't on a right of way and were the wrong side of the imaginary line between Berwick and Carlisle, you had no legal right to be there.
One would hope that a landowner would (a) realise that you were doing no harm , and (b) accept that people should have a right to roam, so long as they do no harm (including crop damage). However unfortunately he had the right to tell you to leave. Its something people have fought for for hundreads of years (e.g. the Kinder mass trespass). I think it is wishfull thinking that England/Wales will adopt the excellent scottish access laws any time soon. The labour government made a step in the crow act, that was met with quite serious opposition, and i cant imagine the current govenment doing anything to improve the situation. You'd best move to scotland mate
If the OP was not on a public right of way, then the landowner is well within his rights to ask him to leave. It's not a case of being polite or just passing through. It's about the legality of it. Very importantly, his action of asking a person to leave the land demonstrates under section 31 of the Highways Act 1980 that he has no intention to dedicate a path on his land. If he didnt do this, then it could give rise to a claim for a public path, no doubt this is not what he wants. If he was a nice cheaply, he could give 'permission' for you to pass on his land which then leaves you no right to claim a path. Under these circumstances, there is no point arguing with a landowner. Apologise in good faith and leave.
I'm a farmer and personally don't have a problem with people crossing our land, as long as you aren't trampling crops or scaring animals theres no harm done, unfortunately most farmrrs aren't like me and can be quite dickish about it, but its their land and you have to respect their rules.
> Very importantly, his action of asking a person to leave the land demonstrates under section 31 of the Highways Act 1980 that he has no intention to dedicate a path on his land. If he didnt do this, then it could give rise to a claim for a public path
That's a hell of a stretch. What the Act says is:
"Where a way over any land… has been actually enjoyed by the public as of right and without interruption for a full period of 20 years, the way is to be deemed to have been dedicated as a highway unless there is sufficient evidence that there was no intention during that period to dedicate it."
which is rather more demanding than one rambler being permitted to walk unmolested.
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200607/ldjudgmt/jd070620/godman-1.htm is a House of Lords case that has established the criteria for "intention".
To all those who are supposing that I was in someway rude to the farmer - you are wrong.
Throughout the exchange I was polite, I apologised for my mistake and then asked if he minded me carrying on my route. It is possible to conduct yourself I'm the correct way even if you think someone is being an arse (which I still do).
I am surprised by the level of self righteous indignation that this thread has produced.
I will post a link to the track in question.
I am a farmer too. I have no problems at all with people using ROW over our land. I generally don't have a problem with people being on bits that aren't a ROW. However, if they were not on the ROW and I asked them politely to return to the ROW, I would expect them to do so.
I can give a couple of examples of why:
We used to have one man that walked his dog al over the place. I didn't have a problem with this, but asked him to keep out of the way when we were shooting. I have him times and dates when were were likely to be out. One day he appeared in the middle of one of the woods while we were actually shooting. Despite hearing guns going off all morning, he said he didn't think we were shooting.
We have had a spate of thefts from our buildings. Our tractor driver has actually caught three people red handed. Despite getting the vehicle reg. and being able to identify two of the scum, because they went to the same school as him, the police have failed to prosecute them.
So if your aren't on a ROW and I politely ask you to move, I would expect you to do so.
Illegal in Scotland. No one is asking for this. The change in attitude in England during my lifetime is depressing. A lot can be put down to the fashion for selfishness we suffered a few years back, but the killer is the pheasant industry. The money there is huge, and I have repeatedly been hassled on footpaths by gamies. Strangely enough, Scotland is covered in pheasants too.
As for the population thing, while vast areas are nearly empty, the Central belt compares with urban England for population density.
Nothing wrong with owning land - more of us should be doing it! Owning access however is dubious.
John Major was a notorious goml apologist and spoke out against footpaths as they gave access for burglars. A lovely idea, the thought that the scum that regularly rearranged my bedroom furniture were mortified that they were off the road.
You have to leave when asked. However when in England, I have to be *asked* to leave, and suffer from extreme literacy issues with notices nailed to trees. While maintaining the standards expected of me here in Scotland, I will not be my own jailer.
We have had a spate of thefts from our buildings. Our tractor driver has actually caught three people red handed. Despite getting the vehicle reg. and being able to identify two of the scum, because they went to the same school as him, the CPS have failed to prosecute them.
There you go - fixed that for you
A very good point. Like.
> There you go - fixed that for you
Thank you. The CPS also failed to prosecute two other scum who were caught stealing our quad bike. They were caught by the police (well done to the Police) a couple of miles away after the quad ran out of petrol.
I grew up on a farm. There was a pat up the side of our field, regularly used by paragliders to get the top of the hill and walkers to access the public right of way at the top.
The path was caused simply by the number walking up the field- it was not a path we put there or wanted. The fact that there was a public foot path less than 20meters in the next field (also ours) which was well sign posted irritated us no end. Yes, most of the walkers shut the gate properly, didn't drop litter or scare the sheep and horses but that wasn't the point- the few that did spoiled it for the rest. It is also a case for liability- if they fell, injured themselves or damaged our property, deliberately or accidentally.
At the end of the day if it isn't a public right of way, get off it. You may think you are doing n harm, but what if there are endagered species that you are disturbing, they have just sprayed chemicals, or you are contributing to a 'path' others think they can then use.
And no, we didn't take subsidies, I don't know a farmer that did.
Why? That's what the Internet is for :-)
Well as this thread is about someone who was walking on a farm track, not crops, then I don't see how this remark is relevant.
Of course you should not walk across crops, although as very often farmers just plough over public rights of ways that cross their fields often you have no choice.
That applies both ways though, in this example the landowner, or whoever it was driving the car, wasn't polite was he? He could have simply asked the OP if he realised that he was not on a public right of way, informed him for future reference than let him continue the few hundred yards required, but he didn't. He made him about turn just out of arrogance.
Clearly a Scottish style sea-change in laws is what's required though, nowadays politesse is something that many newcomers to the countryside don't understand.
You really aren't getting this are you? The comments made by posters who disagree with your sense of somehow being "hard done by" are not expressing "self-righteous indignation", they are merely pointing out that YOU were in the wrong by being on private property, whether you like it or not.
FFS, put your bottom lip away before you trip over it!
In reply to John W: Why is it wrong? I have just done what the OP did and it was perfectly legitimate. I even (pause for the horror to sink in) entered a woodland!
Wow! Why is this debate still going on? The OP was legally in the wrong. Is there any more to be said? Crikey UKC. Sort it out!
Just for the record... shoots on Saturday are organised around public rights of way. There is a high chance you disturbed a drive - hence the land rover.
That can cost a farmer quite a bit of cash.
> He could have simply asked the OP if he realised that he was not on a public right of way, informed him for future reference than let him continue the few hundred yards required, but he didn't. He made him about turn just out of arrogance.
We don't know enough to say that. What if there were a line of guns over the brow awaiting a drive? The OP could potentially have been in significant danger.
What if the farmer were pushing cattle down that track?
Any number of scenarios are potentially fatal to the OP. In fact a walker was killed on the farm next door exactly due to this second point.
Bruce, I've read a lot of your posts... sometimes you really need to stop and think.
"Aye, and who owns all this land then"
" Aye and how did he get it for isenn"
"His and my forefathers fought for it"
"reet then" says Lenny taking off his coat " I'll feet thee for it now"
THe gamekeepers left them in peace to climb for the day.
> Wow! Why is this debate still going on? The OP was legally in the wrong. Is there any more to be said? Crikey UKC. Sort it out!
What so if someone is legally in the wrong then that's that? Is there never a time to question the morality, validity and sensibility of a law that effects us? And if such laws should be questioned by us punters I think an Internet forum is a pretty good place to start.
I find this topic particularly interesting because I live in Scotland but my girlfriend is nagging me to move to Newcastle with her, but I'm really concerned about the restrictions I'll face in the outdoors as currently I enjoy hill running and this often takes me over farmers land. I'm not sure I could enjoy the same freedom to explore the local countryside if I move south of the border. I'd love it if the UK government gave more access rights to the people in England and Wales as it's been fantastic for Scotland and Scottish people.
> What so if someone is legally in the wrong then that's that? Is there never a time to question the morality, validity and sensibility of a law that effects us? And if such laws should be questioned by us punters I think an Internet forum is a pretty good place to start.
Or, as is 99.99% of times the case: "none of these things", as you know as well as I do. If people want to organise dangerous activities, like hunting animals or spraying using noxious chemicals it is their responsibility to make sure no one is inconvenienced - the days of the divine right of land owners are over.
And before you start on more fallacious examples, we are all talking about open farmland here, classed as agricultural, not your or my back garden.
> There is a difference between disagreeing with a law and choosing to ignore it because you don't think should apply to you.
Exactly. Of course we must always question whether a law should remain a law. However in this case, the OP feels hard done by... he doesn't accept he has committed an act of trespass, and this thread is full of people backing him up. I am pointing out he doesn't have a leg to stand on.
> the OP feels hard done by... he doesn't accept he has committed an act of trespass, and this thread is full of people backing him up. I am pointing out he doesn't have a leg to stand on.
No, I perfectly accept that I committed an act of 'trespass'. My initial point, and it's a shame that this has to be spelt out, was to encourage a debate about whether it is right that the countryside is governed in this way. It is possible to think more conceptually about these things.
I don't feel hard done by - it was a fleeting incident on one day of my life which hasn't affected me in any way. My other point was that, in these particular circumstances, it would have been no hassle to the farmer to let me carry on to the bridleway which we could both see from where we were and there were none of the dramatic possibilities that I could have been killed by cattle and the other nonsense people have spouted.. In those circumstances the debate would have been started from a position of 'was on a farm track today, didn't realise that it wasn't public property, farmer stopped me, explained the situation and then let me carry on through. Anyone else had good experiences with landowners?'.
With the response and attitude of some people on here is it any wonder there are issues with access in England and Wales. With such attitudes you run the risk of damaging future access and rights of way agreements for everyone else.
Landowners have every right to excercise their right to ask people on their land to leave.
Perhaps if walkers off public rights of way in error or otherwise approached landowners with a bit of good humour, and walked away the bigger person with an apology there would be fewer issues in the first place.
In my opinion as some who has met a few landowners when a groups of air cadets have inadvertently strayed off the paths. I've yet to walk away without a hand shake and smile.
A child was killed on a friends farm cycling home from his GCSEs with headphones in on a private farm track. My friend was hauling a fully laden muck spreader from a field on to the track at exactly the same time the child was coming. The child couldn't hear the tractor and consequently couldn't stop. The tractor was extremely heavy and pulling hard to get over field exit bumps. By the time my friend had seen the child... he was under the wheels and dead.
No chance in hell. That child's death was completely avoidable had he asked to use that track.
The second example I listed above was the driving of cattle that killed a walker who had not asked permission to use a working (you'd prefer 'private' rather than 'working') farm track.
Bruce, this is one significant reason why trespass laws exist.
> And before you start on more fallacious examples, we are all talking about open farmland here, classed as agricultural, not your or my back garden.
As a farmers son, given the op's situation, it makes no difference.
Reading this is quite sobering - I am getting the impression that it is a bit like American Werewolf down there. "Stick to the road" or Bad Stuff will happen. I will cross the Cheviots with care.
All very well to say he shouldn't have been there, but it doesn't absolve responsibility when driving a large vehicle not to blindly pull it out anywhere. What if it had been someone who was allowed to be there e.g. his wife?
If the visibility wasn't good enough to see if the track was clear, he should have removed some hedges or something to improve it if he wanted a clear run, IMO.
It was tragic. It was very silly to cycle with headphones in let alone up a working farm track with them in - but the result was so very terrible. My friend (the tractor driver) was cleared by the police investigation but it still haunts him and he rarely talks about it - he has to live with it for the rest of his life.
And to think it could have been avoided with a single phone call: "Mr B, can I cycle home up from school on wood track today?", "not today I'm afraid, I'm hauling".
To clarify, I would say that absent obvious danger, there is a level of blame on both sides. S tragedy, really.
> All very well to say he shouldn't have been there, but it doesn't absolve responsibility when driving a large vehicle not to blindly pull it out anywhere. What if it had been someone who was allowed to be there e.g. his wife?
His wife would have heard a fully loaded agricultural diesel engine in low ratio heaving 14 tons from a field to a grass track. She'd also be aware of the type of danger was present. The fact a child on a bicycle on grass couldn't stop shows how close he was without noticing. The tractor was concluded by police to have been doing 4mph - its not a car you don't check both ways and pull out when you're hauling 14 tons off road. The timing was just horrifically unlucky.
Why should he have to remove the hedges? This goes against everything the environment agency tells farmers about conservation. By your logic, we must action hedgerow removal and high cost to the species that inhabit them, the birds that rely on them, and to the wallets of farmers who are struggling.
The police deemed blame to lie entirely with the child.
Just taken a look at our farm plans and done a quick calculation... If we were to clear every access to every track of hedgerows 10 meters to either side, we'd lose about 40% of our total hedgerow length. Obviously this is a single example... but there you go.
Do you visit this planet often? In particular, the part of the planet commonly known as "farmland"?
I'm glad this thread is still going, it reminds me why I don't visit UKC much these days...
As a farmer, outdoor instructor and occasional trespasser I feel qualified to make some comment on this.
- The OP was on a track he isn't allowed to be on, any further analysis is just speculation as we weren't there
- Scotland has wider access laws than England and Wales and that is probably a good thing., Howevert the continual litter, damage to fences and walls, graffiti, fire scars, path and track erosion from illegal off roading and MTBing, sky lanterns, gates being left open, dog attacks on livestock and farm dogs, illegal hunting and general anti-social behaviour that I witness as an evil landowner, outdoor instructor, and wild camper leads me to believe that the general public are not responsible enough to be given wider access rights.
- Bruce is, as usual, being deliberately provocative for the sake of it.
Certainly reading these English goml threads gives an insight into the gulf in attitudes between the 2 nations. Wouldn't want to see these kind of attitudes creeping north.
> FFS, put your bottom lip away before you trip over it!
How very rude and childish. The OP made a reasonable point.
Allow me to quote from the OP for you..."What an arse..."
Now who's rude and childish?
Actually, "petulent" would be a more apt word.
Well there is the small event arranged by a landowner who routinely invites quite a lot of people onto his land - he's called Michael Eavis, I think...
I don't get this post. There are 1,000s of miles of footpaths and bridleways in England and Wales, which can be legally walked on and more to the point, should be, to maintain their status. To traipse across farmland that isn't so designated seems peverse and ignorant.
While skirting the garden which isnt the best way as its easy to fall off the cliff. An old lady came out the house and down her garden. So i went over to talk to her. We explained where we are going and she says its ok to go down the drive past the house. There is a sign saying no tresspassing on the drive hence why we were skirting round the property. Very nice lady was happy to let us go over her property.
I suppose there are questions. If the kid had passed a locked gate with a warning sign, I'd agree. But "not today" implies there might have been days when it was acceptable (apologies if I read it wrong). Kids aren't very good at this kind of judgement, so to some extent it would be assumed if it was ever OK it was always OK, IYSWIM. He might also assume the normal rules of the road applied. (I came to grief on my bike in Holland for those very reasons - I forgot the "priority to the right" concept, assumed it would be nominal priority to the "main" road if unmarked like it tends to be in the UK, and rode right in front of a turning lorry. Fortunately he was able to stop before doing me too much damage other than bruised pride and the need for a new bike)
Equally, I wouldn't prosecute the driver on those grounds, he's suffered more than enough for what happened.
I agree about riding with headphones, though.
Of course it does, few would demand the right to wander through private gardens of reasonable size, it's when huge areas of the country are ruled out for no good reason that there is a problem.
It's much to do with changed attitudes as anything else... especially as it appears that even on a climbers forum, most of whom would have come to climbing through walking and so realise the importance of as much free access as is possible within reason. It would be interesting to know how those against "the right to roam" came into climbing in the traditional way?
And I think you should all stop playing the offended and shocked, freedom of access can't be that odd a concept as it has been set up in Scotland and by all accounts works well.
The point is "Why?" What legitimate reason did he have for preventing someone continuing his perfectly harmless stroll along a track?
PS. Because it's the law is not an answer, it's stating the present legal situation in England, a land or archaic land laws which only recently took a stand against the cruel "sport" of fox shredding, and still has an established church which discriminates against half the population.
Its all very well everyone going on about oh it used to be much better when i were a lad, but these days its not just sensible people that understand how the countryside works that are using the new right to roam laws and as a result landowners are getting more tetchy as to who can get on their land! That and the suing culture that's to prevalent these days, if i was a landowner/farmer then i would be very warey of people on my land in the fear that if they twisted an ankle or something they would sue me for ill maintenance of trails despite not being public footpaths.
Just my thoughts!
Since I own a farm I have a lot of sympathy - since our house was burgled I have lots of sympathy - but since my wife is a police officer I get mighty irritated with people blaming the police for stuff that's not their doing!
And an estate is surely just as much private property as somebody's farm is.
By your logic, an estate owner ought to be able to prevent walkers, climbers, or anyone else from gaining access to it.
Would you be happy with such a scenario?
> The point is "Why?" What legitimate reason did he have for preventing someone continuing his perfectly harmless stroll along a track?
What legitimate reason did the walker have to be strolling along the track?
I can see both sides. I walk on tracks that aren't public rights of way, but the farmers know me, (actually, they know my dog might be a better way of putting it). They're happy for me to do so because he dog is sound round stock and I don't cause any damage. They'd be far less happy for some random person, (even less so for some caravan utilising nomadic traveller), poking around their stock, vehicles and outbuildings. Rural crime is a significant problem, as is badger baiting and other illegal activities. I can easily understand why if they can legally limit access they will do so.
I enjoy wild camping, but I've no wish to see it legalised. The moment that happens the fells will be littered with discarded Aldi tents, rubbish, disposable BBQs and no doubt a fair few sheep kicked to death by piss-heads. I'm quite happy with the current access arrangements.
Meanwhile the hillgoers can stay out overnight without worry (other than worrying if the tent will stay up).
"They'd be far less happy for some random person, (even less so for some caravan utilising nomadic traveller), poking around their stock, vehicles and outbuildings."
This is criminal behaviour and nothing to do with access. Forbidden here too and quite rightly.
This thread has made me laugh reading some of the posts.
I know its not legally written but the reality is that the VAST majority of the English and Welsh countryside is open to unofficial free access if used with common sense.
I have never had an issue going about my walks, camping, cycling etc in the countryside. The only time I have ever been asked to leave land was once taking a short cut through a woodland, somehow I emerged on the land owners lawn startling him and his wife lol.
Last summer I was down in Northamptonshire. I arrived about 2am and the campsite was closed, my friend and I drove down a country track pulled in and due to it being a hot summers night we bivvied wild in a farmers field. About 5am I was woken by a guy asking me if I was ok. He introduced himself as the land owner and pointed to his house about 200m away (we didn't see it when we arrived) We explained the situation to him about the campsite etc, he laughed and apologised for disturbing us. He left us there to get back to sleep.
We also did a 3 day cone trip down the Nene wild camping in farmers fields, again no problems. On the second day we encountered the farmer tending cattle in an adjacent field we approached him asked if he minded us sleeping in his feild next to the river. He had no issues with it the only thing he asked was that we took all of our waste with us and kept away from the animals. He also provided us (pointed it out on the map) a secluded camp spot on the river for the following night.
I have never been chased from any land in England. So either I am good at hiding in the shadows or the access situation really isn't that bad. I must wild camp in England around 20 per year in both upland and lowland scenarios and have never been asked to move even when the land owner or famer has approached.
The OP doesn't seem at all indignant or making much of an issue of it. He/she has said (and clarified in several posts) that they were polite, apologised and moved on. It seems more like they were bringing up the issue of access rather than being indignant about a trivial incident.
We've all called people arses or worse when we know we've been caught out.
Some narrow minded people on here....
In practice, there isn't usually a problem and any difficulties are usually localised. Most open country is Access Land under CRoW, and most other areas usually have a fairly good network of public and permissive rights of way.
I agree it's not perfect, and there are areas where access is more difficult, but most walkers, most of the time, don't come up against restrictions or confrontations. Nevertheless, if you're not on a public right of way or Access Land then you will be trespassing, and there is no duty on the landowner to be reasonable or sympathetic. Just keep your temper, even if he doesn't keep his.
I once read somewhere that you have a right to head for the nearest public right of way, rather than have to return the way you came, but I can't verify that, and in any event it's probably best not to add to the confrontation by arguing the point.
> I have never had an issue going about my walks, camping, cycling etc in the countryside.
> ... the access situation really isn't that bad.
Watch your back with positive posts like this; Dr. Goebbels of the Scottish Propaganda Machine has you in his Little Black Book.
> Watch your back with positive posts like this; Dr. Goebbels of the Scottish Propaganda Machine has you in his Little Black Book.
I'll keep an eye out for him!! ;)
For an outdoor activities website, were you would expect most people to spend a large proportion of their free time out and about It shocks me reading some of the posts. To me it seems lots of people have a theoretical knowledge of the countryside and access issues but no actual practical experience.
From my experience there is no issue accessing the open countryside for a wide range of activities. Its common sense!! Trampling on agricultural land is another issue and should be prohibited.
Well said that man - my thoughts entirely.
> Well said that man - my thoughts entirely.
Not the thoughts that you've written in your other posts...
Not through the CAP, I think. I'm no expert but I don't think it reduces food prices, probably the opposite. And even if it does, do you think it's a good idea to pay higher tax to subsidise agriculture, so that food price can be kept down to levels people can still afford after paying their taxes?
In the last two years, I have lost count of people who have tried taking a short-cut through my woodland to a public right of way, irrespective of the fact that they have left a right of way, crossed another person's land (no rights of way nor open access land), entered my land, and hoped to cross this and then a third landowners land (again without any rights of way or access paths) with the aim of getting back onto another right of way - convoluted I know.
Mostly when I explain the situation and say that I cannot give them permission to cross either of the other landowners land and am unwilling therefore to give permission to cross mine, they accept the situation and return with advice to the original right of way.
The biggest problem has been with Ramblers Association groups of up to (at times) 20 people. They try on the "we're only going to the right of way" or "this is open access" or "isn't this a permissive path?" approaches; They have their maps folded to include the woods, and have clearly walked through the woods on previous occasions when I'm not around.
The other woodland owners and I are all currently felling and clearing areas - there are signs out to warn each other where we are felling; we put a sign on the right of way explaining that people should stay on the right of way. I could go on.
We do everything safely and correctly. It is really frustrating to have to deal with such intransigent attitudes that ignore the rights of way, trample through new plantations, and force landowners to take quite strong positions to enforce their land rights.
I've been an access volunteer for the BMC in the past and sat on the Access Committee as well, so I can see it from both sides.
Back to work.
Sorry? Either you are confusing me with somebody else, or you haven't read my previous posts.
Let me simplify it for you...
Original poster - in the wrong; not on a public right of way, asked to leave, calls landowner "an arse".
Landowner - perfectly within his rights to ask OP to leave
Me - baffled by posters who seem to think that everybody has a perfect right to wander wherever they want, just because they are in "the countryside"
Is that clear enough for you?
And then you agreed with someone who said:
Which seems at odds with your posts above...
> Not through the CAP, I think. I'm no expert but I don't think it reduces food prices, probably the opposite. And even if it does, do you think it's a good idea to pay higher tax to subsidise agriculture, so that food price can be kept down to levels people can still afford after paying their taxes?
Make no mistake, food prices would have to rise quite seriously without CAP. That may be fine if you are a higher earner paying a significant amount of tax. It would be decidedly more serious if you are on minimum wage.
You'd probably expect them to argue that view but, if they can argue it, then the position can't be that obvious. Or can it?
Just being free to enjoy being in a wood, without stealth worries makes a non hill walking visit worthwhile though.
> You'd probably expect them to argue that view but, if they can argue it, then the position can't be that obvious. Or can it?
From a farmers perspective prices would have to rise rapidly if CAP support was removed. Bear in mind that if your average family that are contributing £400 towards CAP are earning the average UK income they will be getting significantly more than minimum wage.
I also suspect that the sort of price rises that would be needed without CAP would far exceed £400 per household.
I don't believe that CAP had been great for farmers but it has undoubtedly done a lot to ensure plentiful supplies of cheap food IMO. That has to help those on low incomes?
And then you take into account the other "gains" that CAP is effectively funding, either directly or indirectly via the threat of penalties such as improved access, environmental schemes, improved water quality etc. That £400 per family buys an awful lot!
Are you hard of reading?
From the OP, which I disagreed with
"I was just walking around the local countryside (mostly arable farming)"
From the post I agreed, with and said "well said that man"
"Trampling on agricultural land is another issue and should be prohibited"
I am bewildered by your response, despite me having clarified my opinion on this matter.
> Are you hard of reading?
> From the OP, which I disagreed with
> "I was just walking around the local countryside (mostly arable farming)"
> From the post I agreed, with and said "well said that man"
> "Trampling on agricultural land is another issue and should be prohibited"
> I am bewildered by your response, despite me having clarified my opinion on this matter.
You really are an objectionable individual.
Also from the OP:
...which is not 'trampling on agricultural land'.
The OP also clarifies this in a later post.
Oh my ... I probably won't sleep for at least a decade, now that you have revealed my truly despicable character to the wider word of the UKC massive! Whereas you however....(feel free to fill in the blanks).
"What so if someone is legally in the wrong then that's that? Is there never a time to question the morality, validity and sensibility of a law that effects us? And if such laws should be questioned by us punters I think an Internet forum is a pretty good place to start. "
You can't argue with an idiot as above so why bother.
Please Miss, I win, I win!!!
I claim my prize for being the first person on UKC to be vilified for upholding the current access laws of the land!
Of course you can....but after typing til your blue in the fingers you'll realise that you're debating with an idiot rather than doing something useful. ;-)
>O f course you can...but after typing 'til you're blue in the fingers, you'll realise that you're debating with an idiot, rather than doing something useful.
There you go, fixed that for you.
Thanks for making my point. :)
....and you misspelled "of". ;-)
By the way, are you, Jackie Magpie and mattsccm all the same person? Just wondering, as none of you seems to be bothered enough to submit a profile?
;) It's the interweb....I might be you too.
Now - it's time to take my own advice and avoid wasting valuable time in such discussions. :)
The OP was walking along a farm track... why use such loaded language as "trampling on agricultural land". It's really quite dishonest, as are most of the posts slagging off the OP.
Does and man (or woman) have to provide a reason for going for a walk in the English countryside, sticking to paths and tracks and generaly doing harm to no one?
If he had had a yapping, shitting dog with him I could understand the reticence of some farmers with sheep of cattle but he didn't.
> The OP was walking along a farm track...
> Does and man (or woman) have to provide a reason for going for a walk in the English countryside, sticking to paths and tracks and generaly doing harm to no one?
It isn't quite as simple as that though, is it? Rights of way and open countryside are also private property in most cases, and I assume that you are content to have unrestricted access to these. When you go to Scotland, you are happy to have much wider access rights to private property(including agricultural land). Just because access rights are not granted by law, does not make it reasonable for landowners to refuse access, and just because he is exercising his legal right, does not necessarily mean he is not being an arse.
Our farm is open access (Scotland), and we get a lot of walkers using the tracks. I can honestly say that it is of no inconvenience whatsoever to the operation of the farm.
> ;) It's the interweb....I might be you too.
Au revoir - have fun, cheers, JW
ps - if you really are me, can I have that money back I lent me? :-)
Actually Bruce, reread my posts and you'll see that im talking generally about access and peoples perceptions. I was not actually talking about the OP I was pointing out in both of my texts that in my opinion access to the open countryside is fine, I have no issues. The term trampling is purely a turn of phrase to emphasise that I believe open access to agricultural land should be limited. By all means wander through on official right of way but dont cut through the field without permission etc or be surprised if you are asked to leave etc etc..
Talkng about the OP (the first time I have commented on him) he was not on an official path so the landowner was within his rights to ask him to leave. It would be nice if the OP could post a map link to the track location. We can then all discuss it within context of its location.
I did not intentionally use loaded language nor was it dishonest in the context of my post. Like I said my posts were aimed at those people who evidently have no real experience of accessing the english countryside.
Actually, it makes it exactly reasonable for landowners to refuse access because the law says he can. It's HIS legal right. For the same reason, he can't stop you from going on a PROW or Open Access Land... because it's YOUR legal right. Its really not a case of politeness, or reasonableness etc etc.
People need to also stop the whole idea of "it's like this and that in Scotland" business because the law regarding this is different between Scotland and England.
> It isn't quite as simple as that though, is it? Rights of way and open countryside are also private property
Except that the walker does not have the right to stray from those areas.
> Actually, it makes it exactly reasonable for landowners to refuse access because the law says he can. It's HIS legal right. For the same reason, he can't stop you from going on a PROW or Open Access Land... because it's YOUR legal right. Its really not a case of politeness, or reasonableness etc etc.
> People need to also stop the whole idea of "it's like this and that in Scotland" business because the law regarding this is different between Scotland and England.
Unfortunately there are some on here who can't seem to grasp those points.
Oh I think most people in Scotland are aware that the access laws are different north of the border.
I think there's a degree of puzzlement as to why some people in England & Wales would evidently prefer not to have the rights of access that we enjoy in Scotland. Especially on a forum for climbers and walkers.
If I've understood the OP, they realised they were legally in the wrong, but the purpose of the post was to debate land access, no?
In which case I'd point you towards the smoking ban Scotland brought in.
England and Wales didn't debate that, think it was a good idea and then change their laws to suit did they?
Why not enter debate about an alternative access system that's proven to work North of the border, a system that not only provides acess rights for walkers but also protection for home owners and framers too?
The only minus point to an introduction of the Scottish system south of the border would be that a lot of 'rights of access' officers would suddenly have very little to do....
From this thread It seems clear to me why Scottish style access rights will never be brought in south of the border - the people affected would actually prefer this blanket 'all private property is tresspass' concept. Including walkers and climbers it seems.
> It isn't quite as simple as that though, is it? Rights of way and open countryside are also private property in most cases, and I assume that you are content to have unrestricted access to these. When you go to Scotland, you are happy to have much wider access rights to private property(including agricultural land). Just because access rights are not granted by law, does not make it reasonable for landowners to refuse access, and just because he is exercising his legal right, does not necessarily mean he is not being an arse.
> Our farm is open access (Scotland), and we get a lot of walkers using the tracks. I can honestly say that it is of no inconvenience whatsoever to the operation of the farm.
This thread realy is full of nonsense.
If the OP was walking on private property with no ROA then he has as much right to walk on that track as he doesn though my lounge.
In this context, if the OP had indeed walked through my lounge with a view to getting to the public road behind (passing through my garage and back garden also) then he would have had a very different reception to what appears to have been a polite matter of fact request to leave by the farmer. If the farmer is correct then in my humble opinion, he is not an arse.
Comparing to Scotland or anywhere else for that matter is rediculous as we have diferent laws. He was trespassing and that's that.
I would recommend that anyone thinking of walking somewhere unknown to them to go and purchase the most recent OS map, do a little research and ensure that the route follows public access routes. If in doubt, find somewhere else.
> > From this thread It seems clear to me why Scottish style access rights will never be brought in south of the border - the people affected would actually prefer this blanket 'all private property is tresspass' concept. Including walkers and climbers it seems.
No, you have that all wrong. I would prefer all land worth walking on(Flat field in the Fens not included) to be open access and if there is a petition to try and make this law then i will sign with gusto. Until that point there is no debate as private land is private land.
> Oh I think most people in Scotland are aware that the access laws are different north of the border.
> I think there's a degree of puzzlement as to why some people in England & Wales would evidently prefer not to have the rights of access that we enjoy in Scotland. Especially on a forum for climbers and walkers.
Nope, read my last point. Most if not all walkers would prefer the whole of the country to have access rights, within reason, the difference is with myself in particular is that I respect the law (whether I agree or otherwise) as it stands. I will not trespass, even if I want to walk somewhere, if its private land.
> Actually, it makes it exactly reasonable for landowners to refuse access because the law says he can. It's HIS legal right.
Of course, no one is arguing that he doesn't. Similarly, nobody (I hope) would dispute that having a legal right is not, of itself, sufficient reason to retain that right. It follows from that, that exercising a legal right is not reasonable just because the right exists.
The comparisons to Scotland are being made because it effectively answers those who say that there are practical objections to walkers being allowed wider access to agricultural land. It works, fine up here, and I say that as someone with a foot in both camps.
In Scotland, you do not need to stay on paths. Field margins or tramlines are also fine to use.
I've read it. You appear to be saying that you'd like the law to be changed, but that you don't see that there's anything to debate because the law is the law.
I wouldn't hold out much hope of the law being changed, if everyone shares this attitude.
That may be the case; I'm not suggesting that the situation is (or should be) identical south of the border. Indeed, for decades access was not a major issue in Scotland despite almost identical trespass laws to those in England. This was almost entirely down to how those legal rights were exercised by landowners.
The only point I am trying to make is that one can legitimately question the motives and character of the landowner whilst still acknowledging that he was acting within his legal rights.
I remember as a kid being taught how to use a shotgun by my grandfather, a poultry farmer. I don't know what would have happened if people had been tramping uninvited and unnoticed along the track alongside that field.
Blasphemy!!! Crucify him! I've got a couple of nice bits of mahogany and some galvanised nails from Homebase. Should do.
The farmer was completely within his rights, but some of the farmers I've encountered could have a more pragmatic view to public access. There's a forestry track public footpath near me I often use to ride out towards the Dales - the alternative bridleway is a quagmire except during drought or when frozen solid.
But the farmer would rather that I laboured over this, chewing up sensitive moorland horribly in the process, than spending probably 25 mins less on his land whizzing along a hardbase track.
Presumably he (or you) would have checked that the shot was safe before you took it. Seriously, if your ability to shoot safely relies on the assumption that there is nobody in the way, then it maybe isn't for you.
Meanwhile the reason why Scotland keeps coming up is simply that the thread has thrown up all sorts of excuses for something that is simply intolerable here. We know that they are silly excuses from practical experience. It is fun to stand on the Cheviots and shout out that your "king is a streaker". In other words, some of us are being intolerably smug.
Well done all of you who are challenging the gomls down there! Keep up the good work. And the rest of you, when you are enjoying that route, spare a thought for those who fought for the limited access that you have. Many landowning interests consider that there is far too much access (just read anything from the CLA) and beware, you may not get to keep what little you have. Do not be complacent, it would be easy to "do away with red tape" and make it easier to close down footpaths. An outright Tory victory in 2015 could lead to greater restrictions on your movements.
You are right, shooting isn't for me - I was only 10 at the time.
The point is if you wander over private land you haven't a clue what the legitimate landowner might be using it for. They could be teaching their grand kids to shoot, or drive, or they could be training their new guard dog for all you know.
Of course, and it goes without saying that responsibility is on you to be aware and keep an eye out for the sort of activities that one might expect to encounter on agricultural land, (heavy machinery, livestock, shooting etc). Nobody is suggesting that the landowner is obliged to do anything other than take the kind of reasonable precautions that would be standard practice anyway on a well managed farm.
He might have had reasons but he didn't choose to explain them did he?
I think a large part of the 20th century where we built up a road / transport infrastructure must have passed you by. Cows (from an arable farm ?) are actually very unlikely to be eaten locally.
To those that are interested here is a link to a map of the area in question:
I have dotted the route I was taking in red with the bridleway in green.
The blue line points to where i was stopped by the farmer.
There are enough public rights of way that can't see your reasoning for (knowingly?) not sticking to permitted tracks...
Because even though he's not legally obliged to, its doing him no harm at all.
You couldn't be arsed to look at the OP's map then?
Assuming the farmer isn't a drooling idiot, a brief conversation should give him a pretty clear idea about those concerns. Well, that and the fact that there's bugger all to see, bugger all to steal and nothing to trample on the track the OP was using.
Yes he was within his rights to turf the OP off, and maybe his attitude was influenced by the stresses and strains of modern life, the McDonald's wrappers he's sick to death of picking up out of the headges or the fact that he'd just had a row with his wife - contrary to many opinions expressed in this typically polarised UCK wrangle, none of that necessarily means he wasn't being an arse.
>> why should he tolerate it?
It is potentially doing harm in the long term, from the landowners perspective. My understanding is that if an unofficial/informal path is in use for long enough there is a process that can have it formally recognised as a public right of way. A landowner who informs people they are trespassing has a better chance of stopping the conversion that one who quietly lets the path be used.
If the landowner has future plans for the land the presence of a new public right of way might harm their plans and their interest in the land.
I don't know the specifics of the legal situation, but see, e.g. http://www.gazetteherald.co.uk/news/8995438.Walkers_bid_to_get_Pickering_footpath_recognised
I think this may be why some landowners agree to "permissive" footpaths; by actively giving permission with notice that it may be withdrawn, they are forestalling any attempts to form a public right of way where there was none.
An interesting article that touches on this
That's an odd argument to apply to an individual case, since it takes 20 years of unchallenged use to establish a RoW, but I see your point.
It's no reason to turn the OP in this case back to the road though - having already stopped him and spoken to him, there's absolutely nothing to lose (other than the good will of someone who has a right to cross the land elsewhere via several rights of way) by allowing him to continue along the track to join the RoW rather than send him back to the B-road (presumably to walk into the village and join the same RoW at a different point).
> It is potentially doing harm in the long term, from the landowners perspective. My understanding is that if an unofficial/informal path is in use for long enough there is a process that can have it formally recognised as a public right of way.
This seems to be an often quoted misconception. A smart landowner rarely gets caught out by this. Have a look at the latest Vixen Tor access fiasco, sorry I mean case. Armed with a basic quality lawyer the landowner has a whole range of arguments to use to stop the right of way being established. A whole range of very well meaning and genuine folk were neatly side stepped by the landowners lawyer at Vixen Tor as soon as any doubt was cast over the precise route/access points that had been used. Case lost!
It all comes down to the Landowner. Some are arses, doesnt sound like the OP encountered one of those to me, but then I wasnt there.
I'm interested - thats just down the road from where I live !
> Assuming the farmer isn't a drooling idiot, a brief conversation should give him a pretty clear idea about those concerns. Well, that and the fact that there's bugger all to see, bugger all to steal and nothing to trample on the track the OP was using.
I did look at the OP's map, and I went one further and looked at google earth of the area. Deer. No doubt.
From the bottom of the hill, you'd want to fire over that path. If you miss, you've a hill to take the round. The last thing you want is a person walking through your scope.
No question in my mind now why the farmer was angry.
> No question in my mind now why the farmer was angry.
I'm afraid you're wrong. They were collecting turnips from the field to the East of where I was which is why they were in the area. Not for hunting.
Interesting; thanks for the link.
As others have said it doesn't seem hard for a landowner to prevent a path being elevated to a right of way; I know in our village a property developer recently won out over 20+ years of evidence. On the other hand there was no real money or legal support behind the other side, as I suspect is often the case.
> I'm afraid you're wrong. They were collecting turnips from the field to the East of where I was which is why they were in the area. Not for hunting.
Unlikely to have been turnips at this time of year in this country. But that's irrelevant.
They may not have been shooting at the time, however I'd be willing to eat my hat if that is not the line they choose to shoot there. Having someone walk straight across that is it slightly disconcerting regardless of whether you're shooting at the time or not.
Also, the track appears gated from several angles.
Anyway, I'll leave it there. If you're not convinced that there's logic to the farmers decision then that's up to you. Of course, we shall never know for sure.
Ah yes, the hill crossed a couple of hundred meters further up by the public bridleway the OP was making his way towards. Cunning.
Excellent. Is it also obvious to you why a farmer with such a compelling reason why the OP should turn back for his own safety would neglect to mention it while insisting he should goml?
"... one can legitimately question the motives and character of the landowner whilst still acknowledging that he was acting within his legal rights."
I think that's an excellent way of summing up the issue - we can't blame the farmer for acting within the law. However, we can still make the point that we don't necessarily agree with the access laws of England.
Is there no limit to the ridiculousness of your pseudo-arguments? Do you really think that in such an area as this, near to roads and village, you just go out and take pot-shots at deer with solid shot without warning notices and people to make sure no one can wander into danger?
What about the risk of a crashed UFO being hidden from view and the farmer being in fact a secret service agent keeping walkers away? More likely than what you've said up to now.
> Ah yes, the hill crossed a couple of hundred meters further up by the public bridleway the OP was making his way towards. Cunning.
Away to the left, then drops over the brow of the hill. A small bore rifle is acceptable in a scenario like this.
He has no obligation to explain why. Of course, on our farm, in similar scenarios I have explained the danger. So you've got me, this can't have been contributory to his dismissal of the OP?!
Well that's it, isn't it, you nearly walked into the middle of the famous Wicken Bonhunt turnip shoot! The clue is in the name... The usually arms being automatic rifles and a good few noggins before the hunt being an old tradition if you'd gone a step further you'd have been ripped to sheds in a hail of high velocity bullets.
In fact you're lucky to still be with us :-)
> Is there no limit to the ridiculousness of your pseudo-arguments?
Crikey Bruce, keep your hair on. Rather than the ad hominem, let's keep on topic.
Bruce, if you think you need to put up notices to warn that you're shooting then I need not go on. So, instead of engaging you, how about a challenge: find me a law that you think would make it impossible to shoot this area of land.
I wouldn't know. I'm not in the habit of crashing UFOs or working as a secret service farmer. I am on the other hand a farmer's son and a keen shot.
I don't know about shooting deer, but the fields all round this area (this area IS the same area as the OP is talking about before you ask - I live here) are packed with people shooting pheasants and there are no notices anywhere. These are fields immediately asjacent to the road - not slightly remote.
Maybe because pheasants fly, and deer don't. Shooting pheasants on the ground gets you blackballed from your club.
Also, effective range of shotgun is about 50 yards, max. A .308 rifle round is still lethal at 1000 yards.
Of course you have, it's obviously the right thing to do. That would also be his obligation to explain why - decency and common sense.
Dunno. But if your theory is correct it does seem pretty stupid have a conversation with the OP and then send him the way he'd come with no explanation other than GOML.
> Of course you have, it's obviously the right thing to do. That would also be his obligation to explain why - decency and common sense.
I'm afraid 'obviously the right thing to do' and 'obligation' are two different things.
It does... but not every land owner is the same.
> Maybe because pheasants fly, and deer don't. Shooting pheasants on the ground gets you blackballed from your club.
Which is exactly why you need a hill behind them.
Linear access is pretty crepe, but if that's all youve got, you had better look after it.
Well you're certainly not wrong there. :o)
Pheasants nest on the ground which is presumably one reason to discourage trespassing.
Still far enough.
The "problem" was that you were where you shouldn't have been. That's sufficient - you don't need to be causing damage. You were completely in the wrong, and should have expected the response you got. It's true that some landowners might have been more relaxed about it, especially if it had been a genuine mistake, but others would have given you a far worse bollocking.
You lot need a new Kinder Surprise I think.
Come across as a nation of serfs with delusions of freedom. :)
Count yourselves lucky then. The local estate/shoots round my way have bought "Private" notices in bulk. Every gateway is so marked. One short permissive path through a shooting wood is marked by about 6 signs telling you to keep dogs on leads as shooting is taking place....which it obviously isnt all the time. The signs are nothing about safety.
Far more than agriculture and farmers (who I have never found to be remotley arse like) its the shoots and shooting estates who have poor attitudes to access. I still regret not having have the where-with-all to call the quad biking idiot from the estate a w*nker when he belted up to me on a public highway and told me to put my dog on a lead as there was stock about (ie pheasants doing what they do best...trying to get run over).
No, just a question of balancing private rights with public rights. There was no need for the OP to trespass, he could very easily have crossed that land quite legitimately on a nearby PROW. He deliberately chose to do so, and I suspect his reason was not to make a political point. Even if it was, he should have expected the response he got.
The Kinder Trespass was about access to open, uncultivated land to which ordinary people quite rightly demanded reasonable access. We now have that right - it could be better, I agree, and the outdoor community argued strongly for something better when CRoW was being debated, but we didn't get it. Personally, I haven't found that CRoW had made much difference - with the exception of a few places such as Bamford Moor, most of the areas I've spent the last 40 years walking had de facto access anyway. With the combination of CRoW and a good network of public and permissive paths (which is actually increasing) I doubt we would get much public sympathy for another Kinder Trespass or demands for a Scottish freedom to roam.
The OP was crosssing intensively cultivated arable land - just because he was on a track and not actually damaging crops may be mitigating, but it doesn't mean it was OK. Do you expect people to wander through your home or place of work without objection?
The fact that he was on a track means that he wasn't on "intensively cultivated arable land". Besides, even if he was crossing the field, unless he was damaging the crop, then there is no harm done. Homes are different as you expect a degree of privacy, but I've certainly no problem with people wandering through my place of work.
There should probably be some equivalent to Godwin's law for debates about land access and the inevitable witless "How would you like people wandering through your house/garden then eh?".
> but I've certainly no problem with people wandering through my place of work.
A sweeping generalisation there, the acceptability of people randomly wandering through your workplace will vary according to your job. Its essential if you work in a shop but probably not a good ides if you're a doctor :-)
> ... packed with people shooting pheasants and there are no notices anywhere
> Count yourselves lucky then. The local estate/shoots round my way have bought "Private" notices in bulk. Every gateway is so marked. One short permissive path through a shooting wood is marked by about 6 signs telling you to keep dogs on leads as shooting is taking place....which it obviously isnt all the time. The signs are nothing about safety.
It isn't necessarily about safety...
Dogs like to chase things. The problem comes when we realise that many owners don't have sufficient control over their dog to stop it once it's begun a pursuit. But why is this important in a shooting wood with no guns around?
Gamekeepers spend great time, effort and money on looking after and nurturing pheasants in pens in woodland. These are often just off the tracks and consist of large chicken wire enclosures complete with food, water and shelter. In to these pens lead tunnels designed to let pheasants in and out but stop foxes and other predators when the pheasants are roosting during the night. So why would an out of control dog cause problems?
Pheasants are not the brightest of bunches. When you combine this with the fact that they like to roam during the day it makes them quite susceptible to dogs.
If the walker cannot control the dog off the lead and stop it from chasing a pheasant then it is likely to end with a dead pheasant and/or an extremely alarmed bunch of pheasants that may well fly in fright in a random direction and could well end up on someone else's land.
When you consider each Poult costs a keeper about £3 or £4 to buy and a lot more in feed and medicine costs to raise you can see that if 10 pheasants fly away because your dog chased them, then we're looking at probably getting close to £150 in lost mature stock. Then if you think about the number of dog walkers and the number of times the pheasants will be chased... there won't be many left. Depending on bird numbers, the costs of irresponsible (or simply naive) dog walkers can spiral.
I hope the above helps you see it from a different perspective. This is these guys livelihood... each time a dog chases something, it's money from them.
Imagine you work in a factory, and my dog tears up your product... would you be happy? Farms and shooting estates are businesses.
Do shooting estates pay normal business rates?
Or the equally inevitable witless "I'm going to stomp wherever I want and sod the rest of you"
Very true; it does have to be put in context. I wouldn't want people walking through my office either to be honest. Perfectly happy for them to walk through the farm though.
> Do shooting estates pay normal business rates?
I don't know how it all works tax wise. You'd have to ask my brother - he works in estate management for Carter Jonas. I'd imagine shooting rights go in to the estate's income and then get taxed as such.
Indeed. Polarising any given argument into two witless extremes is sometimes what UCK (and the internet in general) does best. ;o)
> I hope the above helps you see it from a different perspective. This is these guys livelihood... each time a dog chases something, it's money from them.
> Imagine you work in a factory, and my dog tears up your product... would you be happy? Farms and shooting estates are businesses.
I think I have got a good perspective on this. Its pretty obvious where the pens and feeders are and I totally understand that you dont want poorly controlled dogs, or people for that matter too close. However that would affect access to a tiny percentage of the shoot area.
Much bigger areas are used maybe only a couple of times in the year for the actual shoot and yet the private and no entry signs stay up year round.
As for the losses due to dogs etc, that is a fraction compared to the numbers splatted on the roads where shoots choose beats/release areas too close to heavily trafficed areas.
Its a business, I get that too, but I dont get why all too often they insist that so much countryside is closed off.
> I think I have got a good perspective on this. Its pretty obvious where the pens and feeders are and I totally understand that you dont want poorly controlled dogs, or people for that matter too close. However that would affect access to a tiny percentage of the shoot area.
It's very difficult for me to comment without a specific example. Basically, a good shooting estate (driven pheasant) generally consist of wooded hills with grassy valleys in between. The woods are full of pheasants and the grassy valleys are fully of sheep. Neither of which mix well with dogs however I definitely agree there are places where it'd be safe to release a dog.
It's actually a common bone of contention in our family. My Dad refuses to let the dog off the lead anywhere except on our own land or land on which we have permission to let it off. My Mum is a bit more clip happy with the lead and has actually lost the dog once because she has no control over it. This obviously is pretty bad for my Dad, should the dog attack and kill a <insert type of livestock here>. It's potentially damaging to relationships with other farmers and thus his business.
I myself choose very carefully where to let it off (no sheep in adjoining field, no likely hood of deer bolting, etc etc), but fortunately I have a lot more control than my Mum.
> As for the losses due to dogs etc, that is a fraction compared to the numbers splatted on the roads where shoots choose beats/release areas too close to heavily trafficed areas.
Dead pheasants on roads are a big problem too... however generally you can predict roughly how many you'll lose to traffic, it's much harder to predict loss from frightening.
The effort which went into the CROW changes was worth the access it did acheive, but some places...strangely many with wealthy/noble/well connected ownership...seem to dip under the process completely.
Poor access where I live now seems to be mainly due to either a lazy management regime (who cant be bothered with it) or to an ancient "keep the plebs off my land" mentality. I can never work out which.
Yeah it is a shame.
My dad's farm is over near Longleat in Wiltshire. Longleat are seriously tightening up access rules which is a shame. I used to really love roaming around it!
My advice when it comes to farms is the following. Take a look on the map of where you plan to go. Knock on the door and ask the farmer. 9/10 will appreciate it and tell you where you can walk and when... often they'll give you wider access than the original path you were planning to use. We will always try to help walkers if they ask.
The road network and transport infrastructure network was built up last century.
I don't think the rural arable economy in Essex was unduly hit with foot and mouth, was it ?
I am struggling to agree with the slight frustration in this post although I cant comment on people's transport arrangements.
I have so much walking left to do on paths that I know are clearly public access e.g. 100 + Wainwrights, Outlying Wainwrights, Nuttalls, Marylins, all the Munro's and many humps, county tops, Deweys and countless others. There are over 2000 listed hills and tops in England and Wales alone not including Scotland, IoM, NI and Ireland.
When I get older, bored or unable to continue hill bagging I then have access to thousands of miles ordinary country paths and trails in beautiful open countryside, dark mysterious woodlands, breathtaking river walks, big sky fen walks. I would also quite like to do a few canal/pub walks from end to end taking in some city centre historic walks.
Lets not forget the Pennine Way, SWC Path, Pembrokeshire, WH Way, Coast to Coast and the smaller ones.
If I walk just outside of my semi-rural village I have not even begun to scratch the surface of all the local walks, almost from my front door and when the dogs is a bit older, i am looking forward to some good local walks where I don't have to take the car and I can take in a few local pubs.
I would need 20 lifetimes to walk every open and public access path in this country, much of which can be accessed without car and much more by train or bus.
So, with all this at my disposal, do I really need to cut across a plain old bit of field or moorland, potentially reducing the chances of this miniscule bit of countryside being opened in the future as I have cheesed off the landowner when i have so much more which is trouble free? And let's face it, all the best bits are open access anyway.
Where the frustration comes is from living somewhere surrounded by countryside that for the most part is closed....
and no, I dont want to move....maybe next year!
> Where the frustration comes is from living somewhere surrounded by countryside that for the most part is closed....
> and no, I dont want to move....maybe next year!
Its the same here near where I live. Most of the 'countryside' is in fact farmers fields and private gardens. Of course it would be wrong to trample through these field which 99% contain crops of some sort.
The paths I describe cross between and in some rarer cases through the centre with public ROW.
I'm in rural Newark on Trent, hardly the UK's walking mecca but still has countless, albeit pretty flat, paths to explore. 15 minutes drive and I'm in the Nottinghamshire Wolds with some gentle undulations and the 30 mile Robin Hood way, which i will walk this year, isn't that far way either. As I say, I would consider this neck of the woods pretty poor, walking-wise.
Are you really that devoid of places to go?
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