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The Governement should sycamore rider-friendly policy !

Bob Milton writes to Defra

Surrey Wildlife Trust is not a tenant of the Ministry of Defence

Says Bob Milton

Writes Bob Milton Unfortunately I can not agree with you that SWT LTD is a tenant of the MoD. They only have a grazing licence which is neither a tenancy nor a lease and does not bring with it any beneficial interest in the land or exclusive management control as in the case of a say a Scheme of Regulation under the CA 1899 cannot be considered secure tenure

As for Natural England’s interpretation of Statutory Duty it is incorrect as it is as part of the implementation of the Habitats Directive in respect to the SSSI/SPA. You will be aware I am sure that SWT ltd reported in their 2011 annual report in December 2011 that there was a potential liability for a claw back from the Rural Payments Agency in respect to Single Farm Payment of some £500,000. The RPA has admitted there are anomalies which I believe are specific to the issue of licensed grazier status being used as a tenancy which to my understanding is fraudulent. A grazing licence is surely only a permissive profit a prendre and akin to a mowing contract and not a beneficial interest. It also seems that the RPA and SWT have come to some secret agreement to mitigate those anomalies.

The same applies to the payment of stewardship monies from the CAP pillar II modulation for all MOD / DE grazing licences and Local Authority management schemes or contracts such as the one for Surrey CC with SWT Ltd on land where there is a statutory duty under the Habitat Directive or other UK or EU legislation.

It is also the Ockley / Royal commons case that the land is held for military training though not very often it seems so that is the dominant tenement under CROW Sch9 s28G but those statutory duties still apply and are at the heart of the MoD/ NE agreement It is also clear that s193 LPA 1925 applies and reference is made to those rights in the acquisition deeds of the beneficial interest of Mr Baker in 1969.

I pine for a more sensible approach to saving our forests

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