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Says Naomi Smith

Says Naomi SmithIt is all too possible to round a corner on horseback and come upon a group of cattle with no prior warning -this WILL result in a horse being badly spooked at best, bolting at worst -it is only a matter of time ........... read more


Comments Maureen Comber

"OSS and BHS would have been present when the fencing of common land was on the agenda"

Says Maureen Comber

I read with interest the piece by Kate Ashbrook re "The abuse of public paths is one of the most commonly occurring crimes in the countryside", so I thought you might be interested in the attached emails from OSS when I wrote to them concerning Broxhead Common in July 2011. I have heard nothing since then from them with regard to Broxhead, which is one of the reasons I have just terminated my membership of Open Spaces Society. I think you will agree that the subject of Kate's present post is de minimus in comparison with the extent of malfeasance with regard to the 80 acres of Broxhead Common. OSS are now closely associated with the BHS so perhaps that explains all? Also I have noticed that they have been selective over the fencing of common land some of which they have actually supported or not objected to. As I see it the law is the law and not something we can choose when we support or not as the case may be.

OSS and BHS are both stakeholders on the National Common Land Stakeholders Group at which they are supposed to represent their Members interests. They would have been present when the fencing of common land was an agenda item as I am assuming it would have been.

To read Maureen's e-mails to the Open Spaces Society:

Comments Tony Barnett

"OSS needs to support what they claim and not be like other "parasitic conservationist", in it for themselves"

Says Tony Barnett

Rights of way over agricultural land if not on the definitive plan and statement, but used as of custom are permissible by owners but the access cannot have been gained by the 1832 Prescription act; to succeed, the user on which a prescriptive claim is based must be: certain and reasonable, as of right and without interruption.

The user must be certain and reasonable, this proposition is illustrated by Wilson-V- Wiles (1806), there the defendant claimed, as a custom of the Manor, the right for all commoners to dig and carry away turf from Hampstead Heath to improve their their gardens and allotments, the courts rejected the claim and Lord Ellenborough said:

"A custom, however ancient must not be indefinite and uncertain; here it is not defined what sort of improvement the custom extends to.... it may mean all sorts of fanciful improvements... then this privilege is claimed to be exercised when occasions requires, what description can be more loose than that?

The OSS, should now be aware the use as of custom was repealed under the 2006 act.

Reasonableness, therefore, depends in part on the defined needs and requirements of the commoner's holding- such as the beast's he can winter on his farm, or sand and gravel to repair his walls, or firewood to keep his home warm, Neaversen-V-Peterborough RDC (1902) 1 Ch 557 (grazing award,

**The user must be of right, this is, not contrary to any statute nor by permission of the land owner-s

The owner may have tolerated activities, this then is consent... see in the matter of Creeks, foreshore and salt marshes Burnham Overy, Burnham Norton and Brancaster, Norfolk (25/D/105 111; 26th June 1980, see also Mr Commissioner Morris Smith, Becket-V-Lyons (1967 2 WLR 427.

As of right ,without interruption: there must be a period of 30 years exercise prior to the suit which brings the matter into dispute: Richards-V-Fry (1837) 7 A &E 698.

The periods to use as of rights demands 2 x 30 years and 1 of 60 years, see **.

The farmer is not obliged not to plough and sew the entire field footpaths and all, same way a member of the public is not obliged walk the headland, but may without any fear of prosecution to continue to use the access, proving it is on the definitive plan and statement, it is therefore for walkers to examine the rights documents at the county council.

The statement from OSS Natural England are being put on, are without and foundation, OSS needs to support what they claim and not like other "parasitic conservationist", in it for themselves

Says Linda Wright

Says Linda WrightWe moved to a Shropshire location a year ago having surveyed the local OS map and noted the significant number of bridleways around the property. Sadly the map appears a total fiction. Scarce any of the bridleways are usable ........... read more

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