Says Naomi Smith
It 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
Yateley Common, Hampshire
Sarah Palmer, who is banned from contacting Hampshire County Council,
writes to the Yateley Common Facebook
- What I'd really like to know is exactly how many times do you want informing that bridleways are blocked?
- Why don't you know where your bridleways are and what their current condition is - it's not happened overnight
- My only dilemma now is what shall I do next: learn to use a chainsaw so that I can clear the paths myself or study law, because clearly HCC can't be relied on for either!
Says Sarah Palmer
You've asked on your Facebook page for comments on bridleways on Yateley Common. As I am blocked from your site I can only comment by email and am copying a much more discerning distribution than Facebook affords.
The reason I am emailing you is that I am stunned at your snipey comment to Caroline Senior-Smith on a local authority Facebook page: "If there are specific bridleways which you are concerned about it would be much more beneficial to work with us in a positive manner and advise us of their location." Caroline made a constructive observation that has been suggested on several occasions before, that your volunteers would be better occupied clearing public rights of way than clearing scrub from areas where nobody wishes to walk.
What I'd really like to know is exactly how many times do you want informing that bridleways are blocked? Prior experience has taught us that repetitive emails leads to claims of emotionally harrassing council staff. What is the optimum number of emails to send to galvernise physical and not legal action by your organisation? More to the point, why don't you know where your bridleways are and what their current condition is - it's not happened overnight (as probably will be the case tonight), they've been neglected for the past decade so please don't try telling us you don't know of their whereabouts.
There is absolutely no excuse for not knowing what paths are blocked, especially if you take walks on the common. Yes, we appreciate you are a small team looking after several sites but if only one of you walked the common for just half a day in a 38 hour working week you'd know what paths are blocked, where the commercial foragers were going (the Forestry Commission already recognise the problem in this district and at least make the effort to put up signs); which paths are being used by rabbiters, BMXs, scramblers etc.
The Northern Sites Countryside team are allegedly responsible for rights of way on the common but we are always told that its only rights of way crossing land HCC claims to own. But if one contacts the rights of way department for clearing of bridleways on parts of the common that other organisations are responsible for they are told it is your responsibility.
So to improve efficiency, teamwork and customer service to the public I respectfully suggest you ask your colleagues in Customer Service, Countryside, Legal and Access departments to get their respective ducks in the same row and agree who is going to take the lead initiative to get these paths cleared. One way or another HCC is legally responsible for ensuring public rights of way are kept clear - as per the 2nd to last bullet on this list of Local authority duties regarding Public Rights of Way:
In the past two and a half years I've actively contributed to giving constructive feedback to the HCC project for the package of bridleway diversions on the western side of the common, both directly with Vicky Bowshill and then via the BHS access officers after and despite HCC issueing their e-ASBO to me. Then the whole bridleways project was put on hold whilst the Common Consultation took place and there was some question as to whether proposed gates in the cow fencing were even aligned with the proposed bridleways but I believe this has been corrected. However, I am now led to believe the proposed bridleways are all at risk because somebody at HCC hasn't read the common laws and rights of way regulations correctly and therefore what is proposed is illegal. So unless you can advise otherwise one assumes we are back to blocked paths and no hope of replacements.
So my only dilemma now is what shall I do next: learn to use a chainsaw so that I can clear the paths myself or study law, because clearly HCC can't be relied on for either!
Maureen Comber comments
" If BHS do not bite the bullet and act proactively on behalf of its members et al then I believe they will be a lost cause."
Says Maureen Comber
If BHS do not bite the bullet and act proactively on behalf of its members et al then I believe they will be a lost cause.
HCC not only neglecting its STATUTORY DUTIES but acting unlawfully as well in more ways than one! Surely it must make it impossible for BHS to work with them and if they are, then they too will be undermining the law?
Comments Caroline Smith-Senior
- Please remember we don't have to follow the paths and yes that is law.
- Cyclists are not following the paths and it is questionable that they are allowed, please check the law.
Says Caroline Smith-Senior
Instead of clearing scrub why don't you clear some bridleways? Or stop cyclists from using the common seeing as their not allowed on there? Or stop people foraging... All the mushrooms are being destroyed. Or maybe talk to the users of the common about the common?
And please remember we don't have to follow the paths and yes that is law. Cyclists are not following the paths and it is questionable that they are allowed, please check the law.
Foraging is allowed yes, but the over foraging now occurring on the common is killing the fungi and as for the berries well I think you'll find the birds are going to suffer.
I will remind you that you do not own the common and are supposed to support the common and it NATURAL state.
As I have always said "you" need to work with the commoners and users of the common. I have tried working with you but seeing as you have not taken in to consideration the desires of those that signed the petition about the common I think it is you that needs to bridge the gap not I.
Tony Barnett comments
- It will be lawful for any member of the public to regain rights of lawful access to common land, he therefore is permited to remove impediments so as to ingress and egress rights of way.
- Those members of the public that wish to challenge claims of ownership to common lands, this 1189 act is still engaged.
- Beware, National Trust,Natural England, Forestry Commission, Local Councils and the Parasitic Conservationists.
Says Tony Barnett
The rights for equestrains and pedestrians on Yateley Common are as wide as they are long, there will be no regulation as to how one accesses the land. The problem of keeping the access points open on common land where the commissioner was unable to locate an owner,he vested into the authority, such common lands, under section 9 1965 CRA, however it bestows no jurisdiction with the vesting, the act does not empower a local authority to spend money on clearance or improvement eg; remove litter etc but such expenditure could be covered by s,137 of the local governent act 1972 up to a 2p rate and upwards for the benefit of the area.
The section is without prejudice to other powers the authority may have to protect the common land, I would say that where the common land is overgrown with de-composition of herbage there is a serious risk of fire, the permitted expenditure could be used to prevent such risk's.
The duties of the registration authorities are largley administrative: to compile,maintain and where authorised to amend the register.
The form and content of the registers is prescribed by the commons registration (general) regulations 1966 (s1 1966/ 1471) as amended by Sis 1968/658,1980/1195 and 1982/210, the registers are required by s 3(2) of the 1965 CRA to be open to inspection by the public at all reasonable times.
Section 4-1 1965, Subject to the provisions of this section, a registration authority (county council) shall register any land as common land or a town or a village green or, as the case may be any rights of common over or ownership of such land, on application duly made to it and accompanied by such declaration and such other documents as may be prescribed for the purpose of verification or of compliance with any prescribed conditions.
I mention this paragraph to enlighten those that do not understand section 9(now section 45 2006) of the CRA: Where the registration under section 4 of this act of any land as common land has become final but no person is registered under this act or the land registration acts 1925/1936 as owner-s of the land, then until the land is vested under any provision hereafter made by Parliament, any local council in whose area the land or part of the land is situated may take steps for the protection of the land against any unlawful interferrance as could be taken by an owners in possession of the land, and may....without prejudice to any power exercisable apart from this section, institute proceedings for any offence committed in respect of the land...
Section 9(45) deals with land so registered where common lands are not subject the Lord of the Manor, The Commons Commissioner and the courts have relied on the judicial definition given by Watson B in AG-v-Hanmer (1858) 2 LJ Ch 837 " the true meaning of "waste or waste lands or waste grounds of the manor, is the open, uncultivated and unoccupied lands parcel of the manor, or open lands parcel of the manor other than the demense lands of the manor.
Demense land are lands belonging to estates, part of those demense lands of his Lordship
It will be lawful for any member of the public to regain rights of lawful access to common land, he therefore is permited to remove impediments so as to ingress and egress rights of way.
The 1189 act, "Quo Warranto" (by what warrant) is a prerogative writ requiring the person to whom it is directed to show what authority they have for exercising some right or power, "or franchise" they claim to hold.
Quo Warranto is also referred to as time immemorial 1189, to prove ownership of property to pre-date 1189, had its origins in an attempt by King Edward 1 of england to investigate and recover Royal Lands, for this, he dispatched justices throughout his Kingdom to enquire "by what warrant" the lords held their lands and exercised their jurisdictions to hold court and collect profits, in return it would have been the rights to enquire of the justices by whose warrant are you the sheriff, the justices demanded written proof in the form of charters, but resistance and unrecoreded nature of many grants, forced King Edward to accept those rights peacefully exercised since 1189, later Quo warranto functioned as a court order (or writ).
To day proof of ownership rights are required to show they have been exercised before 1189
I have mentioned that so those members of the public that wish to challenge claims of ownership to common lands, this 1189 act is still engaged.
Be ware, National Trust,Natural England, Forestry Commission, Local Councils and the Parasitic Conservationists.
Says Linda Wright
We 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