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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10949
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I live in an old old farm cottage that is surrounded on all

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I live in an old old farm cottage that is surrounded on all sides by agricultural land accessed from a single track road I have easements rights in the deeds to my property . Recently the agricultual land was sold at auction. The Workers / representatives of the new owners have made it clear that I am not welcome any more to walk around the boundary edges of the fields . My easement rights show access to my property along the single track road and the the ability to use another route if the access road is blocked or obstructed . As the track can be a busy path for vehicular traffic as it also serves a riding stable, kennels and another business it is a safer option to use the edge of a field And do a big loop around the field when taking my dog for a walk . I do not have to open any gates cross any fences or cause any damage to crops or any other tangible property . Am I committing trespass and what would be the chances on a conviction if I was taken to civil court

1. Dear *****, the bot***** *****ne is that you have no rights to walk your dog in the fields as there is no such right given in the easement you hold. In essence you are limited to the single track road and the alternative route if this is blocked. You don't have any rights to walk your dog in the field. As such, this constitutes a trespass. There is no such thing as general ius spaciendi or walking rights given to adjoining owners of any agricultural land.

2. The common law right for trespass is ejectment. So, the employees of the owner can eject you should they find you walking in the field. There would be only minor damages awarded for walking in an agricultural field ie less than GBP 100. As regards ***** ***** court, you would come before the Magistrates Court and get fined should the owner of the farm wish to involve the police. However, again the fine would be light - less than GBP 200 - for a first offence.

3. I would advise you to continue with your course of action and speak with the new owners. Ultimately, once they owners know you and you are familiar with them, this heavy-handed attitude of the agricultural workers will not be reflected in any arrangement you reach with the owner.

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5. Be aware that there must be an element of damage to the property you are walking upon in order that there be a criminal prosecution for trespass. In the normal course, this would not occur walking a dog. However, if there was damage to sheep or some other interference with the land, a criminal action would lie. However, you need to realise that the police will have no stomach for prosecuting you. The police will prefer to leave it to civil remedy.

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