Sporting rights

In England & Wales, the right to shoot or fish can be divorced from the actual ownership of the land, either in entirety or by grant of a lease.

Such rights can be very valuable in their own right, just think of the value of grouse shooting on upland commons or salmon fishing on our finest rivers. Proper consideration needs to be given to ensure that the value is protected from capital taxation where ever possible.

In the shorter term, sporting leases need to ensure that the interests of all land users are properly considered in order to avoid any possible conflict. Access can cause difficulties, particularly as fields could be damaged or environmental field margins driven over. Heavy stocking of game can result in crop damage so a compensation methodology should be included at the outset.

It should also be remembered that sporting rights carry their own weight in law and cannot be interfered with, without due consideration. This can become very relevant if a landowner wishes to develop his land and the sporting rights lie with a third party.

If you would like any further information or to discuss any rural related matter, please contact Tom Wills, head of the agriculture & estates department at Sintons.