Author Topic: Landowner or Farmer; is the difference important?  (Read 728 times)

barewirewalker

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Yesterday we had a brilliant walk in a favourite area, south Cheshire, just over the county border from Shropshire. An area that can create multiple routes of varying lengths of verdant undulating farmland, bisected by meandering canal townpath, quiet lanes and dotted with meres and mosses. There were a wide range of people out yesterday from cyclists, walkers and runners, really highlighting the need for connectivity with nature as a release from social distancing and the closure of many social venues that occupy peoples leisure outlets.

I had an interesting dialogue with a Farmer, we met at a field gate that coincided with the Right of Way, he being driven around the field by daughter inspecting the livestock, we got into conversation with a query about the breed types of his sheep, interesting in itself but our parting words were relevant to the question in the topic title.

He pointed out the line we should follow across the field, undulating ground made it difficult to see the exit point, having walked there before I knew the direction but the ground had changed and the path in the field beyond disappeared in a mass of Soft rush and tussocky sedge.The side of the field away from the right of way was high ground and the farmer suggested that we head for that side, his explanation was the ditch had long needed cleaning and that was a job for the hall. This information tells me he was not the landowner. It is clear that the land maintenance has been in neglect for several years. We stopped for a coffee break on a nice dry bit of raised ground in full view of the whole 1/5 of a mile of this sodden footpath. An elderly couple of ladies struggle through it, not noticing my waves to come across to the dry side of the field. As the eventually got to the style, from which we had come we saw a family group about to start this watery assault course and they responded to my waves.

When they caught up with us as we dawdled around the Marbury Mere, I told the dad, the reason for my waves, his sons only had light trainers on there feet and his wife was not shod much better. They seemed in good order, the elderly couple I had noticed earlier in the day were better kitted out though the looked rather frail.

It is quite likely that someone may lodge a complaint, my previous complaints to the Cheshire authorities have had little effect, but the likelihood would be the great expense of duck boards across a developing wetland, because a badly maintained ditch will result in the field drainage system breaking down and a well used path to an important beauty spot in a popular walking area will cost public money due to lazy land management.

Yet there are plenty of signs and locked gates that tell a story of property protection, that stands in the way of more people sharing the full glory of that area.

As the only real complaint I have would be against the landowner for his bad land management, is it a waste of time complaining to the Rights of Way officers? Until public opinion can pinpoint poor land management and separate it from agricultural responsibility, there seems little point in piling up the in trays of local government with complaints that will divert public money into covering up the dilatory actions of an irresponsible minority.
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

archaeoroutes

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Re: Landowner or Farmer; is the difference important?
« Reply #1 on: 11:42:46, 21/06/20 »
I'm not suggesting this was the intention of the person responsible for not clearing the ditch, but walking a raised wooden pathway across a developing wetland sounds idyllic.
Walking routes visiting ancient sites in Britain's uplands: http://www.archaeoroutes.co.uk

richardh1905

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Re: Landowner or Farmer; is the difference important?
« Reply #2 on: 12:52:53, 21/06/20 »
I'm not suggesting this was the intention of the person responsible for not clearing the ditch, but walking a raised wooden pathway across a developing wetland sounds idyllic.


I recommend Foulshaw Moss and Meathop Moss in the South Lakes.

barewirewalker

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Re: Landowner or Farmer; is the difference important?
« Reply #3 on: 14:37:32, 21/06/20 »
Maybe the landowner is not cleaning out his ditches because he is of the conservation persuasion that boggy ground locks up more carbon. However the farmer is the working occupier of the field and it was the person assuming this identity, who told me I should take a different route across the field to the right of way, by this chance meeting I met a person showing a 'Duty of Care'.

Somewhere in the background there is a person showing no evidence of being aware that a Duty of Care is needed and also demonstrating that the public is locked out of all access other than strictly by the RoW. By this very indication the visitor is being instructed to keep to a way that is probably going to become increasingly unsafe.

Looking at a map of Marbury the stile we crossed to enter the field was also bog bound. Just east and below a deserted house called the Knowles, immediate recognition of the change of conditions in the field should suggest providing another access point 60-70yds closer to the Knowles, along the hedgeline that once had a path along it.


Having read the CLA's 2012 Common Sense policy published on access I can assure this forum the idea of Duty of Care is not at all evident. Though in the March British farmer there are signs that farmers are starting to become aware that they should do something about livestock.



BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

barewirewalker

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Re: Landowner or Farmer; is the difference important?
« Reply #4 on: 11:50:03, 22/06/20 »
Those, who come intooccupation of parts of our countryside by inheritance or purchase surely have some responsibility to the fabric of the land they occupy. The route the Right of Way takes is clearly on the low ground running alongside the ditch, this route is both a way to the village of Marbury and the church. The small length of grey path from the property denotes a 'tributory of use'.
The line of the path, clearly shows that this field must have been well drained, probably since the 1880 OS survey, as the the line of the path would have followed the higher ground shown by the contours on the west side of the field.
Quote
CLA Deputy President Harry ColterellThe problem is that thousands of miles of public rights of way were never designed for recreational walking. They evolved when walking was the most common mode of transport in the countryside, and it is no surprise that nowadays, people do not want to walk the short cuts of yesteryear. People want circular routes, easily followed and preferably somewhere they can park their car.Perhaps now is the time for us to fundamentally rethink the provision of recreational walking on our land. It would make sense for landowners to take the initiative as politicians tend to get too tied up in the dogma of rights of way, while the user groups are too concerned about the protection of historic rights for their own sake.
The 2012 policy on access was the first published after 17 years, I don't suppose we will know what there policy on access was 17 years before that and I don't know if the 2012 policy has been revised, but precious little research went into it. I really do not think that the farming industry should be shouldered with a legacy of bad and selfish land management that has gone on for centuries then be led into policies that are based on scant research to attitudes on the ground.

BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

GinAndPlatonic

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Re: Landowner or Farmer; is the difference important?
« Reply #5 on: 17:46:44, 22/06/20 »
" CLA Deputy President Harry ColterellThe problem is that thousands of miles of public rights of way were never designed for recreational walking. They evolved when walking was the most common mode of transport in the countryside, and it is no surprise that nowadays, people do not want to walk the short cuts of yesteryear. People want circular routes, easily followed and preferably somewhere they can park their car.Perhaps now is the time for us to fundamentally rethink the provision of recreational walking on our land. It would make sense for landowners to take the initiative as politicians tend to get too tied up in the dogma of rights of way, while the user groups are too concerned about the protection of historic rights for their own sake. "


Wow , Mr Colterell is very dismissive of  non land owners , and he says user groups are too interested in ROW for their own sake . I guess he would like landowners to take over complete control of POW`s if it was his way . ?

barewirewalker

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Re: Landowner or Farmer; is the difference important?
« Reply #6 on: 11:50:42, 23/06/20 »
" CLA Deputy President Harry ColterellThe problem is that thousands of miles of public rights of way were never designed for recreational walking. They evolved when walking was the most common mode of transport in the countryside, and it is no surprise that nowadays, people do not want to walk the short cuts of yesteryear. People want circular routes, easily followed and preferably somewhere they can park their car.Perhaps now is the time for us to fundamentally rethink the provision of recreational walking on our land. It would make sense for landowners to take the initiative as politicians tend to get too tied up in the dogma of rights of way, while the user groups are too concerned about the protection of historic rights for their own sake. "


Wow , Mr Colterell is very dismissive of  non land owners , and he says user groups are too interested in ROW for their own sake . I guess he would like landowners to take over complete control of POW`s if it was his way . ?

And therein lies my primary worry, that seems to lie unnoticed by most, who use our access network. Landowners have probably got control of most of the Lafs that were the result of the 2000 CRoW act, the 2026 deadline approaches and in the acceptance of their arrogant assumptions that many footpaths are unused will we see a wholesale removal of RoWs that could have added to our network, by willingness to share countryside.

The warnings are in the detail;


One little detail,  People want circular routes, easily followed and preferably somewhere they can park their car. He is assuming that the only sector of society, who want to walk have cars, this from a man whose family have inherited a title and 2000 acres of prime Herefordshire land. There is no thought that those without cars would need the solace of the countryside, though he lives just a bus drive away for the county town, in an area of 11 square miles and no rights of way.
« Last Edit: 13:17:54, 23/06/20 by barewirewalker »
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

barewirewalker

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Re: Landowner or Farmer; is the difference important?
« Reply #7 on: 14:52:51, 27/06/20 »
On a few post elsewhere I have referred to this article in the British Farmer;



Quote
Quote From the April edition, though I read it in March, Access under the heading of Environment. I Include below the text OCR'd so that the content or parts can be copied if needed;ACCESS
Forging a new path
In a cross—orgonisotion move, the NFU is gothering politicol momentum to improve
flexibility around public footpoths and rights of woy
The NFU and the CLA have secured the support of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to temporarily close public footpaths when
livestock are present on farms.
After trials around permissive routes were conducted in Cornwall, the NFU is now reaching out to other organisations to garner support to present a strong case to the UK Government for changes in national legislation.




Should it need a change in legislation to make available and alternative route, if a risk assessment shows probable risk? There is a clear place of risk near Much Wenlock at the east end of the Wenlock Edge, nothing to do with livestock, just two footpaths that fail to join directly across a main road so obviously dangerous that the landowners measures to stop walkers taking the safe option should be seen as criminal especially if there is a fatality. The person who really should go to prison if this happened should be the CLA's official advisor on Access as her guidelines have surely encouraged that landowner's attitude.
The move comes after an agronomist named John Porter and his brother Mike were walking with their dogs on leads through an NFU members’ field when they were attacked by a herd of cows, sadly killing Mike and injuring John.
The resulting trial highlighted how permissive routes can be a useful tool, as they offer an alternate route while keeping the original path open to the public. However, this is not always suitable because farmers are still vulnerable to criminal prosecution should anyone be hurt on the original path, asusers are still allowed to use it. It also means farmers would have to increase their insurance premiums to cover two public footpaths across their land.
Temporarily closing a public right of way is a more suitable solution that has gained the backing of the HSE, and to do it the Highways Act 1980 needs to change.
Section 57 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 allows for temporary diversions for dangerous works, but only allows it to happen for 14 days in one year alongside a requirement to advertise the change in a local newspaper
However, recommendations were previously made to the government in 2011 that suggested temporary diversions are more pragmatic and flexible “for the life of a multi-year high-value crop, or even for much longer”. The NFU’s Access Policy Adviser Dr Mhari Barnes said: “The NFU has been fighting for a long time for a new and more purposeful approach to the temporary diversion of public rights of way. Legislation that allows flexibility to deal with the changing needs of modern agriculture is required while satisfying the public rights of way network.”



THE NFU VIEW
NFU Livestock Board Chairman Richard Findlay said: "Knowing that members of the public and animals are not vulnerable along public footpaths would bring such peace of mind for farmers up and down the country. Safety of the public and livestock must be the highest priority. Having solutions like temporary rights of way could be key to ensuring people can enjoy the countryside while farmers can look after their cows and sheep during the calving and lambing season."



At a meeting in February, a number of organisations signed up to write to Defra Secretary of State George Eustice, imploring the government to consider proposals that could encourage temporary rights of way on farmland. These included:
Natural England
Open Spaces Society
Ramblers Association
CLA
Countryside Alliance
British Horse Society
IPROW
Kennel Club *
Disabled Ramblers*
*Signed the letter but were not present
I find the tone disturbing, it has a the sort of journalistic ring of confident ignorance that surrounds much of the articles I have read in the CLA's  Land and Business, showing little knowledge of the history of access, awareness of the farmers relationship with their customers as producers. A land management issue that should have been dealt with at least 50 years ago is lumped together under the heading of Environment and the producer is footing a insurance premium bill that really stems from the attitude of landowners over the last 2 Centuries.


At least G&P has recognised the arrogance of phrase of CLA's Deputy President Harry Colterell, when Farmer start to talk like landowners should the rest of society start to take notice. Sadly a 50 year out of date admission that the 1940's rules have been bypassed by imported breeds is made worse when the example given for action is the sad incident involving a member of the allied agricultural industry when many similar incidents have involved even more innocent victims have preceded this.

I left farming as a career around the time the NFU regionalized, much grass roots wisdom was lost as with the loss of much personnel, the political grass roots have been replaced by professional apparachiks, who are not well enough prepared to differentiate where the divide between farmer and landowner should lie.




Should it need a change in legislation to make available and alternative route, if a risk assessment shows probable risk. There is a clear place of risk near Much Wenlock at the east end of the Wenlock Edge, nothing to do with livestock, just two footpaths that fail to join directly across a main road so obviously dangerous that the landowners measures to stop walkers taking the safe option should be seen as criminal especially if there is a fatality. The person who really should go to prison if this happened should be the CLA's official advisor on Access as her guidelines have surely encouraged that landowner's attitude.
« Last Edit: 15:21:38, 27/06/20 by barewirewalker »
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

barewirewalker

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Re: Landowner or Farmer; is the difference important?
« Reply #8 on: 11:46:53, 30/06/20 »
If no one has asked the question, who guides the opinion on Livestock Safety in the countryside, then we can only lie down and let the landowner and cattle trample over us. Editorial is a valuable tool in moulding opinion, and a picture can replace a thousand words, a headline and a picture can be very misleading or can it be revealing.


I am sure you can all recognise the walker in the picture, but is the fellow he is with farmer or landowner and what does the caption below really tell us about the bonhommie that wellies and worn tweeds are supposed to impart?
At least there is no litter in the picture  ::)
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

ninthace

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Re: Landowner or Farmer; is the difference important?
« Reply #9 on: 12:25:53, 30/06/20 »
Red socks worn over the trousers - clearly a Very Important Rambler.   O0
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barewirewalker

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Re: Landowner or Farmer; is the difference important?
« Reply #10 on: 12:40:25, 30/06/20 »
Red socks worn over the trousers - clearly a Very Important Rambler.   O0
Well spotted, didn't get that one  ;D  too busy looking for litter ;D
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

barewirewalker

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Re: Landowner or Farmer; is the difference important?
« Reply #11 on: 11:46:10, 01/07/20 »
Apart from the body language of the two individuals photograhed, which depicts something that only I seem to find worrying the real thing that struck me about the appearance of the heading of this article was the publication it was in. Not as you might think the CLA's Land and Business, nor Country Life, the magazine is called the Furrow and is published by John Deare Tractors and the usual run of articles are practical agriculture.

Should we as leisure users of the countryside be worried by the influence over practical agriculture that the propaganda of the property owner is having?
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Landowner or Farmer; is the difference important?
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 12:45:54 »
Ive just come across a magnificent 4 part video titled "Secret Wales" on Youtube highlighting the diversity of the stunning Cambrian Mountains.

The entire discussion, is all about our management and protection of areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and how both farmer and huge land owners, work often in harmony, and occasionally allowing controversial developments, such as Wind farms to despoil the landscape.

Well worth a watch, too see the argument for how the farmer and huge land owners can work in harmony

gunwharfman

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Re: Landowner or Farmer; is the difference important?
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 13:13:24 »
I've noticed so often on my hikes, why do so many farmers, or is it landowners or both, wear a 'farmers uniform?'

The garb is not always the same, many variations on a theme, but it often includes in my observation, a flat cap, often a check shirt, often with a tie as well, trousers but rarely jeans, and brogues or wellies.

Again, as I've observed, I can't say I've ever seen a 'farmworker' wearing such a 'uniform?' Is it a class thing?

ninthace

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Re: Landowner or Farmer; is the difference important?
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 14:09:07 »
I've noticed so often on my hikes, why do so many farmers, or is it landowners or both, wear a 'farmers uniform?'

The garb is not always the same, many variations on a theme, but it often includes in my observation, a flat cap, often a check shirt, often with a tie as well, trousers but rarely jeans, and brogues or wellies.

Again, as I've observed, I can't say I've ever seen a 'farmworker' wearing such a 'uniform?' Is it a class thing?
I used to think there was a special shop they went to to get kitted out.  Now I know there is - my local farmers' supermarket has loads of it.  What's more, it is good stuff and reasonably priced.  I get my shirts there - allows me to pass for a native amongst the indigenous people.
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