Tom and Beatrice Hayball-Jones alongside the section of river that runs through their land.Farmers' Union of Wales members in Glamorganshire are enduring sleepless nights over a notice recently served on them by the Land Registry.
The "B148 Notice of an application to register a profit a prendre in gross" relates to an attempt by Ogmore Angling Association trustees to register sole and exclusive fishing rights on the river Ogmore and its tributaries.
The notice states that a "profit a prendre in gross" is a right to take something from someone else's land such as fishing or shooting rights.
FUW members Tom and Beatrice Hayball-Jones of Moor Mill Farm, Troes, are among those who have received a copy of the notice even though only their family members have fished their stretch of the river for generations.
Mrs Hyball-Jones said was deeply upset when the notice arrived and could not sleep for several nights worrying about the implications. If the application is successful then the only way anglers can access the river is through their farmyard.
"The notice arrived completely out of the blue about a month ago and it was very officially worded," said Mrs Hyball-Jones. "Obviously, it caused panic because we didn't know how to reply.
"This early worry and panic has now turned to anger as the realisation that someone is attempting to take away something which has always belonged to us hits home."
FUW county executive officer Glyn Davies said: “Objections to the notice have to be lodged with the Land Registry within 21 days, but it needs to be quite specific in terms of how it is worded.
"This action by Ogmore Angling Association is quite alarming as the whole basis of the notice is relying upon a 1978 conveyance, which has already been proven in court to be defective.
"However, several other members have now received notices, which need to be dealt with. We have even got instances where notices have been served without plans so it is impossible to specify which section of river is being referred to.
"Well over 100 land owners are thought to be affected and the FUW wants to alert members to the danger of not dealing with this matter promptly. It could also set a very dangerous precedent if the angling association is successful in this instance."
Those FUW members affected are now in the process of contacting each other in order to appoint a solicitor to fight the angling association's application on their behalf.
The controversial issue of increasing access to waterways was discussed at a recent meeting of the union’s grand council in Aberystwyth when delegates were informed that culture and sport minister John Griffiths had instigated a review of access legislation with a view to producing a Green Paper at the end of the year.
"While the FUW would support the rationalisation of the Public Rights of Ways system to ensure that resources can be utilised more effectively in developing circular or linked networks, it is concerned at the implications for farming if a presumed right of access to land, particularly alongside inland waterways, is considered," said Holyhead farmer Gavin Williams, chairman of the union's land use and parliamentary committee.
No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment
Most Read News