...A hindrance




Close to centres of high population, one of the most valuable stretches of water you can own is a fishable pond.

Coarse fishermen are the largest group of sportsmen in Britain. They sit out, sometimes all night, in pouring rain around water that would otherwise yield no income whatever to its owner. This activity has to be controlled or all the locals will happily fish for nothing while your visiting, paying fishermen complain about overcrowding. Often it is easiest to let your fishing to a group. Many companies have angling clubs. Although your income may be reduced, it will be they, instead of you, who have to worry about the water being fished by non-payers.

Shooting wildfowl is often best approached on the same basis. Here those you are allowing onto your land may be dangerous. If they do not hit what they are aiming at, they may hit something else and it is worth checking out references, or at least making sure that they can hit the proverbial barn door. You may be advised to watch this from a distance through binoculars!

If you do allow access to your land then your responsibilities to keep various dangerous places, such as mine-shafts, well guarded are increased. A written sign is not enough: children and others might not read. Even if the shaft does not belong to you, and many are in separate ownership from the land, it is still up to you to make the area reasonably safe.

Especially large stretches of water can suit a variety of pastimes: fishing, water-skiing and so on. The problem is generally to keep conflicting interests apart and to ease access to the water. Again it is easiest to run the activities as groups but you may then exclude the very people who would put the asset to best use.