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