Land access - seeking and finding permission

  • Hey Guest, For sale we have Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteel PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information or use the Pay Now button in the sidebar
Jun 27, 2013
5
0
Uk
I cannot stand people who go into other peoples land with their express permission and then leave rubbish behind, in my mind it's as bad as walking into their house and kicking off your muddy boots onto their nice clean carpet! pet hate right there!, how hard is it to take a carrier bag for your rubbish and if you spot other people's rubbish take that with you too.

ok rant over lol, great advice here though =)
 
Jan 6, 2009
4
2
50
Wales
No Doubt this will annoy some of you - but it's posted with the only intention of being useful and putting the other side across. I'm a small farmer (well I'm not that small but our farm is - less than 200 acres) and a coupe of times a year I get requests from people who essentially want a place to camp in the woods. I no longer say yes as on average one group in three caused me problems. Always I was told you won't be able to tell where we camped when we've gone - this is rarely the case. The final group I agreed could camp left their shelter up, left the remains of three fires - one made against the trunk of a large beech tree - they cut down at least 12 trees (the largest two about a foot in diameter) - worst they cut two trees which got caught up in the branches of adjacent trees which they were then unable to get to the ground - these were left as they were in a dangerous state. Why should I put up with this? I'm the one who has to sort it all out, and I'm the one who would be liable if someone else later was injured by one of those trees. Also they set snares for rabbits - fair enough I said they could hunt for rabbits (I just assumed they meant with air rifles) - now they were obviously too thick to count as they left some snares behind I only found about these when a dog walker's dog found them with the remains of a dead rabbit in one of them a few days later - a cruel death.
So my point is the balance of risk is always only born by the farmer. If some people ask me to use the woods then I'm taking a risk - but they aren't. I'm risking that they will leave a mess for me to sort out or cause some other probem - if all goes well then the best I get out of it is nothing! They get a good time if I say yes and they can do whatever they want and leave whatever mess they want.
What I suggest - and the only way I'll ever grant access in future - is for people wanting access to leave a deposit with the farmer say £100. Oh no you say the nasty farmer might just keep it no matter how careful we are. Well yes he might you have to trust him( okay could be her) why should we trust the farmer we don't know him, he could be a git. Well here's the rub why should I trust some random group of blokes who want to camp, shoot and light fires on our land? Why don't you guys show some trust first. You know something about the farmer - you know where he lives because you've knocked on his door - the farmer only knows where you say you live even if he feels it's reasonable to ask you. He stands to gain nothing and risks something by saying yes - so why not give him some confidence that you'll play fair?
For me I'd ask for a £100 deposit - if the first time went well then next time, if there was at least one person from a group that had been before, I'd ask for £50 deposit and after two times of demonstrating I can trust you I'd not ask for a deposit. And yes you do risk the farmer being a **** and not giving you all your deposit back, but you have to trust him - after all you're asking us to trust you - isn't it fair that the risk is at least a bit balanced?
 
Last edited:

Mesquite

Anyone for sailing?
Mar 5, 2008
25,012
1,181
60
~Hemel Hempstead~
That's a very fair post from the landowners point of view Carrog and I can well appreciate the frustrations you've had with having to clear up the mess from the campers.

If you asked me for a deposit in return for camping on your land then I'd be more than happy to pay it because as you say it's all about trust and that takes time to build up.

It's also an idea I may well use to approach a landowner myself to gain permission, thanks for suggesting it :)
 

Shewie

Mod
Mod
Dec 15, 2005
24,259
21
45
Yorkshire
No Doubt this will annoy some of you - but it's posted with the only intention of being useful and putting the other side across. I'm a small farmer (well I'm not that small but our farm is - less than 200 acres) and a coupe of times a year I get requests from people who essentially want a place to camp in the woods. I no longer say yes as on average one group in three caused me problems. Always I was told you won't be able to tell where we camped when we've gone - this is rarely the case. The final group I agreed could camp left their shelter up, left the remains of three fires - one made against the trunk of a large beech tree - they cut down at least 12 trees (the largest two about a foot in diameter) - worst they cut two trees which got caught up in the branches of adjacent trees which they were then unable to get to the ground - these were left as they were in a dangerous state. Why should I put up with this? I'm the one who has to sort it all out, and I'm the one who would be liable if someone else later was injured by one of those trees. Also they set snares for rabbits - fair enough I said they could hunt for rabbits (I just assumed they meant with air rifles) - now they were obviously too thick to count as they left some snares behind I only found about these when a dog walker's dog found them with the remains of a dead rabbit in one of them a few days later - a cruel death.
So my point is the balance of risk is always only born by the farmer. If some people ask me to use the woods then I'm taking a risk - but they aren't. I'm risking that they will leave a mess for me to sort out or cause some other probem - if all goes well then the best I get out of it is nothing! They get a good time if I say yes and they can do whatever they want and leave whatever mess they want.
What I suggest - and the only way I'll ever grant access in future - is for people wanting access to leave a deposit with the farmer say £100. Oh no you say the nasty farmer might just keep it no matter how careful we are. Well yes he might you have to trust him( okay could be her) why should we trust the farmer we don't know him, he could be a git. Well here's the rub why should I trust some random group of blokes who want to camp, shoot and light fires on our land? Why don't you guys show some trust first. You know something about the farmer - you know where he lives because you've knocked on his door - the farmer only knows where you say you live even if he feels it's reasonable to ask you. He stands to gain nothing and risks something by saying yes - so why not give him some confidence that you'll play fair?
For me I'd ask for a £100 deposit - if the first time went well then next time, if there was at least one person from a group that had been before, I'd ask for £50 deposit and after two times of demonstrating I can trust you I'd not ask for a deposit. And yes you do risk the farmer being a **** and not giving you all your deposit back, but you have to trust him - after all you're asking us to trust you - isn't it fair that the risk is at least a bit balanced?

That sounds fair Carrog, it would probably put those off who don't respect your land too.

Sorry to hear about the damage, that's just not on and I can understand how it could frustrate
 
Feb 27, 2008
423
0
Cambridge
My dad has recently taken on management of 50+ acres of land, wood and lakes. We came across a 'bushcrafter' camp a few weeks back. They certainly weren't operating a 'leave no trace' policy, it was more 'leave all rubbish'.

They had hacked away at countless dead standing trees, piled up the wood and wrapped it in a tarp and had left it for future fun. Couple of small fires not cleared up. The biggest bug bear was the empty glow stick wrappers, beer cans, fizzy drinks bottles, food wrapping and everything else they couldn't be bothered to carry out. 5 minutes of tidying would've made it spotless but with that mentality its always 'someone elses job'. My dad pays for the lease, give his time to manage it and people with a sense of entitlement walk past the 'private, keep out' signs and go to town.

I expect its a very small part of the bushcraft community who do that. Probably not even part of the community. Someone who has watched a few episodes of Ray Mears or Bear Grylls and declared themselves a weekend warrior! I will be the one clearing up that mess. There is also an amount of poaching that has happened. I have found unspent gun shells laying on the floor, putting peoples lives at risk.

Perhaps more outdoors programs in schools could teach people when they are young about clearing up after themselves and being a bit more respectful to the environment.
 

dump of the stig

New Member
Sep 8, 2012
239
0
west sussex
im on the virge of getting a possible perm, great bit of land, very nice mix of terrain about 50acres, got the land owners contact details
and got a heads up from a guy that runs airsoft there every few weeks. he said he doubts it will be a problem.
Thing is im having a real job wording my letter (im told he is very old school and would appreciate a hand written letter before any visit
or call. Is there any good templates out there I can copy just to get me going?
Im a well seasoned bushcrafter, I have big time respect for the land, also I met they guy a few times about 33 years ago when I was a young
gamekeepers apprentice. 39 now :-/ any help would be great, has to be super polite and old school for this old gent I think.
 

smojo

Forager
Jan 19, 2014
137
0
West Yorkshire
im on the virge of getting a possible perm, great bit of land, very nice mix of terrain about 50acres, got the land owners contact details
and got a heads up from a guy that runs airsoft there every few weeks. he said he doubts it will be a problem.
Thing is im having a real job wording my letter (im told he is very old school and would appreciate a hand written letter before any visit
or call. Is there any good templates out there I can copy just to get me going?
Im a well seasoned bushcrafter, I have big time respect for the land, also I met they guy a few times about 33 years ago when I was a young
gamekeepers apprentice. 39 now :-/ any help would be great, has to be super polite and old school for this old gent I think.

Keep it simple, honest and to the point. Check spelling before final version. Use a "proper" sheet of writing paper rather than a torn out page from a notebook. Off the top of my head something like this might be all that's necessary - just fill in the details of what's in the brackets. Put your name and address at the top right hand side of the page first. Include a self addressed and stamped envelope for his reply.

date

Dear Sir,

I am enquiring about the possible occasional use of your woodland (name of woodland here) for my bushcraft hobby. I have been given your contact details from (name of guy that runs airsoft). I am 39 years old and a seasoned bushcrafter, with high respect for the woodlands and the life that inhabits it. My activities would include (name what you want to do). I will leave the woodland tidy and undamaged after my stay. I am happy to meet you personally to discuss this further and make some agreeable arrangements. I hope to hear from you soon and am enclosing an SAE for your reply.

Yours faithfully,

(Sign your name and then Print it as well underneath)

Hope that helps and good luck, let us know if you are successful
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,690
614
Mercia
I would avoid all use of the term "bushcraft" - its a meaningless term to most people - as you say the guy in an "older gentleman" so perhaps

Dear Sir,

I am enquiring about the possible occasional use of your woodland (name of woodland here) for an occasional night spent camping quietly under the stars. I have been given your contact details from (name of guy that runs airsoft). I am 39 years old and a seasoned outdoorsman, with high respect for the woodlands and the life that inhabits it. I am keen to camp out in a simple way, bird and wildlife watch, cook over a camp fire and enjoy the peace and quiet. I will leave the woodland tidy and undamaged after my stay and would be happy to undertake maintenance tasks for you by way of thanks. I would love to call on you at a time of your convenience to discuss this further. I hope to hear from you soon and am enclosing an SAE for your reply.

Yours faithfully,

(Sign your name and then Print it as well underneath)
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,462
2,429
S. Lanarkshire
Describe the campfire as small; it all helps with the low key nature of your use of the woods. Might be courteous to offer to meet up with the owner first too ?

cheers,
Toddy
 

Mesquite

Anyone for sailing?
Mar 5, 2008
25,012
1,181
60
~Hemel Hempstead~
Describe the campfire as small; it all helps with the low key nature of your use of the woods. Might be courteous to offer to meet up with the owner first too ?

Hugh's letter is very good and as Toddy suggested stress that the fire would be a small one.

Something else you could mention to show that you're serious is to offer to a) pay for each night you camp or b) pay a deposit along the lines that Carrog suggested.

It may well be he doesn't want paying but I tend to find people think you're more serious if you're willing to pay for something rather than just expect to use it for free.
 

dump of the stig

New Member
Sep 8, 2012
239
0
west sussex
thanks to you and british red and smojo especially. This forum never fails to surprise me with its warmth. I only pop in now and again im not even a regular
but yet guys like your selves go out of your way. Really that's great, I just get a bit of writers block and you have given me something to kick off with.
Absolute stars!. Please if I get this perm, a big bacon roll and fireside coffee is on me.
Ill keep you updated as to how it gose so fingers crossed, great bit of land, pine, birch, hazel, bracken, grass land, not massive but a place I could really get
get some things done.
Great stuff cheers lads.
 
Last edited:

smojo

Forager
Jan 19, 2014
137
0
West Yorkshire
You're welcome. Dunno much about bushcraft yet - just an (old) newbie but if I can pass on any other life skills then I'm happy to.
 

hope100

Need to contact Admin...
Mar 31, 2014
2
0
Staffordshire
I agree with Carrog. I'm a landowner (farm with a wood) and when people just turn up, or phone up out of the blue, I always say no because I have no idea who they are, or how they will treat my land. Its a lot easier to say no than take the risk! It may help to say you are a member of this website?

What would be really useful is some sort of register where you could sign up and then give the landowner your registration number. If a member then left the site in any sort of mess the landowner could ask for their removal from the register.
 

The_Taffinch

Full Member
Mar 31, 2014
292
0
Hungerford, Berkshire
Hi All,

Here's my letter, which takes cues from the really useful suggestions further down this thread:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I write to enquire whether you would consider allowing the possible occasional use of some of the woodland on your property for my bushcraft/outdoorsmanship hobby.

I’m a 40-year old Project Manager and keen outdoorsman with high respect for the countryside and the people who manage it. My activities would include overnight camping, cooking over a (small) campfire, light woodland foraging, and general self-sufficiency.

I can assure you that I would be very diligent in ensuring that my stay would have minimal impact on you woodland. I will leave the woodland tidy and undamaged, and I will be scrupulous in removing all rubbish.

I would be happy to:

1. Meet with you in person or call you on the phone so that you can check that I am not the sort of person who will cause a mess or damage your property
2. Provide full verified contact and address details so that you can be assured that you can get in touch with me if there are any post/pre-stay problems. I can supply you with scanned household bills or ‘official’ communications to verify these details.
3. Provide full notice in advance of when I would like to visit the woodland
4. Send you GPS co-ordinates of the exact location that I visit so that you can either visit me when I am on-site or do a post-stay check.
5. Take and send you pre and post stay photos of the site so that you can check that I have tidied everything up and returned the camp area to its original state.
6. Provide you with my car registration number so that you would know that it was me and no-one else parked near your property

In addition, I could provide a suitable deposit as security against any problems, and I would be pleased to make a direct payment every time I camp.
If you could let me know if you would be willing to consider this request then I would be very grateful if you could get in touch (my details are above). I would be more than happy to discuss this with you and provide further details.

Yours faithfully,

Hope you find this useful:)
 
Thanks Tony!

That information was just the kind of thing I was looking for. I know a chap with a nice area of land including some woods, I actually know him quite well and I'm pretty sure he will grant me sole access to camp. I guess I just need to ask in the right way, maybe help out a little and offer to pay him a little something and leave the place as I find it.
 

Hultafors Outdoor knife for Sale

We have a a number of Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteels for sale.

You can see more details here in this thread OUTDOOR KNIVES The price is £27 posted to the UK. Pay via the paypal button below.