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Shooting rights

The High Court’s recent decision in Fuller v Kitzing and another [2017] EWHC 810 (Ch), on profits à prendre and sporting rights over another person’s land has important implications for the practice of shooting in England and Wales.

The court decided, as a preliminary issue, that the right ‘to preserve and rear game’ did not refer only to entirely wild birds. They could still be wild even if they had been introduced and reared on other land and then released and had come in some way on to the servient land (the land subject to the rights). Furthermore, the person having the sporting rights could enter the servient land both to feed the wild birds and to protect them from outside threats such as vermin. However, the right did not authorise the person with the sporting rights to introduce poults or pheasants on the servient land or erect pens on it.
The decision also affirmed that sporting rights must be exercised reasonably and without undue interference with the servient owner’s enjoyment of his own land.
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