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Right to quiet enjoyment

(9 Posts)
MrsZoidberg Wed 14-Nov-12 18:57:19

Can any legal experts advise on whether this is pursuing?

We are lucky to live rurally, we are surrounded on three sides by fields, the fourth is our own field.

The farmer who owns the biggest fields behind us allows (or perhaps charges??) hunters to shoot on his land. There are two "types" of these hunters - as this isn't Aibu I won't use the terms we usually use for them grin 1. are the true hunter sorts - shotgun, spaniel at their side, only occasional shots - I assume when they actually see something. The other, more annoying sort, use air-rifles, wear camouflage, lie on the ground with sights on the gun, and also shoot at night with lights and night-scopes (and generally look right tits as they play toy soldiers). They must also be lousy shots judging by how many times they fire. I think both sorts are supposed to be shooting rabbits.

During summer afternoons the sound of the guns (from both types) is seriously annoying (although the toy soldiers also used silencers for a while), and making sitting in our garden totally impossible. But more annoying are the toy soldiers who are currently playing out there in the dark. Our house is quite close to the boundary and the large "crack" noise makes us jump. This is not a one off, it can be 2 or 3 times a week.

We have 2 major issues with this, not just annoyance. 1. My DS has hypercusis (sensitivity to certain noise), and this can be agony for him, and secondly 2 of our dogs are petrified by the sound, and one won't even go out to be clean in her own garden due to this.

I know in the first instance, I'm going to have to approach the farmer and ask if he will stop them, but is there anything legal I can do if he says no?

I dont think there's anything that you can do to 'stop them' as it's his land per se. I think that there can be restrictions put in place though as to when/whereabouts they can carry out their activities.

Definitely worth looking into as it would drive me mad. Approach farmer first and explain how it's affecting your family and then take it from there.

STIDW Thu 15-Nov-12 01:04:17

I would swap your toy soldiers and air guns for my real soldiers and heavy artillery practising for World War III any time of day or night. wink

cumfy Thu 15-Nov-12 13:13:04

Are you sure it is air rifles ?
A "crack sound" is most likely from small arms fire.

I think some farmers have .22s for rats or some such, but they surely would not be allowed to use them as you describe.

Would contact police if you suspect they are firing .22s.

MrsZoidberg Thu 15-Nov-12 18:44:23

STIDW - I'm intrigued grin

It's not the sound of the normal type of shotgun that farmer's use - they're out tonight - that's 3 nights in a row we've had aresholes in the field sad

I don't know what a .22 would look like - I'll get DS to select one on his shootem up game to show me.

Soon after the "toy" soldiers started I did ring the police becuase the guns didn't look like "normal" hunting guns i.e. they looked just like the snipers you see on TV (I watch too many crime dramas)

At first they made us laugh as they were sneaking about the field in camouflage, and then lying on the ground with the gun on one of those tripods. It's not so funny anymore, we hardly see any rabbits or other things now. We also have a lot of mixie in the area, so I guess at least they are despatching them quickly, but it's not exactly sporting is it? I can walk up to one of these bunnies and just pick it up (we take them to a local wildlife hospital to have them put to sleep humanely)

All I know from the police is that they are not doing anything illegal (or at least not on the day I called them out). They are far enough away from the road - Yes I know that cos my house is inbetweenangry. The only thing I can have them arrested for is if they shoot over our boundary.

I really don't hold out much hope with the farmer, and can't afford to alienate him.

STIDW Thu 15-Nov-12 22:21:44

I live next to a MOD Training Area. Training can be anything from low level (less than a platoon) exercises or helicopters hovering over the back garden to large scale involving pyrotechnics and other battle simulators such as smoke grenades and thunder flashes. At 3am its like waking up in the middle of a war zone.

Alad Fri 16-Nov-12 20:13:04

Couple of things to think about. Shooting happens in the country. That's not to say that it shouldn't be responsible & legal. If there is a crack & thump - that is real bullets. A licence can be held for this.

0.22 is a small calibre, but more than enough to kill you/cause serious injury.

Suggest a dialogue with the landowner /hunters/police/ environmental health people.

MrsHoarder Fri 16-Nov-12 20:32:11

This is one of the many reasons I prefer urban life. Just to clarify, is the problem around your "field" or the property's historic garden? But the farmer is almost certainly charging and struggling to make a decent living off his land.

My brother (who embraced country life more happily) than me wears camouflage to sneak around for his preferred "sport". He's a blinking angler. So I doubt the "sneaking on the floor" hunters are any more dangerous than the traditional ones. Dafter, and influenced by computer games, yes but not more dangerous. Of course both groups have guns and could cause harm. Have you thought about getting your dogs vests?

Finally I'd be seriously surprised if it was more humane for a wild animal to be picked up, trapped in a box, put in a loud car, moved about lots, handled by more big animals then die than it would be for there to be a loud noise then it be over. At least learn how to break the poor creatures' necks and get it over with quickly.

MrsZoidberg Fri 16-Nov-12 22:23:01

I haven't thought of them as dangerous - we laugh at them most of the time. Accuse them of needing "prick extensions" etc. I do occasionally worry about them shooting at the dogs, but my bigger fear would be the cat which goes in the farmer's field. I don't think they would be so stupid as to shoot over the hedge - we know their number plates, they are here all the time, and the farmer could identify them.

We live in a barn conversion, it is set in 2.5 acres most of which is to one side. The actual house is quite close to the boundary with this field i.e. we are at the back of the plot.

It's not the danger side of it, its the annoying noise.

The noise hurts my chronically ill son. It upsets him. It scares my dogs. I just want it to stop, it is spoiling our enjoyment of our home.

(MrsHoarder - I hadn't thought of the mixie rabbits that way. If Fil is here, he does do this for me, I'll get him to show me)

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