Farmer speaks to Cookstown High School students about trespassing

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During a week’s work experience at the Mid Ulster Mail, two budding reporters from Cookstown High School talked to a local farmer about the issue of trespassing.

The landowner, who wants to remain anonymous, said on occasion he has been forced to call the PSNI “in frustration” at people lamping and shooting on his land.

“They don’t care,” he said, “They think they have a right to be on my land. Some people listen and don’t come back, but others just don’t care.

“They say they have rights.

“You also get to see how startlingly rude people can actually be,” he went on, “It is something you should never have to go through, and something only an idiot would do. How would you like someone to go into your back garden without permission?”

Although trespassing is not a crime, it could lead to civil action in the courts such as an injunction to prevent further trespassing, or the perpetrator having to pay damages.

A spokesperson for the PSNI said: “Hunters entering farm land without permission would constitute civil trespass which would be a matter for the civil courts.

“Police would take action if it was found that a criminal offence had occurred, for example, badger baiting or if the hunters were posing a threat to life or injury - for example shooting across a road.”