If you own rural land and property, these are often your most valuable assets. Learn how the CLA can help protect and enhance them
Whether you make a living from your land or simply own it for pleasure, your rights and responsibilities over your own land are varied and can change.
The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) supports anyone who owns rural land in England and Wales. It does not exist purely for larger landowners – around a quarter of members own fewer than 25 acres.
The CLA gives specialist advice and practical support that will help you to understand your landowning responsibilities and make the most of what your land and property has to offer. Membership also gives you a connection with the major landowning and rural communities and it can help cut your costs through selected services.
If you run a smallholding, access to the CLA’s specialist landowning and rural business advice means you can run it more effectively and efficiently. For instance, the CLA can help you understand the laws affecting boundaries and rights of way, whether you comply as a working farmer for inheritance tax, and if there are other businesses you could be running on your land.
Alternatively, you may have bought a house in the country with land around it. Like many people, you may not be aware of the responsibilities you have taken on, as well as your rights as a landowner. For example, the CLA could explain your legal responsibility regarding trees on your land, what you can do to avoid trespassing and how can you protect your land against claims that it is a village green.
Here are five key areas in which the CLA can help you:
1) KNOWLEDGE – Insight on issues that affect your land and business
Regardless of the number of acres you own, it is vital that you are aware of the issues that affect landowners. The CLA’s professional advisers keep members informed giving relevant and practical guidance via regular emails, a monthly magazine and the CLA website.
This exclusive knowledge is highly valuable and gives you the inside track to help you to understand and comply with rural legislation, to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a rural landowner, to gain technical information relating to owning small acreages, and to obtain new ideas for generating income from your land.
2) ADVICE – Expert guidance to help manage your land and business
Advice from the CLA’s national experts can help protect the investment value of your rural land and property. Direct access to their expertise will help you manage your land and business. Typical issues include:
- How do I stop neighbours encroaching?
- What are my legal responsibilities for animals straying off my land?
- Who can explain the tax rules regarding land ownership?
- What do I need to bear in mind when applying for planning permission?
- What rights do utility companies have to come on to my land?
- Where can I access grants to create a wildflower meadow?
3) COMMUNITY – Valuable connections to extend your contacts
CLA members make up a significant rural group and their unique member events give you the chance to make valuable connections. As part of their exclusive community you will be able to:
- Socialise with fellow land and property owners
- Acquire local knowledge
- Gain access to the specialist rural suppliers and services landowners need
- Enjoy country pursuits
- Share ideas with other members to help you succeed with your own projects
- Be seen as an intrinsic part of the rural community
4) INFLUENCE – Ability to influence decision-makers
Anyone who owns rural land, even just a few acres, needs an influential voice to help protect its value; the CLA can be that highly effective voice. Using its members’ experiences and concerns enables the CLA to:
- Lobby to overturn poorly considered regulations
- Improve legislation that will benefit members
- Resist the introduction of laws that will have unintended consequences for landowners
- Ensure decision-makers consider the implications of legislation for rural areas
The CLA’s specialist lobbying can help you protect the value of the land and property you have invested in and your ability to enjoy your land as you wish.
5) MEMBER SERVICES – Support from partners who understand your needs
The CLA’s member services are carefully selected to support you in managing your land and rural business interests.
- CLA Insurance – protects all your assets from your land, your home and its contents to any rural enterprises you are running on your land
- CLA Healthcare – provides the right healthcare options for you, your family and your employees
- CLA Foreign Exchange – allows you to get the best out of your foreign currency exchange transactions, such as property payments or foreign investments
- CLA Utilities – provides support and advice on energy efficiency measures
What CLA members say
“It is good to know that the CLA with all its useful contacts is there to help me through when I need expert advice. Best decision I have made for a long time.” Norfolk member
“Thank you very much for all your help as I literally did not know where to start.” Yorkshire member
“Thanks to you and the CLA I am probably better informed than many might be. God bless the CLA once again!” Devon member
“Knowing very little about land management, I asked for assistance. I have been hugely impressed. Efficient, helpful, supportive and enthusiastic. My subscription to the CLA has been amply rewarded and I am a very satisfied member.” Essex member
To find out more about how the CLA can help you protect your land and property, please visit www.cla.org.uk or call 020 7460 7935.