Mark Up On Stalking Leases

Territory Hunting

David Brown

Well-Known Member
I am just back from visiting a cousin . He had a friend round who has just, on the advice of his pension fund manager, bought a forest in the north of Scotland. This lad is not the outdoor type as a round of golf once a month is the most fresh air he gets. He was though full of enthusiasm for his purchase and plans to visit it as often as he can for camping and exploring the surroundings. He lives on the Isle of Wight so I don't think he will make the trip more than three times a year. Knowing I had done something similar ten years ago he was armed with the sale particulars and the proposed contract for management by a large private forestry consultant company. I looked over this with interest and a few things caught my eye. The place is 305 hectare of woodland with a further 90 hec of open hill. It was described in the sale particulars as having been 'lightly stalked' . Although this may have been a sales ploy the current sporting tenant also lives in the deep south so may not visit that often himself. Cull figures were not quoted and the new owner is clueless about such things and really has no interest but I know the area. It is teeming with Sika as well as having some good sporting estates on its western boundary which are known for their Red Deer. So it was with a jolt of surprise that I saw the management company only passes on £300 in stalking rental income to the owner. That got me thinking . I have noticed that quite a few properties advertised on land agents sites often quote very small rental incomes for owners via agents. I know agents will have various costs in setting up leases and submitting returns but I cant believe they wont charge the tenant thousands for the stalking . Try renting somewhere and, as you all know ,the costs are very high. Are these companies taking advantage of an owners indifference or ignorance? This place is too far from me for me to be interested but I wonder how many situations like this exist.


Glen Cadwallader

Well-Known Member
Oh David, you do like the controversial stuff don't you!

The first thing that I would say would be that it shouldn't really matter if this place has been shot hard or not, with the neighbours it has I would be happy that plenty deer will move in rapid style.

I would think that one you are talking about will easily raise £2000 per annum, I won't name areas or agents as a friend has an interest in it.

More on your subject matter though, I agree private forestry firms have historically given absentee land owners very little return for the sporting assets they hold and in many cases they charge a ransom for "Deer control", land owners who know nothing of this type of thing will be none the wiser.

I'm glad to say though that this is changing, landowners are becoming more aware of the value of sporting leases and are taking this out of the hands of the forestry companies.


Well-Known Member
The company I deal with for my one remaining lease, Bidewells, takes nothing directly on the lease payment - I send the money directly to the owner by BACS.

No doubt they take a "management fee" on this somewhere down the line.

This is unusual in my experience of also dealing with Tilhill and others but makes things pretty clear - its also pretty honest on Bidwells part.
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