Re-entry of shooting rights to the valuation roll – FAQs
When were shootings last entered in the valuation roll?
Shooting rights and deer forests were in the valuation roll up to 31st March 1995. They were then excluded by section 151 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 and were not entered at revaluation in 1995.
Why are they being entered in the valuation roll again?
The Land Reform Act 2016 removed the exemption and obliged the Assessor to re-enter shooting rights and deer forests in local valuation rolls from 1st April 2017.
How did the assessor get the information to make the valuation roll entries?
Returns of information were sent to each occupier of agricultural land. This form asked for details of the area of the land and the land types as well as the types of species and numbers shot. Rental information was also asked for and this enabled an analysis of those rents.
I never returned the form sent to me. How did you get the area to value the shooting rights?
It’s apparent there is a shooting right and so an entry was made based on an estimate of the area over which the shooting rights may be exercised. The initial information came from the Scottish Government based on data they held on Single Farm Payments. The estimate was based on whether the area included with that information was reasonable in all the circumstances.
What is a shooting right?
The right to shoot is normally associated with ownership of land. Essentially, if you own the land you own the right to shoot. However, the right to shoot may be transferred to another person by lease or by licence or alternatively may be retained by the owner when land is sold or by the landlord when land is let – e.g. for agricultural use.
There are some shooting rights not entered in the valuation roll. Why?
Entries have been made for shooting rights where the area and nature of the land are such as to suggest that a shooting right, in terms of the legal definition, exists and could be exercised. If ratepayers have evidence of shooting rights which have not been entered in the Valuation Roll they should write to their local Assessor to make them aware of the position. The Assessor will investigate and, if appropriate, an entry will be made.
I only shoot vermin, why have you made an entry?
In rating terms, shooting rights are defined as the right to occupy the land for the purpose of shooting game. Game does not have a clear definition in Scots law but the term normally refers to wild birds and animals such as deer, pheasants, partridges, black or red grouse, ptarmigan, wildfowl (most species of wild duck and geese), snipe, woodcock and hare. Although individual occupiers may consider such game to be vermin in respect of their own particular occupation, the right to shoot game will nevertheless require to be entered in the Valuation Roll.
I have several separate areas over which I exercise shooting rights. Can these be made a single entry in the valuation roll?
Separate entries will be made in the Valuation Roll where it is considered not possible to exercise a shooting right over the separate parts readily because of distance between each part.
Where separate parts are close enough together to enable the operation of a single shooting right then only one entry will be made in the valuation roll. So, if the separate parts were accessed by the same roads or paths or could be reached relatively easily by foot this is likely to be considered a single entry.
How are shooting rights valued?
The area over which shootings may be exercised is the unit of measurement, usually stated in Hectares (Ha). A rate per Ha is applied to this dependent on the land type. Land types and rates are as below.
LAND TYPE RATE/HA ARABLE £4.00 UNIMPROVED GRASSLAND £4.00 IMPROVED GRASSLAND £3.50 DEER FOREST/HILL/MOOR £2.00 WOODLANDS/FORESTRY £5.00 MIXED TYPES £5.00
Are there any allowances applied in the valuation?
A quantum allowance is applied for very large areas. There may be instances where a further allowance is appropriate. Any allowance, other than quantum, will usually be a maximum of 10%.
Why is the maximum allowance likely to be 10%?
The generality of rents were included in the analysis with no specific knowledge of the background of each. This means that some shooting rights, which are possibly relatively disadvantaged, are included in the rental analysis. If these were conditioned to reflect the disadvantage, the resultant rates/Ha would have been higher. So, only those extreme disadvantageous circumstances should be reflected in the valuation. Any higher allowance should be proven by rental evidence, which may not yet have been provided. If this were the case, the rental evidence would require to be provided to allow full consideration of the circumstances.
Should an allowance be granted for the presence of paths and public access to land over which a shooting right may be exercised?
It is relatively common to have public access to the same land over which shooting rights may be exercised and so an allowance would not normally be justified. Exceptional circumstances should be brought to the attention of the Assessor.
I don’t shoot. Why has a valuation roll entry been made?
It’s not the fact that shooting occurs. It is whether it’s possible to exercise the right to shoot. Where it is possible, a valuation roll entry is appropriate. It is a voluntary restriction to decide not to shoot and this is something that Assessors must ignore when deciding to make a valuation roll entry.
Note on the source of data used to assess the rateable value of shooting rights and deer forests
The majority of shooting rights and deer forest rateable values have been based on information that has been provided by the relevant land managers. In some cases, where information has not been available data submitted as part of Scottish Government Rural Payments & Inspections Directorate SAF 2015 processing:
- area of holding,
- contact details for holding,
has been used.
The Rural Payments and Services Privacy Notice (see link below) informs customers that their data may be shared with other organisations, for the purpose of improving or streamlining public service delivery, or to support public functions for which it is necessary for a public body to contact land managers and farmers (contact information only).This information, which was already held by government, has been shared with Assessors who have legal obligation, under s.1A of the Local government (Scotland) Act 1975 that was inserted by the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016, to value shooting rights and deer forests using information available. Similarly, any interested party who has received a request for information is under an obligation to comply in order to enable Assessors to value the rights or land in question. By sharing the data that has been provided government is ensuring that these legal obligations are met effectively. If you have any questions about how your personal data has been processed please contact your local Assessor.