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Forestry Act (Northern Ireland) 2010

Section 32 – Powers of entry

Section 32 provides for an authorised person, on production of his authority, to enter any land for the purpose of exercising any functions of an authorised person under the Act and to enable the Department to carry out any of its functions under the Act. In addition, a person entering land may take other persons and equipment as necessary e.g. for the purpose of monitoring numbers of wild animals.

A number of controls are included:

  • The time of entry must be reasonable;

  • 24 hours notice must be given to the occupier, or less if the occupier agrees;

  • The authorised person must produce his authority, if requested;

  • A lay Magistrate’s warrant is required where entry is refused or where the land is unoccupied and the circumstances are urgent e.g. in a case of extensive damage being caused to forest land by wild animals on land adjacent to the forest;

  • There is no authority for entry to a dwelling house;

  • There is a duty on those entering the land to leave it secure;

  • If any damage is caused compensation may be recovered from the Department.

The powers of entry are extended under Schedule 1, Compulsory Acquisition of Land, to include surveying or examining land with a view to acquiring it compulsorily, or in connection with a claim for compensation in respect of such an acquisition.

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