Define: À Prendre

À Prendre
À Prendre
Quick Summary of À Prendre

À PRENDRE is a French term that means “for taking” or “for seizure”. It is commonly used in legal contexts to describe the right or permission to take something. For instance, a farmer may have the right to take a specific amount of timber from a nearby forest each year, known as profit à prendre. Similarly, a fisherman may have the right to fish in a specific river or lake, referred to as the à prendre right. These examples demonstrate how à prendre is used to denote a specific legal right to take or seize something. In both cases, individuals have been granted permission to take a certain amount of a resource from a designated location.

What is the dictionary definition of À Prendre?
Dictionary Definition of À Prendre

In French, “À prendre” means “for taking” or “for seizure.” It denotes the right to take something, like a natural resource or a portion of land, for a specific purpose. This term is commonly used in legal settings and can be better understood by examining the concept of profit à prendre, which is a right to use someone else’s property for personal gain.

Full Definition Of À Prendre

In British property law, the term “À Prendre” refers to a specific type of right that allows one party to enter the land of another and take natural resources from it. This right is a significant aspect of property law and is distinguished from other rights, such as easements, because it involves the taking of something from the land rather than merely a right of use or passage.

Definition and Nature of À Prendre

Historical Context

The term “À Prendre” is derived from French, meaning “to take.” It has its roots in the feudal system, where lords granted specific rights to their tenants or others to take resources from their land. This right could include the extraction of minerals, harvesting of timber, or the taking of game, fish, or pasture.

Legal Definition

In modern British law, an “À Prendre” is defined as a non-possessory interest in the land of another, which entitles the holder to remove part of the soil or products of the soil. This right can be contrasted with an easement, which grants only a right of use over the land of another without the entitlement to remove any part of the land or its resources.


  • Non-Possessory Interest: Unlike a lease or tenancy, an À Prendre does not grant the holder possession of the land.
  • Right to Take: The essential feature of an À Prendre is the right to take something from the land. This could include minerals, timber, game, fish, or pasture.
  • Benefit to Land: The right must benefit the holder of the Prendre’s land. This land is known as the “dominant tenement,” while the land from which the resources are taken is called the “servient tenement.”
  • Profit à Prendre: An À Prendre is often referred to as a “profit à prendre” or simply a “profit,” indicating its function in providing profit or benefit to the holder through the resources taken.

Creation of an À Prendre

Methods of Creation

An À Prendre can be created in several ways, including:

  • Express Grant: The most common method is an express grant in a deed. The landowner explicitly grants the right to another party.
  • Implied Grant: In some cases, an À Prendre can be implied by the circumstances, such as through long-standing use or necessity.
  • Prescription: Similar to easements, an À Prendre can be acquired through prescription, where the right has been exercised openly, continuously, and without permission for a specific period (usually 20 years).
  • Statute: Certain statutes may create À Prendre rights, especially in the context of public rights or conservation efforts.


To create an À Prendre through an express grant, the formalities typically involve:

  • Deed: The grant must be in writing and executed as a deed.
  • Registration: If the À Prendre is created over registered land, it must be registered with the Land Registry to be enforceable against third parties.
  • Description: The deed should clearly describe the nature of the right, the land involved, and the resources that can be taken.

Types of À Prendre

Appurtenant vs. In Gross

  • Appurtenant: An À Prendre appurtenant is attached to the ownership of specific land (the dominant tenement). It passes with the land when it is sold or transferred.
  • In Gross: An À Prendre in gross is not attached to any land and can be owned independently. It is often created for commercial purposes, such as rights granted to utility companies or extractive industries.

Specific Resources

  • Timber: Rights to cut and take timber from the servient tenement.
  • Minerals: Rights to extract minerals, including coal, gravel, and precious metals.
  • Pasture: Rights to graze livestock on the servient tenement.
  • Fishing: Rights to fish in a pond, river, or other water body on the servient tenement.
  • Hunting: Rights to hunt game on the servient tenement.

Legal Considerations

Scope and Extent

The scope and extent of an À Prendre must be clearly defined to avoid disputes. This includes:

  • Resource Type: The specific resources that can be taken.
  • Quantity: There are no limits on the quantity that can be taken.
  • Duration: Whether the right is perpetual, for a fixed term, or subject to renewal.
  • Access: The means and methods of accessing the resources.

Rights and Obligations

Holders of an À Prendre have specific rights and obligations, including:

  • Exercise of Rights: The holder must exercise the rights reasonably and without causing unnecessary harm to the servient tenement.
  • Maintenance: The holder may be responsible for maintaining any infrastructure, such as roads or paths, necessary to access the resources.
  • Compensation: In some cases, the holder may need to compensate the landowner for any damage or depletion of resources.


An À Prendre can be terminated in several ways:

  • Release: The holder may release the right back to the landowner.
  • Expiration: The right may expire if granted for a fixed term.
  • Abandonment: The right may be deemed abandoned if not exercised for a significant period.
  • Merger: The right may terminate if the dominant and servient tenements come into common ownership.

Case Law and Precedents

Leading Cases

Several leading cases have shaped the legal principles governing À Prendre in British law. Notable cases include:

  • Dundas v. Cameron (1867): This case clarified the distinction between an easement and an À Prendre, emphasising the right to take resources as the defining characteristic of the latter.
  • Mills v. Silver (1991): This case addressed the issue of prescription and the requirements for acquiring an À Prendre through long-term use.
  • Hanning v. Top Deck Travel Group (1993): This case explored the scope and extent of an À Prendre, particularly concerning the limits on quantity and duration.

Judicial Interpretation

Courts have consistently interpreted À Prendre rights, focusing on balancing the interests of the holder and the landowner. Key principles include:

  • Reasonableness: Courts require that the rights be exercised reasonably, avoiding unnecessary harm to the servient tenement.
  • Clarity: Courts emphasize the importance of clear and precise definitions in the grant to prevent disputes.
  • Custom and Usage: Courts may consider customary practices and historical usage in interpreting the scope and extent of the rights.

Practical Applications

Agricultural and Rural Land

In agricultural and rural contexts, À Prendre rights are often used for:

  • Grazing Rights: Allowing livestock to graze on neighbouring land.
  • Timber Rights: Harvesting timber for construction or fuel.
  • Mineral Extraction: Extracting valuable minerals or aggregates for commercial use.
  • Fishing and Hunting: Managing fish and game resources for sport or subsistence.

Commercial and Industrial Uses

In commercial and industrial contexts, À Prendre rights may involve:

  • Utility Companies: Granting rights to utility companies to extract resources or maintain infrastructure.
  • Mining and Quarrying: Companies can extract minerals, gravel, or other resources.
  • Conservation and Environmental Management: Facilitating conservation efforts by granting rights to manage natural resources sustainably.

Urban and Residential Land

In urban and residential settings, À Prendre rights are less common but can still arise, particularly in:

  • Shared Amenities: Granting rights to access and use shared amenities, such as private parks or communal gardens.
  • Historical and Cultural Sites: Managing historical or cultural sites that involve extracting or using natural resources.

Legal Reforms and Future Trends

Modernisation and Simplification

The legal framework governing À Prendre rights has evolved to address modern needs and challenges. Key trends include:

  • Registration and Transparency: Efforts to improve the registration process and ensure transparency in creating and transferring À Prendre rights.
  • Environmental Considerations: Incorporating environmental considerations into the granting and exercising À Prendre rights, particularly concerning sustainable resource management.
  • Technological Advances: Addressing technological advances’ impact on exercising À Prendre rights, such as the use of drones or advanced extraction techniques.

International Comparisons

Comparing British À Prendre rights with similar rights in other jurisdictions can provide valuable insights. For example:

  • United States: The concept of “profit à prendre” in American law shares similarities with British À Prendre but may differ regarding statutory regulations and case law precedents.
  • European Union: EU member states have their own versions of À Prendre rights, influenced by civil law traditions and EU regulations on property and resource management.


À Prendre is a fundamental aspect of British property law, providing a mechanism for individuals and entities to take natural resources from the land of another. Its historical roots, legal characteristics, and practical applications demonstrate its significance and complexity. As the legal landscape evolves, À Prendre rights will continue to adapt to modern needs, balancing the interests of landowners, right holders, and broader societal and environmental considerations. Understanding and navigating the intricacies of À Prendre is essential for legal practitioners, landowners, and policymakers alike.

À Prendre FAQ'S

À Prendre is a French term that translates to “to take” or “to seize.” In legal terms, it refers to a right or privilege granted to someone to take or use another person’s property for a specific purpose.

While both concepts involve the use of someone else’s property, À Prendre is typically a specific right or privilege granted to an individual or entity, whereas eminent domain is a broader power held by the government to take private property for public use.

No, À Prendre is usually granted through a legal agreement or easement. It is not a right that anyone can exercise without proper authorization.

Common examples of À Prendre include rights to fish in a specific area, rights to collect timber or minerals from someone else’s land, or rights to use someone else’s property for a specific purpose, such as a right of way.

In some cases, À Prendre rights can be revoked or terminated if certain conditions are met. This may include non-compliance with the terms of the agreement, expiration of the agreed-upon time period, or mutual agreement between the parties involved.

In most cases, À Prendre rights can be sold or transferred to another party, subject to any restrictions or conditions outlined in the original agreement or easement.

Compensation for granting À Prendre rights depends on the specific circumstances and negotiations between the parties involved. In some cases, the granting party may receive financial compensation or other benefits in exchange for allowing the use of their property.

As a property owner, you generally have the right to refuse to grant À Prendre rights if you do not wish to allow someone else to use your property. However, there may be legal implications or consequences depending on the specific circumstances and applicable laws.

Yes, À Prendre rights can be challenged in court if there is a dispute or disagreement regarding the terms, conditions, or validity of the agreement. It is advisable to seek legal counsel to understand your rights and options in such situations.

The limitations or restrictions on À Prendre rights can vary depending on the specific agreement or easement. It is important to carefully review and understand the terms and conditions outlined in the agreement to know the extent of your rights and any limitations that may apply.

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This site contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. Persuing this glossary does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

This glossary post was last updated: 11th June 2024.

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