Farmer wins legal battle with Russian prince over humble dirt track

Farmer locked in bitter five-year battle with great-great-nephew of Russia’s last Tsar over humble dirt track on plot of land used to film TV shows including Celebs on the Farm WINS latest round of legal wrangling

  • Farmer Andrew Dunlop, 63, applied in 2018 to be registered as the track’s owner
  • Prince Rostislav Romanov, a landscape artist, plans to develop his £1m home 

A farmer has won the latest round of a five-year-long legal wrangle with the great-great-nephew of Russia’s last Tsar over a humble dirt track.

Andrew Dunlop, 63, whose family have farmed Lunsford Farm for four generations and whose land hosts reality show Celebs on the Farm, first applied in 2018 to be registered as the track’s owner.

He wanted to prevent his neighbour, Prince Rostislav Romanov, from using the track for vehicular access to develop his £1million home in the East Sussex countryside.

The prince, a 34-year-old landscape artist, plans to cover part of a centuries-old route with block-paving as part of his home development.

A property tribunal previously ruled Dunlop’s application should be cancelled, but now the farmer has now won an appeal to the upper tribunal.

Andrew Dunlop

Prince Rostislav Romanov

Both men claim rights over the lane which runs between their respective properties

Ownership of the track was not clearly recorded in the Land Registry plan when the farm, situated in the village of Pett, was sold in 1918.

Judge Elizabeth Cooke said the track was left out of the record of the farm’s land due to a ‘minor drafting amendment’ in 1918, The Times reports.

The episode is just the latest in a bitter dispute between the neighbours, with Romanov claiming in 2019 that Dunlop had been conducting a campaign of harrassment against him.

In legal papers lodged with the High Court, the farmer was said to have called the prince an ‘environmental vandal’ and told him to ‘go back to Russia’. Dunlop denied harrassment.

Mr Dunlop, whose family have farmed in the village of Pett in East Sussex for generations, has been accused of conducting a campaign of harassment (farm pictured)

Prince Rostislav’s great-grandmother was Grand Duchess Xenia, the sister of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia. 

Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until he was forced to abdicate after the February Revolution of 1917. 

He and his family were imprisoned by the Bolsheviks and executed the next year.


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