What is and is not sub-letting

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    What is and is not sub-letting

    I have rented an area of grazing land for well over 25 years. Had my own horses on it up until the last 7-10 yrs but due to health problems I am having to wait until I semi-retire/retire when I have more time to take things a little more leisurely and can then hopefully have a horse again.
    I have kept up the rent each year for the grazing (and I have never had or seen any written agreement - just paid a set amount each year to the organisations various treasurers), but things have obviously changed and are now being put on a more formal footing.
    For the last few years I have let a friend put his horses on the land for grazing. I am quite happy to keep paying the rent myself and let my friend graze his horses for free (the land is close to my home so I don't want to loose it), but I am now being told by the owners that this is sub letting and I cannot do this (although until recently they have never said a word about anything re can and can't do - I have only ever received a receipt for the years rent a couple of times in over 25 years!)
    So my questions:-
    1. Is it sub-letting if no money is being paid to myself?
    2. If my friend sees to the upkeep of the fencing would this be classed as 'payment'?
    3. If it is sub-letting is there any amicable legal way around this?
    Advice would be welcome please as I don't want to turf the horses off as my friend has struggled to find suitable grazing in the area and this would leave him with a problem, but I also don't want to loose the land for possible future use myself.

    I would immediately put a horse/pony on the land so you are "in occupation" I would have thought that allowing other people to graze their horses would be perfectly acceptable, (however I would have them off over the winter) In the meantime I would consult a Solicitor (or the Tenant Farmers Association) you may find you have a secure tenancy as Agricultural Law (although Horses are not agriculture) favours the tenant.


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