ONE of Herefordshire's most distinguished families is at war - and the battleground for the feuding Foleys is the centuries old Stoke Edith estate.

Central figures in the dispute, which is heading for London's High Court, are squire Andrew Foley and the son by his first marriage, 32-year-old Rupert.

Rupert Foley claims that since his father's divorce from Gillian Foley and subsequent marriage to Melanie, trustees for the estate have put the squire's interests above his.

According to Rupert Foley's high court writ, his father has been allowed to benefit from using land held in trust for his son. The writ has been issued at London's High Court and just made publicly available.

Rupert also accuses the trustees - his stepmother Melanie, his father's solicitor Richard Underwood and David Taylor - of deliberately favouring Andrew Foley's interests.

He is suing the three trustees and asking the court to appoint replacements.

The writ states that covenants made in 1987 allowed Andrew Foley to enjoy sporting rights - including hunting and shooting hawk and fowl, and to carry away hares, rabbits, partridges, pheasants, birds and beasts of warren and chase - but did not give him clay pigeon shooting or fishing rights.

Rupert Foley complains his father has sub-let deer stalking with rifles, in breach of the trust, and sold days of shooting without accounting to the trust fund for the money.

He claims the sporting rights were worth £14,600 a year and that his father also arranged clay pigeon shooting events on trust land, which he should not have done.

A national clay pigeon shooting championship was held in the trust's woods in 1998 for a fee of around £3,000.

Rupert Foley, who lives at Westgate Terrace, London, received £1,000 in 1999 from the event, but he complains this was far below the true value.

He states the trustees' actions have lost him income in sporting rights of around £11,200 a year since 1997, failed to forfeit the sporting lease, worth £73,000, permitted the trust to receive no sporting rents until 2012, a loss of £211,500, and lost other income of £20,000 a year.

He claims the trustees failed to keep a property called Punchbowl Cottage on trust land in good repair, leading to loss of rent of around £9,000 a year and have let the cottage on terms which include no rent to be paid until after 2008.

Rupert Foley's writ also alleges that because of the way in which his father has been allowed to take unauthorised benefits from the trust land, he has been exposed to the risk of inheritance tax when Foley senior dies.

The son is asking the court to remove the trustees and appoint a solicitor and two chartered surveyors he has chosen in their place.