Heythrop Hunt statement

The Heythrop Hunt is licensed to trail hunt on National Trust land in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

In light of the fact that members of this group have recently been convicted of illegal fox hunting, the Trust has decided not to renew the hunt’s licences when they expire on 31 March 2013.

A National Trust spokesman said: “We are very much aware of the importance of countryside traditions and we allow field sports to take place on our property where they are traditionally practised, providing they are within the law and are compatible with the Trust’s purposes. These include public access and the protection of rare animals and birds and fragile habitats.

“Whilst the illegal activity in this case did not take place on land we own, we consider it to be a serious breach of trust. The conviction has given us major cause for concern about how the hunt runs its activities, which is why we will not renew the hunt’s license at the end of March.

“We have spoken to the hunt and also followed up in writing to make it clear that they will need to work closely with our local teams to rebuild our confidence in how they run their activities before we can consider an application to renew their trail hunting license.

“The Trust is a charitable body and does not take a political position either for or against field sports.”

The Trust’s position on field sports is here.

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45 thoughts on “Heythrop Hunt statement

  1. I just hope the hunt don’t get their licence back at the start of the next hunting season otherwise it will be a mockery!!

  2. The first sensible action I’ve seen in quite some time. Why would they allow criminals to use National Trust land to commit illegal acts? It’s about time these shady types were stopped in their tracks!

  3. Well done NT.

    Tell them you’ll let them back once they become a genuine trail hunt following an artificial, not fox based scent, and that they should allow monitors if they have nothing to hide.

  4. Renew license???I thought it was illegal?…well done NT! although that was David Cameron’s hunt wasn’t it,so they appear to be a law unto themselves,will they’ll be back out hunting by the weekend?
    I don’t think you should be allowing any hunting on your land!sounds like double standards, and if i was paying membership for NT, I would be disgusted that you do so!

  5. Given that opinion polls repeatedly show that the VAST majority of the general public do NOT want fox hunting to be legal the trust has been sailing against the wind for too long. Trail hunting is carried out by those who hunt to kill. It is time for the National Trust to take a proper stance against outdated and barbaric so called ‘sports’. Animal welfare is not and can never be a ‘political’ issue and the sooner large organisations such as the NT stop cowering in fear at the idea of being deemed ‘political’ the sooner the whole concept of fox hunting being political will cease.

  6. There’s a big difference between “sport” and the illegal murder of wild animals.
    Well done NT, you certainly did the right thing.

  7. I cannot believe you’re even contemplating giving the law breaking sociopaths of the Heythrop Hunt a second chance. You know they cannot be trusted at all; they are violent sociopathic monsters that have beaten and attacked innocent people. Not only that they have broken the law. If you were the NSPCC would you have “worked with” Jimmy Saville before allowing him back to do work with children? NO ! But that’s exactly what you doing here. These people abuse animals and will never change! National trust clearly you should ban this hunt and others like it for life. I cannot believe that with over 75% f the country finding what the hunt do abhorrent you are still considering allowing them to hunt again at some point. For your information, hunt convictions and laws broken by the hunts, the people you allow to use National trust land: http://www.realca.co.uk/violence/hunt-convictions

      • It should be patently clear to anyone that if hunts were keeping to the law and the spirit of the Act they wouldn’t be so angry about having monitors out in the field AND they would publicise their meets. Since the Act we’ve found that our local hunt try every avoiding tactic in the book.

  8. thats stupid you dont tell any1 with a criminal record they cant visit any of your sites so why stop the Heythrop’s lisence, it didnt happen on NT land so i dont see how its relevant to their conditions of their lisence you say your not taking a political stand either way yet it seems to many anti’s that you are and that you are leaning more towards their veiws and many pro’s are starting to get the same impression

    • The NT haven’t told Heythrop members that they can’t visit NT sites.

      They’ve told the Heythrop that they can’t hunt on NT land. The Heythrop claimed on their website that they trail hunt. The Heythrop admitted in court that they hunted live animals.

      What part do you find hard to understand?

      • The 15 minutes of actual evidence from 500 hours of film.

        Hounds are not amenable to electronic remote control.

    • Perhaps the NT is leaning towards that view like the vast majority of decent people then. Do you expect to lie and break the law and then be trusted? Sorry, the world doesn’t work like that and the sooner you people wake up to the fact that you can’t have it all on your terms the better. The arrogance astounds.

  9. This is the right and only possible response – as it should be with illegal persecution of birds of prey – but with an influential group around the Government arguing otherwise it is greatly to the Trust’s credit that it has held the line so firmly.

  10. Well done. It’s quite clear that if hunts intended to stay within the law they’d have re-trained their hounds to follow a non-fox scent, like drag hunts do. Many hunts stated openly, when the Act was passed, that they would continue to hunt and break the law. If they were all hunting within the law why are they so intent to stop monitors from filming them?

  11. The National Trust should ban the use of any animal based scent in hunting on its land. Fox based scent attacts other foxes and keeps the hounds keen on hunting live animals. There is no justification in using animal based scent if you are a genuine drag hunt. I am glad the NT has woken up although it has taken a long time.

  12. I have had family membership of the NT for years and years. The Trust is heavily infiltrated by hunters who constantly stand for the Council without declaring their hunting interests. However, well done the Trust for this brilliant decision. Keep it up and you will gain more members. This issue has been dogging you for years – stand up for the wildlife on your land and go with public opinion.

  13. Well done NT!! Opinion polls have shown that approimately 73% or more of the general public wanted hunting with dogs banned and certainly would not want to see it brought back. The hunting fraternity have repeatedly shown their true intensions and are not to be trusted. Please ban all hunting – permanently. Thank you.

  14. Congratulations on bannining the Heythrop hunt on NT land. All hunts should be banned and if that happened I would then consider joining the N.Trust. The majority of the British public disagree with hunting and I’m optimistic that your membership would increase if you banned hunting totally.

  15. NT you are to be commended for your decision not to renew the Heythrop Hunt’s licences. I hope they will never be renewed. If they are, I hope the licences will include conditions that their meets must be advertised and that hunt members and followers must not obstruct, hamper or intimidate anyone monitoring their activities.

    • hayden how is your on going court case for grabbing a young woman by the throat after you drove into her horse. maybe the National trust would like to ban you from there property on the grounds of assault of a law abiding member of the public.

      • I hardly feel this is an appropriate forum for such discussion but The Knackerman may be interested to know that I was acquitted of assault and convicted of failing to report an accident in respect of which my solicitor is considering grounds for appeal.

  16. I will never join the National Trust.

    They are an absolute disgrace, in so many different ways.

    Their properties are dull, lifeless and a shadow of what they should be.

    Their approach to the Heythrop hunt is yet another blow to any authentic place for NT properties within their local communities.

    THe NT is like the ‘ancien regime’

    Once its membership become fully aware of the cultural poverty of its stewardship, it will suffer the same fate as the RSPCA (membership down by 45% over the last decade)

    • What a strange sense of logic exhibited by Monro – to complain that the National Trust is an absolute disgrace for deciding not to renew the Heythrop Hunt’s licence to trail hunt after it pleaded guilty to deliberately contravening the Hunting Act on four separate occasions. I would submit that any logical, reasonable and fair-minded person would conclude that the conduct of the Heythrop Hunt was a disgrace. Perhaps Monro would like to inform us whether, when the Hunting with Dogs Act was passed in 2004, he was one of the 50,000 people who proudly proclaimed that they would defy that law.

    • For many years a large number of hunt supporters have tried to be elected to the National Trust “board” so that they could influence the decision on whether hunts would be allowed on NT land. Of course when these people have stood for office they did not make this part of their pitch – I wonder why?

  17. Further to my comment on July 29, 2013 at 12:31 pm, The Knackerman may be interested to learn that today my appeal was upheld at Exeter Crown Court.

  18. But it’s not just the Heythrop is it? They have been convicted by the courts, the only reason they have been banned from NT land. How about all the other hunts who have been witnessed killing foxes on National Trust land? Three incidents since Christmas have occurred in front of horrified familes. Two of these by the same hunt, the Melbreak, at Buttermere in Cumbria. The National Trust have openly stated that they support the presence of terrier men, even though this presence is both unnecessary at a trail hunt, and illegal. Boycott the National Trust until they move into the 21st century – they are an outmoded and feudal organsation – although they are a ‘trust’ that hold the land and property for the benefit of the nation, they actually cater for a minority of rich bloodsports enthusiasts.

  19. The National Trust should ban all hunting on its land without delay. A quick Youtube search on the behaviour of many hunts is a sight to behold: I have never seen such arrogance, bullying and brutality. Hunting is illegal and a nuisance to all those who wish for peace in our countryside- as mentioned previously if trail hunting was genuinely being followed why are hunts using a fox based scent? It’s an open secret that they break the law and usually get away with it, I for one will not support the National Trust until all hunting is banned on their land.

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