Time for the National Trust to End the Trail Hunt Lies

Posted: July 10, 2017 in Comment
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This week I have a guest blog for you and it’s written by National Dis-Trust.  They are a group of voluntary campaigners from across the country calling on The National Trust to save their reputation & kick off the criminal hunts from NT land. They are working alongside other grassroots groups and volunteers for this sole objective.


Convicted wildlife killers the Meynell Hunt still use NT land

Earlier this year in March, staff from The League Against Cruel Sports met with The National Trust to talk about concerns relating to illegal hunts on their land, concerns
which are shared by an increasing amount of people. The League’s statement on this meeting shows that The Trust make little effort to enforce or monitor the conditions that
the hunts agree to; instead, the hunts simply state they are adhering to the licenses, regardless of the truth. Subsequent internal discussions within The Trust, it seems, have
resulted in little change and apparently no further correspondence with The League. Subsequent to this meeting, The Trust claimed it would do more for declining wildlife – strange, then, that they rejected The League’s offer of assistance in monitoring hunts on their land, given that brown hares (a priority of conservation) sometimes find
themselves amongst the unfortunate legion of victims. We can’t imagine why they would
refuse such an offer.

If you flick around The Trust’s website for long enough, you may find their (seemingly
deliberately hidden) policy that demonstrates their unwavering faith in so-called ‘trail
hunting’ whilst conveniently omitting all information regarding their licensing of fox
hunting in Northern Ireland, where this bloodsport sadly remains legal, hence the
existence of the campaign group ‘Ban Fox & Stag Hunting Northern Ireland’. Given the
overwhelming opposition to these ‘sports’, is this not something The Trust should tell the
public before taking their subscriptions?


There are two huge problems with their ‘trail hunt’ policy; the first is the Trail Of Lies
report published by The International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW) in 2015. This
report drew on hundreds of field reports from hunts across the country and surprisingly,
99% of them failed to lay ‘trails’. The Trust’s Director-General, Dame Helen Ghosh, is
well aware of this evidence; it has been presented to her and she has read it (watch this
video of a lecture she gave as proof, from 59:30 to 63:00), though seemingly to no avail.
The second is that it is not actually legal to use fox urine to lay ‘trails’ for a myriad of
reasons, and that the supplier of fox urine that some hunts tell The Trust they use doesn’t
actually exist (shocker!). A recent Freedom of Information request to DEFRA’s Animal &
Plant Health Agency (APHA) has revealed that there have been only one license granted
for importing fox substance from 2014 onwards, and it wasn’t related to hunting. As with
the ‘Trail Of Lies’ report, The Trust are well aware of these facts.

Fox hunting, and the fate of The Hunting Act 2004 which remains the only real legal
protection for the brown hare, were huge issues in the election earlier this year. Some
Conservative MP’s who lost their seats said fox hunting was a crucial factor in the result.
The blind arrogance of those who think fox hunting has a future even led Countryside
Alliance CEO, Tim Bonner, to claim that the Conservative landslide would result in a
majority of 103 seats. The irony in this is that earlier in the year, Dame Helen Ghosh was giving talks under the title of ‘What Are The Challenges Facing The National Trust In The 21st Century?’


So perhaps it is time The Trust heeded the message of the recent election. You need only briefly skim their Facebook page to see how little weight their defense of ‘trail hunting’ is carrying with the general public, and no wonder; fox hunting and their counterpart packs for hares or mink and otters rightly sicken the overwhelming majority of us, and few people believe in the lies of the hunt lobby anymore. On mink hunting, The Chair and Founder of The UK Wild Otter Trust, Dave Webb, recently offered an unexpected (but welcome) interjection by stating that not only did he believe that mink hunts were continuing to hunt illegally (regardless of your opinion of mink, it is illegal to pursue them with packs of hounds) but that they also implied that they considered them to be pursuing otters, which are thankfully increasing in number. He said if proof was brought to his organisation, he would begin to take legal proceedings. The National Trust, on the other hand, appear to have no objection to offering ‘trail hunt’ licenses to mink-packs.

So what can people do about this? Well, a members resolution has now been submitted to put a stop to these ‘trail hunt’ licenses on The Trust’s land. It will be put to a vote on 21st October this year, at their AGM. Anybody who has been a member for 70 days before this date is entitled to a vote, according to their regulations. We urge anybody capable of doing so to offer their votes to this end, and help us shut down ‘trail hunting’ on Trust land.

  1. bexybexybexy says:

    Thank you for this blog post, I’ve shared it.

    • mrs Marta Falco Ainley says:

      there’s also the matter of Hunts and their poor hounds attacking peoples loved animals as they go into private gardens . There were also 2 incidents of people out working with their dogs and hounds attacking them. I often pump into my local bunch of brutes , called the Berkeley Hunt and now fear for my dogs. please join us at a PROTEST AGAINST ALLOWING ANY HUNTS ON NT LAND……26TH OCTOBER OUTSIDE THE NATIONAL TRUST HQ, HEELIS, KEMBLE DRIVE, SWINDON. SN2 2NA

      • Marta Falco says:

        really made a cokc up with the date and place for the protest . apparently its on the 2lst Oct so please check this on the National Dis Trust facebook page.

  2. Lynn Allott says:

    We joined the National Trust this year, thinking we were doing a good thing. Hunting is illegal and they must police their (and our) properties to make sure it doesn’t happen.

  3. Thanks for blog .so angry . Nothing gets done our wildlife suffer constantly Mother Nature is losing this uphill battle humans are getting more evil uncaring blackhearted . I despair

  4. Jane Brooks says:

    I had cancelled the automatic renewal of my membership for the end of this month, but have been persuaded in order to vote in October. I will not stay a member if the NT do not listen

  5. Jan Alsbury says:

    My husband and I have been members of the National Trust for years. We are so angry that National Trust property is being used for such intolerable pursuits. As for renewing are subscription, firstly we need to know that ALL the wild life is safe, which is the only reason we joined actually !!

  6. denise mitchell says:

    where is this photo taken, because it dosen`t look like any places i know in National Trust, most of them are complete buildings, it looks like a English Heritage land to me.

  7. robert whybrow says:

    if you look at who the national trust has as its president, prince Charles ( pro hunt, even though he does not publicise this fact these days.) and look at previous voting on hunting issues (2006 and 2009) with 50 – 55% voting for hunting( or against anti – hunting resolution) I feel they are a pro – hunt organisation. They just need to be honest and put that on their adverts and sings.

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