National Trust – Letter Template – EHS

(Template letter submitted by : Herts Wildlife Monitors & East Herts Sabs)

Email to : National Trust  (Ms Hilary McGrady)

Subject : The choice the NT now has to make

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To : hilary.mcgrady@nationaltrust.org.uk; trailhunting.management@nationaltrust.org.uk; tim.parker@nationaltrust.org.uk;

Subject : The choice the NT now has to make

Dear National Trust,

Many groups and members have consistently contacted you with regard to hunting on National Trust Land.

Many incidents are recorded where hounds have panicked dog walkers, livestock have been worried and hounds have been on railway lines. Persistently hunts have blamed saboteurs, and then advised the National Trust they are legally trail hunting.

Monitors/sabs have informed you and the general public they are using trail hunting as a guise. Why else would they be blocking up badger setts and having terriermen out on a trail hunt?

Monitors/sabs regularly follow the hunts and report no sign whatsoever of a trail layer, therefore have to question NT staff monitoring reports.

Now thanks to the HSA, 2 of 5 recent webinars from August 2020 have been leaked. These webinars were held by The Hunting Office, in which high-ranking hunt officials are heard advising how Hunt Masters are able to use trail hunting ‘as a smokescreen’ to conceal illegal fox hunting.

Mark Hankinson – (Director of MFHA) states “It’s a lot easier to create a smokescreen if you’ve got more than one trail layer operating and that is what it’s all about, trying to portray to the people watching that you’re going about legitimate business.”
He also suggests using “something foul smelling on the end of the drag” in case an anti grabs it and realises “… just a clean hanky”.

Phil Davies – (ex Police Inspector and Police Liaison Consultant to the Countryside Alliance) also discusses using a smokescreen, “… what it will do is create that smokescreen or that element of doubt that we haven’t deliberately hunted a fox …”

Richard Gurney – (former Master of the Old Surrey and Burstow Hunt) discusses how they use ‘Plan B’, laying trails when saboteurs or other people are around, “…the Master of the day decided, that we should revert to Plan B, Plan B being obviously using our team to lay trails for the rest of the day because it became clear that the antis had arrived…”

Paul Jelley – (Police Officer of 30 years with Avon & Somerset Constabulary) advising Masters that “All you have to do is produce a small element of doubt into their case for you to get off.”
He then discusses 95% of the police have no knowledge of hunting offences: “The other 5%, you’re going to get pretty much a split down the middle, half of them are going to be keen hunting folk, there are police officers who are keen hunting folk, the other half are going to be raving antis.”

There has been much controversy over the years regarding the National Trust allowing hunts on their land. You have even risked your own reputation with a high number of members cancelling their membership. How much longer are you going to believe the hunts’ lies and their ‘smokescreens’?

On behalf of thousands of your members who voted against allowing hunts to continue hunting on your land; you only have one choice to make – that is to cancel all ‘trail hunting’ licences with immediate effect.

Link : Webnairs Video

We look forward to hearing from you so that we can advise our followers/supporters and your members how you intend to proceed.

Yours faithfully,


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