We’ll be posting regular updates here on our blog, so just scroll down to see what’s new! Due to time constraints and space issues on the site, however, we will no longer be posting our daily sabbing reports on our blog, only the eventful reports. You can keep up-to-date with our daily goings on on our facebook page (which you should be able to view even without your own facebook account). Check out our website information pages too where we put up information about hunts, hunt sabotage, the law and so on, so that some information is always easily accessible. We hope you find this page useful and interesting. Thanks for looking! 3C
This meet, at the Hunter’s Inn in Buckbury, heralds the end of the season for this hunt, bar one more possible meet next week.
One of us went along and regrettably found 3 badger setts partially freshly blocked. One entrance had lots of badger prints all over it as the badger had dug their way back in! Both badgers and foxes are nursing babies this time of year which must always be bourne in mind. Furthermore this is badger cull zone 1 where culling has been taking place for 9 years!
At the meet the hunt staff thanked the sab again for helping them with the hound who was rescued from a deep shaft last week – Gospel has injured one foot and being kept in to let it heal.
First draw was Hillenders and they did pick up briefly. After spending ages in that area it was then on to the rest of the Forthampton estate. At Greenhill they hunted a fox through Voulters Wood. Mark was then seen on foot back at Voulters where they hunted again over to Sarn Hill. The pack split and local people at Bushley said that they had seen two foxes running away from hounds, who then went the wrong way.
It took a long time to gather them and the by then tired sab thought to walk back to Forthampton. As they did, back in Sarn Hill, hounds came running towards them on a patchy scent. They were stopped for a short time by the sab’ rating them back but were called through the wood by the huntsman and picked up for a brief time. The fox came back past the sab’, tongue hanging out, brush down and crouched looking behind him before running through a hedge. The pack did not follow him at that point with the sab waiting to make sure that they did not.
They packed up shortly afterwards at 5pm.
When the deadline for sending in our group news to Howl, the Hunt Saboteurs Association magazine, was coming up, we asked Fox hunt off Malvern Hills if they’d like to collaborate on an article. And with the magazine arriving on our doorstep recently we got to see how great it looks.
They’ve done some amazing work locally of raising awareness about fox hunting with the Malvern Hills Trust who increased restrictions on the fox hunts until they suspended hunting licences towards the end of last year.
With the Hankinson verdict being the last straw for many organisations who were losing trust in the hunts, we wanted to remind people that without existing campaigns from locals and others, these landowners might not have even been aware of the scale of the issue and the necessity to take action.
Local campaigns and individual actions are powerful – if you’re taking action against wildlife crime, you should be proud!
*** hound rescued from shaft by sab and hunt terriermen ***
From knowledge of previous seasons we had originally expected the Ledbury Hunt to meet in the Forthampton area. However the recent rain and the rising rivers in the area has meant that much of the local hunt country is either under water or is waterlogged (and even pro-hunt farmers generally don’t want their fields torn up by horses and quads). And so we went looking in some other potential areas…
We found the hunt in Berrow, near to hunt master Edward Phillipson-Stowe’s land. Hounds picked up on and off in the area, at one point having to be called off a scent as the line went on to land that they did not have permission to be on. They moved off towards Longdon and Castlemorton at around 12.30 and stayed out until a relatively early pack up at 15.45. Towards the end of the day it looked like huntsman Mark was riding at great speed to catch up with the pack and a sab asked if he had lost them – he said he hadn’t, but told us that he was “one hound down”. We didn’t realise that he meant the hound had been missing for several hours!
We headed back to Berrow to check on badger setts we had not had a chance to look at earlier in the day. As a sab was walking through a wood she heard a hound nearby and soon found the hound trapped in some abandoned building structure. She radio’d to our other sab who was able to run to the nearby houses and ask if anyone had a phone number for Edward, managing to get through to inform him of the situation. Hunt staff were on the scene not long after – a joint effort between them and sabs got the hound to safety.
Our thoughts on the situation are this: the hunt should not have moved off away from the area without the hound (the job of whippers-in is to keep count of hounds and keep the pack together and she would have been more vocal and easy to find while her mates were in the area and if she could hear the hunt horn). Edward should have had this abandoned structure covered a long time ago. To be fair to Vicky and Tom the terrierman (and his mate) however, they arrived quickly once informed by Edward, Vicky running through the woods and wasting no time in getting down into the mud to check on the hound herself. Regardless of our views on hunting, etc. we always have, and always will, jump into a situation if needed to save lives or give assistance to any animal, human or non-human. And working together with the hunt to help this hound was no different. We hope she is recovering well at the moment and got the warm bath she was promised.
[Edit: we are loving the increased post reach we’re getting on facebook due to all the flustered pro-hunt people commenting who are clearly imagining that we’ve written things we haven’t to justify being all melodramatic. Thanks for your support!]
We did not have a meet for the hunt today, but we had an inkling about the areas they might be and having checked a couple of places we found them meeting not far from the church in Pirton.
At one point hounds were heard picking up a scent in a wood, with sab inland noticing that scared sheep were able to get out on to a road, and so she closed the gate and warned the landowner. A deer was spotted running down towards sab on the road, who was able to slow a car down in time to avoid a collision. Foxes often run the same line of deer, to help confuse the scent, so we were keeping an eye out and, sure enough, a fox ran on to the road in the same place. We’re pretty certain supporters who saw him would have holloa’d the huntsman if sab hadn’t been present. That fox successfully made their escape.
With waterlogged land in various places (and angry homeowners in the nearby area where they trespassed through gardens just a couple of weeks ago) they seemed a little limited for areas to draw. They spent most of the afternoon around a couple of woods in Wadborough, only really changing location when hounds rioted on deer in Dufty Coppice and when loose hounds were running off around Crabbe Farm.
Some fantastic parenting skills seen in action today with young riders clearly thinking it acceptable to kick and whip horses hard in lieu of actually learning some riding skills. It’s no surprise really when the examples are set to them by some of the adult supporters we run into…
(footage to be added soon!)
Article here: https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/our-news/2022/uncovered-murdered-hunt-dogs-powering-our-homes
“In news set to shock a nation of animal lovers, murdered hunt dogs are being used to power British homes – as found by an undercover investigation carried out by the green energy company Ecotricity, in association with ITV News at 10.
The story, revealed exclusively in a ITV News Report comes from a six-month undercover investigation funded by Ecotricity’s founder, Dale Vince.
Puppies and adult dogs (typically aged 5) that are deemed unsuitable for hunting are shot and thrown in bins that are taken to power stations. Footage showed foxes, badgers and partridges (from shoots) also being dumped into bins”
*** Ledbury host Belvoir Hunt at very large meet * hunt master incites riders to use violence against sab * blatant fox hunting * four badger setts blocked ***
Big thanks to one of Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch who drove for us all day.
Visiting huntsman, John Holliday, who was huntsman at the Ledbury for 14 years, brought the Belvoir hounds down to Ledbury country.
First draw was at Horsehill Covert which was blank. Fox hunted in Corse Hill was filmed by a sab who was threatened with being punched in the face. Do you know this man? He was the reason she chose a different route and was perfectly placed when hounds chased a fox towards her, so we thank him for that, but will not stand for threats and unreasonable force used against our sabs.
They crossed over towards Limbury, Prestberries Farm and Carter’s Grove, drawing blank. At Catsbury Cottages Edward Philipson-Stow, joint master, told the rest of the field not to bother if they trampled on another sab!
They spent some time going over Tweenhills hedges and then on to Mixhill where a fox was holloa’d but they decided to leave well alone, going on into Corse Grove instead where they got away from the cameras long enough to hunt back to Corse Hill. One lost hound told his woes to one sab’ at the top of his voice! Air ambulance was also up as a rider had had a bad fall – the hunt hunted a fox straight past them and carried on – so much respect…
Then Haw Bridge, Town Street, the grass near the Yew Tree pub (which was flooded and so hounds drew blank!) before packing up at 17.30 back at Town Street Farm.
Four badger setts were found to be freshly blocked. One sett even had thorns mixed in with the soil used to block it. These badgers have endured 9 years of the badger cull in what is Gloucestershire zone 1.
We have a video on facebook of one of several hounds who the hunts left behind at various points throughout the meet. Stray hounds ended up in fields of sheep, cows and on roads.
This hound found his way back to the rest of the pack having found a sab to explain all of his woes to (edit 1: this is just a phrase, dear pro-hunt followers, no need to start imagining that we’ve accused the hunt of things we haven’t. You sure get upset over a simple video…)
Edit 2: some confusing and ridiculous accusations being made (and, as usual, not backed up with any evidence) by our pro-hunt followers, so just to quickly combat a couple:
1. If sabs called / enticed hounds away from the hunt, hunt staff should still do their jobs properly and gather the pack before moving off again. We don’t do this, but even if we were to do so, that doesn’t excuse hunt staff for failing to do their jobs – in the same way that they should have control of the pack if they riot on a non-target animal, the scent they’re following is foiled by something else, etc.
2. It would be incredibly difficult to just call a singular hound away from the pack. Do you read what you’re writing prior to posting? Even the hunts are laughing at you…
But, on that note, we may as well also share a recent expose by Ecotricity which includes actions relating to hound welfare and use:
They hunted a fox near the village of Ashton Under Hill. Stalker, Gary Benfield, arrived on a red quad (no numberplates on a road) with a chum and proceeded to dictate that there were no footpaths when a sab was on one! He also drove his quad very close in wet and slippery conditions. The fox was in very thick undergrowth and whilst we do not know the fate of the fox he may have escaped within the gorse. They left as they were being filmed.
First port of call after that was Ashton wood which was being bulldozed (our species truly has waged a war on wildlife) which they went through very quickly. Then Kersoe farm, Fiddler’s Knapp, Long Plantation not really drawing properly.
They then met the 2 sabs who were at the top of Bredon Hill (299 metres high) and went down into Dr’s wood, Foxhill and Comberton wood.
They went through those quickly as well and down into Elmley Castle where a 4th car sab got to as they went to Netherton Fields and Furzehill Brake.
We know this area well and some of us have oft climbed Bredon Hill for fun over the last couple of decades. BUT safe to say we are pretty tired sabs now. Very muddy terrain and a massive gale blowing at the top!
We got a call re a hunt near Guiting Power and one of us went to investiate. On arrival a pack of hounds were heard hunting near Roel gate. The first hare came past the sab’ on the other side of the hedge. The hounds were stopped by the hunt.
The second hare circled around back to the road and was headed when she reached hunt supporters, went back a short way and crossed the road into a field. The sab’ stopped the pack by spraying
her line with citronella and rating them back cracking a whip and telling them off verbally. Then the whips arrived and lifted the pack one by one over the barbed wire fence to continue hunting her. They then went deep into a landlocked area.
Despite just being on the other side of a hedge, hunt staff failed to even try to stop the pack when some of the hounds got on to the scent of a deer. The deer ran towards the nearby road in Bradley Green, hounds on and off the scent and sab by the road thinks that hounds switched to the scent of a hare before being stopped by hunt supporters before they got to the road. Where were hunt staff? Henson (whipper-in) sauntered round casually on his horse afterwards trying to gather hounds who he had already been told had left the area several minutes earlier…
As for the rest of the meet, we’ll get in there now before pro-hunt people decide to write comments demonstrating how little they know about the activity they claim to support and show themselves up publicly: foxhounds are scent hounds. Just because there are a few minutes between a fox running and hounds following the scent this does not mean that they are not hunting the fox. They do not have to be merely metres behind the fox to be on their line. Look up the origins of foxhunting, stop showing yourselves up, it’s frankly embarassing. Many thanks!
This fox was filmed near to Bradley Green / Stock Green on the 9th Feb when the Worcestershire Hunt were hunting in the area. The pack had been through another wood nearby (just next to the nature reserve in the area) and had followed a line towards where the sab filming was standing. From this vantage point she was able to direct her fellow sab to where she thought hounds might go and this sab was able to stop hounds nearby, finding a badger sett soon after which we believe fox may have gone to ground in.
Hunt staff gathered the pack and moved them on to Gannow Wood where hounds could be heard in full cry. This fox was filmed running from the direction of the wood and towards the sab near the badger sett. A few minutes later several hounds followed the line of the fox and were stopped by a sab when they neared the badger sett – just minutes later the remainder of the pack were on the line and were also stopped when they checked (lost the scent). Hunt staff gathered them up, sat and chatted with hunt supporters for some time and then packed up ealier than expected.
*** Two packs hunting in the same area ***
We went out looking for a hunt in the morning and came across NCH horse boxes near to Springhill, having the Heythrop called in around the same time. As we know of setts which are normally blocked around Springhill one foot sab decided that she would run in and check a sett and then we could make a plan from there as to which hunt to go to and so on.
Stalkers were immediately out of their car, but were unable to keep up with foot sab. Not long after checking the badger sett, sabs could hear hounds speaking nearby. With 3 of us splitting up stalkers were unsure who to follow and this meant that we were not badly positioned when hounds went into full cry to the south, near to Bourne’s Folly when a brace of foxes ran from the hounds.
Independent Hunt Monitors were out at the Heythrop meet nearby and it did not take long before the 2 packs ended up hunting in the same area, the red coated rider pictured being the whip for the NCH, the green coated rider a whip for the Heythrop trying to gather his hounds. This happens more often than you’d realise at the borders of hunt countries, as well as hunts often ending up in the same area on different days to each other, wildlife getting very little in the way of a break.
Having got a little tantrum out of the way by throwing an apple at the sab car, and one of our foot sabs finally getting to meet Gary the stalker (who seems rather angry and upset at the world in general) we ended up with Independent Monitors looking for the NCH pack and us sabs being stalked by the Heythrop stalkers. A bit of sab and hunt relay going on, we soon got back on track and one of our foot sabs ran inland to where she thought the NCH would be, quickly outrunning Gary who had followed her on foot.
With stalkers all over them and the hunt well inland, we decided that the other sabs should go to back up the nearby monitors as the Heythrop were only about a mile away. Our foot sab remaining with the NCH caught up with them at Nayle’s Larch where hounds rioted on the scent of a muntjac and the hunt packed up after sab popped up to surprise them and rate the pack. Hunt staff didn’t seem too pleased that stalkers had not kept up with her. The Heythrop packed up not long after.
With the Ledbury Hunt being out in Upton on Friday and upsetting local residents we have received a lot of messages and tip-offs. We were tipped off to some blocked setts by a dog walker, so having finished with the NCH and Heythrop a couple of us headed over to Longdon to check setts. It was a long day but it is the legwork we’ve put into checking setts and reporting any that have bene tampered with which has made a number of positive changes locally and so we will continue.