North Cotswold Hunt: 24th February 2016

“The Ledbury Girls” were out in force today (all 2 of us!) at the North Cotswold Hunt who met at Hayles Fruit Farm near to Winchcombe. Hayles is a known hunt meet and according to locals “will shoot anything that moves”. So not a great place for wildlife.

Instead of alerting them to our presence straight away, we watched from a short distance as they chased a fox from the bottom of Hailes Wood (right next to the meet) and hunted the fox across a number of fields. The scent, however, was not that good due to it being a sunny (though very cold) day. We caught up with them again drawing a cover and caught terriermen and supporters holloa’ing a fox, using a whistle as well to alert the huntsman. Nigel Peel encouraged the hounds on and lifted the pack to the location where they picked up on and off before losing the scent and running off inland.

There seems to be a lot of dodgy quadbike activity at this hunt – they have 5 quads out with them, terriers, a bird of prey with fellow-pointer Calvin Crossman (the bird constantly hooded, so obviously it’s not about falconry, but about foxhunting – they seem to think just having a bird of prey nearby allows them to hunt foxes…).

At one point, after several more holloas and a brief stint of taking over the local B-road plus a bit of checking in a field, a flesh wagon which is known to local sabs from other hunts, blocked the road. With sab on foot, however, and sab-in-car parked up, the move was pretty redundant and having blocked hunt supporters for a number of minutes, they moved off into a gateway. Having shouted “slag” at foot-sab, they then reversed back down the road to block the sab car once more, in doing so blocking members of the public and a school bus… When sab politely pointed this out to him, he claimed he felt threatened by her – so threatened that he would be willing to get closer to her and restrain her in a citizen’s arrest. Oh dear…

More holloas. More dodgy quadbike riding. A comment about us being “monitors” then we were identified as “the Ledbury Girls” so we thought we’d stick with that – better than “slag” at any rate. We’re fit. Apparently. They’re blatantly hunting. Locals told us that there are constant problems in this area with hunt arrogance, riders and hounds going through gardens and over lawns, holding up traffic and barging on to roads.

We’ve obviously been neglecting the hunt for too long. We’ll be seeing a lot more of you guys!

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