We recently contacted the Malvern Hills Conservators with regards to the use of the Malvern Hills by the Ledbury Hunt, seen in the following video chasing a fox up into the hills back in December last year, the terriermen found elsewhere on the hills acting suspiciously around a badger sett before one of the supporters / unofficial helpers of the terriermen, Will Hunt, assaulted a member of 3C Sabs.
The video of the assault can be seen here – Will Hunt agreed to a ‘community resolution’ after the police investigated and had to pay £100 to Vale Wildlife Hospital as part of his apology.
The Malvern Hills Conservators have replied to us since with this response. We’re a bit confused as to why they think 3C Sabs would be holding an assembly on the hills and why they seem more concerned about that, but it’s good to know their initial feelings on the situation. We shall be following this up with further details from this last season and with any incidents in the upcoming season with the hunt.
“Thank you for your recent posting on our Facebook Page with regards to the upcoming hunt season and the call for us to ban further hunting on MHC property.
The Malvern Hills Conservators do not permit any illegal activities or events on its land. We work hard to ensure that all members of the public using the Hills and Commons do so in accordance with the standing Byelaws.
As with other event organisers, the Ledbury Hunt may apply to MHC to carry out lawful hunting activities across land under our jurisdiction. Any permission granted will be subject to the same sorts of conditions placed on any other lawful event organisers who approach us, so as to ensure compliance with our Byelaws. These conditions are set out so as to;
• minimise disturbance to wildlife,
• minimise damage to the common,
• avoid disturbance to grazing stock
• and, wherever possible, to avoid disturbance to other public users of the land.
If we find clear evidence of an event organiser failing to comply with the conditions we have set out in the permission, the Malvern Hills Conservators reserves the right to refuse permission for the event. With regard to conditions attached to any application for a hunt, it should be noted that terrier-men and their terriers are expressly prohibited on MHC land as part of, or in the company of, any organised lawful hunt.
Please note that we do not apply blanket bans on organisations applying to hold lawful events on our property because of reported offenses by one or more of their members elsewhere. To do so would be unreasonable. To give an example, we do not prohibit the organisers of a large walking event from applying to hold an event on our property on the basis of one or more of their members have been found guilty of trespass elsewhere. Similarly we do not ban legitimate funfair organisers on the basis that people attending their event may have been found guilty of offenses at other locations in the county.
We do however hold the organisers of any event carried out over our land responsible and accountable for the proper organisation and lawful execution of the event. If evidence is found of organisers permitting illegal activities, or the event is carried out against the conditions set in the permission, such that a breach of the Byelaws results, the Malvern Hills Conservators reserve the right to impose a future prohibition of that event or its organiser, and may carry out a prosecution under the Byelaws.
MHC monitors organised activities permitted over its property to ensure that such events are operated within the conditions set out in the respective permissions.
The Malvern Hills Byelaws were set out to protect the Hills and Commons, and it is part of our role to ensure that they are applied evenly to all parties, without fear or favour, and regardless of religious, social or political allegiance.
It is therefore necessary for me to remind you of :
Article 20: No unauthorised person shall hold any meeting or concert, rally or assembly, or permit any activity likely to cause an assembly on the Hills.
As such, if 3C’s Saboteurs intend to hold any meeting on land under our jurisdiction you should seek permission from ourselves so as to ensure that your organisation remains lawfully within the terms of the Byelaws. Please contact our offices.
Please note: If any member of the public has evidence of any illegal activity occurring during an event on the Hills and Commons, it should be reported to the police in the first instance.
Lastly, in the interests of openness, honesty and transparency to all parties, a copy of this letter will be forwarded to the Ledbury Hunt.
If you wish to discuss these matter further, as mentioned in your Facebook message, please contact myself at the above offices;