We had a tip-off that the hunt would be meeting back near Spring Hill House. They were in this area last week and the week before that they killed a cub at Spring Hill.
The hunt realised we were around and, despite the preparation work done by quadbike-riding hunt staff around known artificial earths, ran to nearby Spring Hill (which is a large landlocked area with very few footpaths).
Jamie Smith latched on to one of us on foot, which saved the rest of us from his chatter and the playing of rugby loudly on his radio.
Meanwhile another of us ran inland and found hounds picking up near to Campden Ashes. With one rider trying to stop sab from filming by pretending she was a friend of the landowner (this hunt is getting repetitive and boring) and screeching about trespass, turning her horse into the sab, sab left the main track and rider gave up. She saw a hunt supporter (who we believe is the ex-terrierman for this hunt but are awaiting an ID) with 3 terriers standing on a spoil heap of a blocked badger sett.
He claimed over and over that the sett was not active and therefore it wasn’t illegal to block it, but when asked why it was blocked in the first place he suddenly became speechless… this is all in the North Cotswold cull zone with the cull in progress.
Police have been informed. Again.
While others were inland checking on setts and artificial earths, hounds picked up and ran towards the road to the south, our driver for the day rating the pack off the scent and huntsman took the pack back inland once more.
(NB if you have hounds near you and in sight and can be sure that no or is trying to escape from them towards you, you can rate the hounds back with voice commands such as “leave it”. Cracking a homemade whip (not hitting the hounds) and even clapping your hands loudly can work. Even if the lead hounds have passed by you on the scent, stopping the remainder of the pack may bring the lead hounds back and away from the hunted animal).
Not the easiest meet but plans scuppered, hunt annoyed and yet another visit from our group, and some successes throughout the morning.
Back out protecting badgers for the remainder of the day and into the night. See you in the fields!