The Ledbury Hunt met in the Pauntley area, near Redmarley. We know this area well with it being a real hotspot in Gloucestershire badger cull zone one. Despite Redmarley especially having high rates of bTB infection, fox hunting continues in the area and there is little regard to biosecurity when it comes to badgers and their setts. One hound was found marking a fox to ground after a brief hunt of a fox.
The sett is well-known and targeted in the cull. To be fair the whipper-in was calling the hounds out (but if they were following a trail they shouldn’t have been anywhere near in the first place) so a sab assisted by going to check the sett and tell that hound off, thus making sure that the badgers and the fox were left in peace! They moved on quickly to some gorse and a fox was seen fleeing a couple of lead hounds. Oddly the whipper-in was indulging in some saddle-slapping (noise made to scare a fox away from the source of the noise) whilst the terrierman Tom Stokes was lurking behind a hedge.
Onto Redhill where hounds did pick up in front of us but were taken into some more gorse and then to Cobhill Rough where they did not do very much. Early pack up at 15.30
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A lone sab’ was waiting on the old railway line and sure enough that is where they decided to draw first. At one stage a fox was heard through the undergrowth and crept into some very thick brambles. Hounds came a minute or so later and were successfully rated off of the scent. Citronella was also sprayed to mask the scent of the fox. The huntsman Ollie Dale then lifted the pack and encouraged them into the very thick brambles where the fox had hidden. They picked up again and the fox was seen escaping down the side of the old railway. They the called the hounds away and headed further south picking up on another fox and hunting him around to where the first one escaped. The sab was now being stalked which meant Jamie Smith (NCH Vice Chairman) playing loud music to drown out the sound of hounds and huntsman. They spent 3 hours in that area and then went elsewhere.
We are getting some incredibly useful tip offs meaning we can be inland before the hunt knows we are there…
The CVFH held a joint meet with the VWH at Leigh House, The Leigh. With Mendip Hunt sabs and Hunt sabs Ireland.
The 3C sab’ spent most of time inland keeping an eye out whilst folk from the other 2 groups did a brilliant job at staying with hounds and thwarting their attempts to hunt for much of the day in the Prior’s Norton area, so we will leave them to tell the tale.
We were told that Phillip Hague (VWH huntsman) is on holiday, leaving it to the whipper-in to carry the horn.
It was a very successful day. This is a hotspot in badger cull zone 1 and the several setts seen today were very active. Considering we are in what could be the final few days of the 2019 cull there is still a lot of activity which is great to see.
As predicted the first draw was Egg’s Tump and our friends from the other groups were inland ready to assist any fox needing help to get away from the hounds. The hunt were not there long and soon whizzed up to Hayes Coppice, drew blank and then did pick up a scent in New covert.
There was a quick mooch around some hedgerows then off to second horse at Underhill farm and hunt Berrow wood.
The owner of the land, Edward Phillipson-Stow, who also happens to be a joint master of the Ledbury, got a little bit cross about sabs trying to stop them from hunting foxes.
Whilst foot sabs were busy up the hill, a fox ran down through Berrow churchyard and the sab looking after the car stopped the pack from pursuing the fox by spraying citronella across where he had run.
Pleased to report no blocked setts found and they hacked home to the kennels at 15.30.
A sab from Mendip Hunt Saboteurs met with a sab from 3C.
Predictably the hunt hunted around Downhouse Coppice and came out through Glynch Farm. Now David Redvers was very upset that Mendip sab’ was “frightening the children” by concealing their identity with a mask. Ironically terriermen Tom Stokes and Ben Hughes then drove by on a quad… masked up. They then stood on a badger sett in order to chase any foxes going to ground there (still masked up). Ohhh the irony.
They drew a blank at Gadbury Bank and one poor soul was trying to break covert at Berth Hill.
At the speedway track a large round fox (pregnant?) was seen running to the road, they ran back up to the gorse. The hounds came down and crossed the road towards Foscombe. Normally they would be rated back by sabs but they were allowed to go in the wrong direction. The hunt are not allowed in that direction and abandoned any attempt to pursue that fox. The fox was back up in the gorse having saved themselves.
At Haw Bridge Mendip sab found and dealt with a hard blocked badger sett as they hunted into the meadows. Astonishingly just of the B4213 Mark made a final draw in the brambles. A fox ran past 3 C sab, hounds were rated back but the fox was hunted across the main road in the dark as the Mendip was dealing with the situation on the main road they lost that fox. Will share their post when it goes up.
*** Terriermen try to bolt a fox into a net at a Beaufort hunt meet ***
The Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt held a joint meet with the Glamorgan. We attended alongside Cirencester Illegal Huntwatch.
In a covert just off Oake’s lane to start with where there was a blocked sett and a blocked rabbit warren. A was evicted physically from there whilst drinking a cup of tea by a man who got off his horse and said he was working for Mr Smith (the owner), Mr Smith and 2 women in fluorescent jackets back to Oake’s lane. They avoided that area for a bit.
Then several terriermen were lurking down a bank. The 3C sab’ present said the following: “Near the motorway we stopped to get a view of the hunt and I noted a badger sett at the bottom of the bank . Going down it to investigate further I found 4 men on a badger sett with a net over one entrance and other entrances filled in. They were clearly waiting for a fox to bolt into the net. I approached them and they packed up and ran to the quads which were parked nearby, there were no registration plates visible and the men were masked up. One had who I think was a Patterdale terrier under his arm.They ran away. The huntsman and hounds who were nearby drawing a covert also disappeared rapidly. On going back to the sett there were fresh spade marks and down one entrance some bright yellow substance was noted, it also had a strong smell soapy/disinfectant/lemony.
I retrieved what were small yellow capsules which were melting in the damp earth and am looking into getting them analysed. They smelt very strong and out of concern for any badgers or foxes who may inhabit the sett I removed 8 of these capsules and believe them to be heavy duty cleaners placed in an entrance with the intention to stop any fox coming out of that entrance, or from going to ground in it or maybe some attempt to encourage a fox to leave, stinking out setts and earths is well documented after all in old hunting texts. In the next field more sett entrances were found that had been blocked. It is not know as to which hunt is responsible for putting noxious chemicals down the sett, could be Beaufort, could be the Glamorgan or, more likely, a joint enterprise.
This is thought to be within the Avon cull zone which has just undergone it’s first year of the badger cull. Avon and Somerset police and the Badger Trust have been notified”.
Nets are put over the entrances of holes so that we the fox bolts out of it they are captured within the net and are then shot, or in some cases released in front of hounds. we do not know what the intention was here.
They left the area and were hunting around Badminton until dark.
We were checking out a badger sett in a barn when terrierman Christ Trotman et al arrived on a quad for no apparent reason. He watched us for a bit but got very jumpy when we approached the nearby artificial earth… which looked used and was blocked at one entrance. Then we had our stalkers with us… for another 5 hours.
We won’t subject the viewer to the ermmm “singing”, “dancing”, foot stomping and clapping but you can get a general idea from the film. As one sab films you can see a fox run and one stalker jump in front of the camera with others making a lot of noise, the hounds can be seen running to the main road near Adam Henson’s farm (and yes we did see him about, but going about other business as opposed to supporting the hunt, he was/is pro badger cull though). This may well have been another brace being hunted.
It may be asked as to what the point of all the music and stalking, quite simply they are fox hunting. If they beat us up, steal and/or vandalise our property they can get arrested for it. And so the hunts around here have adopted a tactic where they drown out any noise from the hounds and huntsman, frighten any foxes from where sabs/monitors are and follow us around very closely. All in all a hell of a lot of bother to avoid being seen to do what they are all proud of i.e hunting a small terrified wild mammal.
We did keep fairly close to the hounds for most of the day.
Earlier in the week on the 13th January 2020, same hunt, hounds were rated off a fox at Willersey. That fox ran to safety, Ollie Dale (huntsman and master) literally ran to the hills. One less “musically” inclined stalker followed a sab for the next 4 hours obsessing over footpaths.
Hounds were found hunting near Hayle’s fruit farm (where several boxes were parked). Hayles fruit juices and cider are sold all over the Cotswolds, so please consider the fact that they support fox hunting and the badger cull if you want to buy such items.
At Costcombe Corner a hunt servant was found legging it away from a sab and appeared to try and head a fox that was coming towards her. Hounds came through in full cry and were rated back with partial success. They hunted through Hailes Wood and into The Thrift where the pack split with one hunt going on in The Thrift and another back to Costcombe Corner, where it is thought that the fox may have gone to ground – they then all pulled away from the area and went back into Haile’s Wood.
Foxes are pairing up now and it is not unusual for a brace consisting of a dog and a vixen to be hunted together
A foot sab’ was then caught up with by stalker / hunt vice chairman, Jamie Smith, who is a bit obsessed with footpaths and his new radio which was playing the Archers rather loudly. The hunts do this (play loud music, talk loudly, make noise) near sabs to head foxes away from sabs and to stop sabs listening to where the hunt is and what they are doing.
They legged it from Hailes Wood at that point to an unknown location
* Brace of foxes hunted blatantly by North Cotswold Hunt * * Badger sett blocked * * Multiple reports of other hunts in area * * Abusive messages throughout day on phone* * Cirencester Illegal Huntwatch’s tyres let down*
It is very hard knowing that whilst you are with one hunt, others are just a few miles away also hunting foxes:
The Croome and West Warwickshire are reported to have hunted a fox through a garden in Norton near Evesham today (we’re in contact with locals who witnessed and retorted them).
Worcestershire Hunt were at Inkberrow, being covertly monitored by anti-hunt locals who were in touch with us.
The Heythrop were at the Slaughters (under the watchful eye of independent monitors)
The Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt were at Norton near Tewkesbury and so on… more sabs and monitored needed! We’re also in contact with someone who witnessed a kill on land another hunt were not permitted on – this has been reportedto the police and we are getting an update soon from the person who told us.
As for what we were up to (other than taking phone calls)…
The NCH were found at Springhill near Broadway and a blocked sett was soon found and dealt with. Fox cubs were seen playing here in the summer. A brace means 2 foxes – this time of year they are pairing up and can often be seen running very close to one another – before long 2 were seen trying to get away from the hounds.
The pack were away from the foxes and hunting towards Bourne’s Folly.
Cirencester Illegal Huntwatch were out as well and we were all on the road south of Springhill, a notorious hotspot for hunting. Ollie Dale put his hounds into thick brambles. Foot sabs were accompanied by stalkers who made noise and played loud music to stop any foxes breaking covert in front of the cameras. One fox did cross and we tried to get into position to rate the pack and as we did a second fox ran alongside the pack to follow their mate to safety.
You can see a couple of hounds opening their mouths on the photo.
Ollie Dale encouraged them to continue hunting into Kildane’s Bottom. They were later rated back from following a scent but we have no way of knowing what happened to the two being hunted in the meantime as they covered a lot of land at speed. It is heartbreaking to think that a hunted brace try to look after one another when being hunted and stay together.
A third fox escaped through some hunt supporters.
They went on to the quarry, Toad Corner and Slatepits before finishing in the pitch black.
Please continue to support us with information we will get to as many hunts as we can or at least check afterwards for blocked setts, etc.
“You’re a scabby c*nt on benefits” – Ledbury Hunt rider yells abuse at landowner after hounds trash his garden.
We caught up with the Ledbury Hunt this morning up Catsbury Hill after checking various badger setts in the area – some setts around here used to be blocked tens of times over a season and, due to our work against the practice, are no longer blocked or tampered with. Hounds picked up on a scent within the wood on the hill and a hare was seen running to safety. After a short while in the wood and no definite line to follow, the hunt moved on and crossed the road… leaving at least 9 hounds behind, 4 of whom picked up and ran back into the wood at Catsbury, 2 of whom ended up trying to rejoin the pack at different points and running on to the road and at least 1 hound gave chase to “a large terrified fox” who ran across a road at Blackwell’s End, witnessed by a local who contacted us immediately to tell us that the hound was running around all over the road. It took some time to gather the pack again, whipper-in stating “well they were all-on a minute ago” (by which he must half meant half an hour when they were first leaving the meet…).
We were with the pack on and off over the next few hours, flooded roads and fields causing issues for drivers, hunt and farmers alike. It was a very early pack-up, around 2.45pm… but when you’ve just trespassed in someone’s garden, trashing it, then yelled abuse at the home-owner it’s probably a good idea to get out of the area. We met the guy and his family who told us of the incident just off the A417 in Hartpury and were told that when he came out to ask what was going on he was questioned as to why he wasn’t at work (recovering from an operation, not that it’s any of the hunt’s business, especially as most of the hunt riders were also not at work at the time of the incident). We were told that he was called a ‘benefits scrounger’ and ‘a scabby c*nt’. We gave advice regarding legal action and wish him and his family all the best.
If anyone recognises the guy in the red coat there are people wishing to talk to him (unusual to see red at this hunt as the very-recognisable hunt staff don’t want to be recognisable while breaking the law, so change into black coats). There is also the young female driver of a white mini with the reg. number RJ09 XDZ who tried and failed to block in sabs at a church, then executed a dangerous overtake on wet, bendy roads by Corse End – do you know her?