22nd February ’20 – NCH

It was one of those mornings where many things happen and it is difficult to just focus on one thing. From dropping off merchandise and campaign materials to Those Vegan Pizza Guys who raised funds and awareness for us at a vegan fair in Cheltenham to heading to a meet which was then cancelled due to waterlogged ground, going to help our mates in Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch who were out at the Cotswold Hunt but getting sidetracked by a couple of injured animals in need of rescue, including this beautiful pheasant who had been clipped by a car and was sitting by the side of the road with vehicles speeding by within inches of his face (thanks to those who stopped when they saw our sab going to pick him up) and then getting a tip-off that the NCH had been spotted out and about…

We headed to where the hunt had been seen, watching an overloaded horsebox (passengers sitting on each others’ laps) heading down an A-road and found angry homeowners wanting to speak to the hunt about terrified family dogs in their gardens (hounds… and horses… had been in and out of people’s properties). As sab ran inland hounds picked up on a fresh scent and hunt staff seemed pleased for the excuse to ride off without apologising to anyone.

Stalker Malcolm barely caught up with sab before she got away and found the hunt chasing a fox through a root field – a couple of holloas lifted hounds’ heads and alerted the hunt of her presence and they pulled back the lead hounds off the fox, giving them valuable seconds to get further away. They then tried to pick up on their scent again. We were followed, on foot and in car, as we watched the hunt draw blank in Sedgecombe Wood then pack up at Hangman’s Hall… nearby badger setts were checked before dark and our other stalkers gave up following us just before we got to a supermarket in Evesham. Nothing better to do?

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