7th February ’20 – Ledbury Hunt

* hunt trespass at Ashleworth nature reserve *
* blocked sett found near hunt meet *
* brace of foxes seen to safety by sabs *
* several foxes seen running from the pack *

We received a tip-off this morning to say that the hunt had met at Hill Farm in Hasfield so we headed over, checking on a badger sett en route which is always freshly blocked on days when the hunt meet nearby (and not on other days… hmm…). The sett was blocked, so we unblocked some entrances and reported it to the police and Badger Trust.

We could hear hounds in the distance and caught up with them after a local non-hunt (but clearly pro-hunt) rider rode down the middle of a one-lane road in front of us. Many people are not patient road users (we know… we’re cyclists) especially when someone is deliberately causing issues and he needs to spend less time on his phone and more time paying attention to his horses’ body language – since we posted this report his friends have kindly identified him for us and we have realised that he is a young lad with clear issues, someone we blocked a few months ago from our page because he was leaving attention-seeking comments, referring to our sabs as “babe” and clearly wanting us to give him attention that we were uncomfortable with, then lying about things we had said to him despite our comments also being public. For this reason we have taken down his photo and the video of his actions will be going to the police alongside other footage from the day.

At Tweenhills Stud (hunt master David Redvers’ place) a brace (two foxes) ran from the hounds, one escaping through a local farmyard and the other being chased around Catsbury Hill, towards Limbury Hill but then the pack turned north… hounds checked at a bonfire, the smoke interfering with the scent and the hounds were all over the place with no hunt staff present to keep control (even hunt followers were commenting on their absence). Once hunt staff caught up they spent a long time casting the hounds but were unable to pick up the line again. Some blatant attempts at illegal hunting ensued before the hunt moved off, angering a local landowner who was fed up of the hunt turning up on his driveway with no prior notice every week… and then on to the Speedway track where another brace ran from the hunt, escaping the pack when hounds were rated back from their lines by our sabs and huntsman took the pack on in a different direction soon afterwards.

Towards Corse Grove and Corse Hill and then inland, another brace ran with one making his way towards a sett checked on by a sab and the other being chased for some time, into Ashleworth (including through a Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust nature reserve at dusk) and we believe the fox went to ground nearby. The hunt packed up at 17.30 in the dark.

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