11th March ’20 – Heythrop / North Cotswold / Thurlow Hunts JOINT MEET

* 3 hunt joint meet marks sabs’ 102nd meet of the season
* terriermen apprehended with terrier at artificial earth
* hunt members stand on badger sett to prevent fox escaping into it

We thought it was likely that the Heythrop Hunt would be holding their final (local) meet of the season today and so we headed out along with some independent monitors to attend the meet. It soon became obvious that the meet was also attended by North Cotswold Hunt staff and supporters and we noticed that the pack was being hunted by Nigel Peel (ex-huntsman of the North Cotswold Hunt and current huntsman of the Thurlow). It is believed that Peel is now retiring from hunt service which may be why such a big deal was being made today… and why other Thurlow members were also present!

With independent monitors driving around the area, one of our sabs got inland at Eyford Park (hunt supporters actually calling her to try to find out where she was…). The hunt headed over from there towards Upper Swell and hounds drew blank in a disused quarry before picking up elsewhere and hunting towards the A424, hounds running across a road and scaring a couple of donkeys in the garden of a large house whilst hunt members nearby stood on a badger sett (which is done to prevent foxes from going to ground).

Sab rated the hounds back, hunt supporters inadvertently helping by yelling at her in the same tone of voice you use to rate the pack… Whilst filming from a nearby covert another sab (who had been staking out the area*) heard quads arrive to her location and 5 men with spades on quads and a terrier in hand headed for an artificial earth – sab made her presence known and the men did a runner. We recognise some from a previous incident with a terrier and a badger sett with the Heythrop and we will be asking if anyone recognises the others in due course.

*as we get stalked at these hunts once spotted, we get inland early to strategic positions

The hunt ran towards Longborough before turning back and going to the covert with the artificial earth – sab went back inland in an attempt to move the hunt on and was manhandled out by several hunt members – hunt moved through the land quickly and headed elsewhere. Job done.

A taxi was forced to reverse on to a busy B-road by huge numbers of hunt supporters just down the road while a police officer took hunt members’ details for future reference re assault and illegal hunting. One supporter, paying more attention to yelling at a sab than the road itself, decided that it was the fault of the sab that the road was in chaos rather than the huge number of vehicles driving about after the hunt. Meanwhile several non-road-legal quadbikes drove about the area, many overloaded with extra passengers (including one of our hunt stalkers, Lizzie).

Over to the B4077 at rush hour and stalker Archie danced by the road playing music (loudly) and singing (badly) to prevent any foxes running towards sabs then lost his sh*t and started screeching at a sab when she rated hounds and got ready to stop them coming on to the B-road if necessary. A local slowed to ask which pack it was hunting and Lizzie (Heythrop Hunt member) told the guy that it was the North Cotswold! The hunt packed up soon after, in the dark, near to Swell.

Huge thank you to the locals who worked hard today, those driving round noticed and those quietly checking setts in the area. If you like what we do, support us by liking and sharing our page and posts and, if you can afford to, send us a couple of quid via PayPal.me/threecountiessabs

This was the last (local) meet of the season for our regular packs but we shall be supporting other local groups (such as the awesome Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch) for the next couple of weeks at other hunt meets and may be travelling to meets out of the area if our regular packs have away days elsewhere…

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