8th December 2020 – Heythrop Hunt

A horseless rider followed a sab on a sett checking expedition and sure enough before long a badger sett was found freshly blocked, sadly we know that many other setts will be blocked in that area. This was before they left the meet and no trail layer was seen Soon afterwards a quad arrived and dropped off a proper stalker called Lucy to go for a walk with the sab.

Social distancing was non existant for the 50 odd riders and amateur huntsman Charlie Frampton was coughing a fair bit as he went into Maugersbury Grove.

He went on to (from what could be heard) to draw blank in numerous coverts until he got to the back of Church Westcote and eventually hunted what sounded like a brace as the pack was split. They hunted into the dark and may have killed but too far away to be certain.

Car sab’ was brilliant and a sight for sore legs – 12 miles clocked up!

4th December 2020 – Ledbury Hunt

*** 5 blocked badger setts * hunt all over main road * Covid laws breached by 60 riders all bunched up together * fox escapes as sabs intervene to stop hounds ***

Thankyou so much to a sab from Mendip Hunt Sabs for joining us. First port of call was to unblock a sett near the meet. They hunted through the fields and villages around Longdon and the mounted field were observed all bunching together en masse.

NB hunting foxes for sport is not an exempt activity re Covid regulations as it is a criminal offence. We are in Tier 2 and with at least 5 blocked setts in the vicinity they were not even attempting to hide the fact that they were fox hunting.

At Long Covert a large fox broke covert and sabs sprayed liberal amounts of citronella to cover his scent and then rate hounds back. They did lift the pack and hunt him but he ran back and they checked when sabs had sprayed and seemed to lose him.

They ended up in the Stanks and did not seem to do much there. Edward Philippson Stowe, the master in charge today, was not a happy bunny to find sabs present at the last draw. They finished as it got dark.

People were contacting us today to tell us that the Ledbury were out. THANKYOU!

4th November 2020 – Worcestershire Hunt

*** blatant hunting of 2 foxes * blocked badger sett * 90 riders out on eve of lockdown with no social distancing * hounds trespass through gardens ***

Worcestershire Hunt Opening Meet

Bradley Green area, 10am

Exhausted after 3 days sabbing in a row pre lockdown so this will be a short report.

Whistles were heard through the day when those on point saw foxes and this started just after 10am (an hour earlier than normal).

Around 90-100 mounted field all huddled together.

One freshly blocked badger sett found.

At Goosehill a fox ran past one sab’. Once safely past his line was sprayed and the sab positioned themselves to rate the pack if necessary.

Astonishingly 2 riders arrived dragging a hunting whip with a rag on it EXACTLY where the fox had been seen running! When the hounds came after the fox the sab rated them back successfully, i.e stopping them from hunting, only for one of the riders to throw her toys about and try and bully the sab who was actually on a footpath. Sadly the hounds were lifted and were once again hunting the fox around a chicken farm. “Aye, aye, aye ” and whistles were heard, we do not know their fate.

Then a call to Earl’s Common by a dog walker. A fox ran past and hounds rated again, the hounds were held up by that and stock fencing. Terriermen were filmed lifting it up to get them after that fox. Villagers have been in touch to say that hounds ran through their gardens after that fox. Hounds chased him up past Digging wood but we did hear that a very exhausted fox returned back through past the houses. The hunt went home.

No hunting now for at least 4 weeks so some rest now and catch up time.

The supplementary badger culls continue, however as does the continual persecution of all wild beings.

Please keep safe and look after the birds, check setts on daily exercise if possible.

3rd November 2020 – Heythrop Hunt

*** terriermen stopped from going to artificial earth * fox escapes into thick brambles and hunt forced to leave him with presence of sabs * Gloucestershire police arrive by helicoptor and on the ground to enforce the Hunting Act ***

Heythrop Opening meet Chastleton.

The day began for us by sett checking to find several setts dead and filled in some time ago. We stayed inland beside an artificial earth and as predicted several quad bikes approached to see if anyone was hiding in that artificial and found sabs waiting for them. They ran out fairly quickly and lurked around a badger sett that was just about active.

Stalkers Lizzie and Lucy arrived on the scene to follow sabs as terriermen hurredly covered any numberplates with mud. A fox ran towards us all and the hunt moved away from where they ad clearly planned to go and headed towards Evenlode.

Shortly afterwards hounds were in thick brambles near a barn. One young rider was blatantly slapping his boot with a whip to try and prevent any fox coming towards where we were as hounds went through the brambles. Our stalkers may well have had a word about that looking a bit dodgy and they soon pulled away from that area as another fox also sought refuge there.

Off then they went to Crawthorn (right by a high speed railway line) to escape only to find that the police had arrived both by air and on land.

Quads were pulled over for having no numberplates and the helicoptor circled around 2 of their favourite coverts Crab Orchard and Crawthorn.

They were very sad about this and then skulked off home.

This was not the only hunt to be policed today. One more day before lockdown again. Thank you all for the information and support – it is tremendous!

31st October 2010 – Cotswold Hunt

Roel Gate area, Opening Meet.

We caught up with the hunt (after getting soaked through) at Hank’s Gorse where they got a bit precious about footpaths after a while. We were escorted back to the footpath and were thus ideally placed to spray out the line of a fox when one was hunted from a barn with huntsman Lloyd Heard holloaing and encouraging them on. He rushed past sabs and into a field to tray and cast them on but gave up after a while and legged it to Hawling.

Two blocked setts found in the area and as it grew dark one sett had a few people on it and some big stones on one entrance. Other setts were not blocked but not looking very active with this being Gloucestershire badger cull zone 9 in its 5th year of culling and about to enter the 6 month of culling. One baitpoint was also found by sett checkers.

In the pitch black one hound was lost but soon picked up by the whipper in.

And as it is announced that we will enter a lockdown on Thursday, no social distancing and many more than 6 people huddled together whilst hunting and then back at the boxes afterwards.I

t would be outrageous if hunting or syndicate shooting were to continue whilst everyone makes immense sacrifices and an announcement from the Hunting Office is expected. If this doe not happen for any reason, there needs to be a lot of noise made about it. And huntsman and whipper in wore black today, not red.

In other news, several calls about the Croome and West Warwickshire blocking the roads at their Opening meet at Peopleton. One of our sabs was inland at the Heythrop cub hunting Near Chipping Norton, more to follow.

28th October 2020 – Cotswold Hunt

Turkdean, Children’s meet

Predictably several terriermen turned up in a particular wood to do something darstadly to an active badger sett (a sett that has been dug out and blocked repeatedly). They ran away very fast as sabs approached, then, lo and behold, 5 minutes later huntsman Lloyd Heard arrived with the hounds, spent 5 minutes there and left.

We caught up with them to find another badger sett with some entrances blocked by stones. The hunt were trying to get back a young hound it seemed for most of the time.

Another sett was found to be dug out which we think happened some time ago but other entrances were freshly blocked with hound paw prints on others.

Yet another sett with spade marks freshly blocked.

Another completely destroyed some weeks ago, not by the hunt we do not think but by the nearby Salperton estate where birds were being blasted to pieces today and where we found a raptor trap in the summer of 2016.

This is Gloucestershire badger cull zone 9 – the supplementary cull continues here and 4 out of 5 setts checked had been tampered with . One we prevented them from doing anything. This is a war on wildlife for nothing more than amusement.

27th October 2020 – Cotswold Vale Farmers’ Hunt

Children’s meet at Barrow

There was a trail laid (for our benefit than that of wildlife) but hounds were not interested, at all. Then Huntsman Matthew Vater went up and down drawing blank mostly round the hedgerows. At one stage hounds were encouraged on an active badger sett that has been dug out many times. They just had a bit of a sniff and left. Some deer were put up and hounds ignored them.

Then on the way back to Norton Court farm they spent a short time gathering the pack and a couple of hounds came back. The terriermen came back too and the hounds seemed very interested in their quad. And then they packed up, within 2 hours.

Another partially artificial earth/sett was checked and one entrance had hound prints on it. several entrances were freshly blocked, there were fresh boot prints, one plastic sack with bite marks on it and several entrances not blocked. This indicates that they may well have taken a fox from the sett by placing nets on the unblocked entrances. We do not know whether they succeeded in killing a fox or capturing one, or whether they just partially blocked the sett and that was it. The enthusiasm of the hounds all round the quad is concerning though and the early packup not drawing half of the coverts as is the norm.

This is also badger cull zone 1, now in it’s 8th year of culling. They started killing badgers here this year in early June. This is an active sett, interfered with in a cull zone, during the culling period.

23rd October 2020 – Ledbury Hunt

First it was a quad with 2 terriermen right by a stickpile… which the hounds were then encouraged to have a sniff around. No fox in residence luckily.

Then in some maize hounds put up a fox who ran past several foot followers who can be seen in the picture raising their hats and pointing to show where he was to the huntsman. Mark Melladay encouraged his hounds onto that fox.

A sab did slow them down a bit in the field but he took the pack on and they hit the line again only to lose it. That fox escaped.

A couple of hours were spent sett checking and none recently blocked. Setts were also checked in Gloucestershire zone 1 just south of this area. The 6 week culls in Gloucestershire zones 29, 46 etc are now over but zones 1 and 9 continue which is north Gloucestershire and part of Worcestershire and Herefordshire. Herefordshire zone 10 is also a supplementary zone. Cage trapping will finish on 30th November and free shooting could go on until 31st January.

Hats off to all those out in the field checking setts, gate sitting and doing their utmost as we enter the winter months. These zones started killing in June.

21st October 2020 – Cotswold Hunt

*** fox killed, badger sett blocked ***

As sabs walked towards the hunt on the old railway track near Aylworth a young and clearly terrified fox ran past with hounds clearly very close behind.

The hounds were rated with voice calls and whips stopping them as the whipper in allowed them to hunt on. Huntsman Lloyd then gathered the pack and cast them on exactly where the cub had run. they picked up the line of his scent and within a few minutes a hunt follower was holloaing and the hounds were in full cry to where they killed. A man was seen carrying the body up the opposite hill.

A badger sett in the field where this fox was hunted from was found to be freshly blocked. This is Gloucestershire badger cull zone 9 in the fifth year of culling.