National Countryside to Town Week, an initiative which aims to increase the positive image of hunting and awareness of other rural issues is to take place from 7-14 August.

The scheme, organised by the Countryside Alliance, continues on the back of a similar campaign last year, when working hounds, gundogs, hawks and country sports supporters spend the day at a stand in the town centre, informing those who wouldn’t perhaps experience country sports first hand.

This year, the alliance aims to run the scheme in 30-40 locations, “beating the opposition at their own game”, as Hunting and the Community Officer Nicky Driver explains.

“The benefits of this initiative are huge – firstly, we are de-mystifying country sports and providing a valuable spring board for hunting and rural communities to build on public opinion over the summer.

“The Countryside to Town Week also serves the great purpose of giving a good morale boost to country sports supporters as you realise just how much support there is, even in urban areas.

“The anti-hunting lobby has been playing this game for years, handing out leaflets in town centres every Saturday, but this initiative has made us aware of how enthusiastic and interested people are in what we do when they get a real taste of it. Once people have spoken to hunt staff, seen the animals and understood more about rural issues, they leave feeling informed and sympathetic.

  • for more information on the scheme, or to help organise an event, contact the CA Action Office (Tel: 01367 850288) or e-mail: hatc@countryside-alliance.org