The Minehead Harriers can once again follow hounds on National Trust land after the temporary suspension of the hunt’s annual licence allowing trail-hunting was lifted.
Their annual licence to hunt on the 12,000 acre Holnicote Estate on Exmoor was suspended on 28 January following alleged breaches of the terms of contract. The two parties have now mutually agreed a “code of conduct” that has been made available to the hunt’s members and followers.
“We are pleased that the National Trust and the Minehead Harriers have reached a sensible agreement,” Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance told H&H.
“Hunting is an important part of the culture of the countryside and its conservation is every bit as important as that of buildings and estates. Dozens of hunts operate on National Trust land up and down the countryside and it is a credit to all parties that their activity is largely trouble free.”
A spokesperson for the National Trust said: “The hunt have taken the steps we requested at that meeting to reassure us that they can operate within the terms of the license agreement in the future.”
“The Minehead Harriers have worked closely with the National Trust to sort out some minor administrative issues,” explained Tim Easby, director of the Hunting Office. “This is not unusual when hunt regimes change and I am delighted that common sense has prevailed.
“The National Trust issues licences for hunting throughout the country as do other organisations such as the Forestry Commission and we work very closely with them all to ensure that there is compliance, but also continuation of the current arrangements.”
The Minehead Harriers are based in Somerset and hunt two days per week. Their code of conduct states that the hunt recognises the importance of keeping strictly to all licence conditions when lawfully trail hunting on National Trust property.