Hunt banned from National Trust land

  • A temporary ban from trail hunting on National Trust property has been handed to a Somerset hunt.

    The Minehead Harriers was suspended from its annual licence on 28 January following alleged breaches of the terms of the contract.

    The 12,000 acre Holnicote Estate, which lies in Minehead Harriers hunt country, is owned by the National Trust.

    A meeting between the hunt and the Trust took place on 11 February.

    The National Trust has agreed to lift the suspension — potentially from 1 March — provided a mutually agreed “code of conduct” is written and made available to the hunt’s members and followers.

    “A number of other requirements will also need to be met before we agree to lift the suspension,” a spokesman told H&H.

    “These include, for example, the hunt improving communication with the Trust.”

    He added if the suspension is lifted, the Trust will expect the hunt to comply with the existing licence terms, as well as the other measures it has requested, for the rest of the season.

    A hunt spokesman said the meeting was “very productive” and the Minehead Harriers has promised to publish a code and to improve communication with the Trust.

    “It was made clear by the National Trust that they were highly supportive of the lawful trail hunting that the Harriers engage in as part of the Trust’s mission to preserve the rural traditions of the South West,” he said.

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    “The Trust recognised the problems the hunt face from pressure groups determined to cause trouble for lawful hunting in the area.

    “The hunt appreciates the difficult job that the Trust has to do in preserving and maintaining their land for the benefit of the public.”

    He added that the hunt looks forward to a “long and productive” association with the organisation.

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