The Hunt were back again today (30 March 2018). They met at Kingsland, the next farm along to Wheatland Farm.
Just the other day, Eggesford Hunt chairman Hugh Trerise was on BBC Spotlight, claiming the Eggesford Hunt only hunt trails laid by the huntsmen. So how come, 5 minutes after they set off, 20 or so hounds were following trails through Popehouse Moor Site of Special Scientific Interest, crossing Lower Newland Moor, and then eventually running in and out of the garden at Little Routh (our neighbours)?
There are no trails laid here unless someone trespassed and laid them, and surely not even the hunt is that stupid.
And even though the hunt has been formally warned off Wheatland Farm, a huntsman in full hunt gear came riding down the driveway, and as he rode back out again grinned and gave me a sarcastic wave.
He knows, and we have come to learn, that the Police are not interested in upholding the hunting ban. Yes, we made another police complaint (DCP 2018 0330-0297), but we are not holding our breath that any action will be taken.
After the last incursion in January, Huntsman Jason Marles came to talk to us. He undertook to let us know when a hunt was going to be near Wheatland Farm. He hasnt. We explained to him face to face, and later by letter, that the wildlife here was our livelihood and that anyway the regulations for our Site of Special Scientific Interest made hunting there illegal. He has taken no notice, and has taken absolutely no measures to ensure the hounds do not encroach on Popehouse Moor or the other land at Wheatland Farm.
We are not animal rights activists. We are not extremists. And although we’ve long-objected to hunting in principle, it has taken local hunts’ complete disrespect for our wildlife-based livelihood to really entrench our opinions.
Does the Eggesford Hunt just hunt trails? No. These people simply lie.