The National Trust has cancelled its controversial hunting license for the Ashridge Estate, Hertfordshire, just days before a hare hunt was scheduled to hold its first meet. 

The League Against Cruel Sports, which wrote to Ashridge Estate’s management on Monday, urging the conservation body to block those seeking to hunt wildlife on its land, has welcomed the decision.

The announcement comes only days before the Trinity Foot & South Herts Beagles planned to hold its first of three meets at Ashridge, this Saturday. 

Chris Luffingham, Director of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, says:

“The Ashridge Estate is to be commended for ensuring the license granted last week to hunt across it land has now been cancelled. This outcome reflects strong public opposition to the practice – with 90% of people opposed to hunting hares with hounds – and provides hares on the estate with the protection they deserve.”

Fifteen hunting licenses allowing horses, hounds and followers access to sections of National Trust properties are still active, with many still being announced. These include nature reserves and conservation areas, home to vulnerable fauna and flora, which the Trust maintains on behalf of the nation. Monitoring by wildlife protection organisations, including the League, has revealed how hunts granted access to National Trust estates are pursuing fox, hare and deer under the guise of following a trail - 14 years after the cruel ‘sport’ of hunting was banned.

Chris Luffingham adds:

“By cancelling its hunting license just days before the Trinity Foot & South Herts Beagles were scheduled to meet on its land, the Ashridge Estate has done the right thing and we hope other National Trust properties will follow. There is no doubt the considerable number of National Trust members, visitors and employees, as well as the wider public, now expect the cancellation of all remaining hunting licenses as a matter of urgency.”



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  • The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).