Roisin Wood's insight into volunteering for the League

I became a volunteer for the League Against Cruel Sports in 2018 but I have been campaigning for as long as I can remember to help protect and look after animals.

Since moving to the Cotswolds 15 years ago it was apparent that a strong hunting and shooting community existed. I have struggled with this injustice towards wildlife in the countryside.

As a keen walker, explorer, and nature watcher I am often disappointed and dismayed with the environment in which I live. It often feels like a shooting ground, where young boys are still playing army games. Except they have grown into fully sized men shooting 'game'! A lot of places have pheasant pens, traps, snares, filled in badger setts, barbed wire, 'Private Property Keep Out' signs - I began to feel exasperated, frustrated, and disappointed.

Since joining the League I feel there is hope, joining an organisation that really does speak up for animals who are working really hard to help, protect and save our wildlife.

Whilst volunteering for the League I have been able to attend several peaceful demonstrations such as asking the National Trust to ban trail hunting on its land. A demonstration at Upton House (National Trust property) which was a great opportunity to hand out some very enlightening leaflets informing the general public about hunting and what really goes on. As well as one at Bourton-on-the-Water where we campaigned against trail hunting and the badger cull.

This was a good chance to combine a couple of local issues and make the public more aware of our concerns. I was really impressed with the way the League supported and assisted us so we could allow this great opportunity to take place. We had great fun dressing up as a badger and fox, the public enjoyed this too and it was a very constructive afternoon.

I also helped the League with their successful campaign to ban the shooting of gamebirds at Reading University by leafleting outside the Uni.

I have also helped run a stall at several different events, including at Vale Wildlife Hospital Open Day, Wychwood Festival and Stroud Vegan Yoga Festival. These were very enjoyable experiences, where I got to meet lots of interesting and wonderful people doing lots of positive things.

It feels good to be part of an organisation that has a positive outlook and a kind-hearted approach to animal welfare.

And although COVID-19 paused campaigning on the streets and moved to digital platforms, I hope to continue to volunteer for the League and do what I can to assist in their great mission to help protect animals.

I have really missed being active and hands on with the Gloucestershire group. Being with such likeminded and compassionate people, often made me feel so much more confident, productive, and driven. That is why I am so excited to be getting back out on the streets with the League. I am looking forward to meeting the public and promoting the great work that the League do, their leaflets are always so illuminating, revealing and enlightening.

I would also like to mention that I am keen and looking forward to raising awareness on the National Trust campaign. This could be a huge opportunity to make a big impact. At the National Trust AGM in October members of the National Trust will be able to vote to ban trail hunting on their land. If we can help achieve this then what a pragmatic footprint this could be for Wildlife, Foxes and the League.

Roisin Wood - Gloucestershire League Against Cruel Sports Supporter Group

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