The Hunting office is the executive arm of the Governing bodies for Hunting with hounds. Established in 2005, it is the central organisation which is delegated to run the administrative, advisory and supervisory functions of the Hunting Associations, which are the governing bodies.
The Hunting Associations are:
- Masters of Foxhounds Association (“MFHA”)
- Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles (“AMHB”)
- Masters of Deer Hounds Association (“MDHA”)
- Masters of Bassett Hounds Association (“MBHA”)
- Masters of Mink Hounds Association (“MMHA”)
- Central Committee of Fell Packs (“CCFP”)
The umbrella body for the Associations is the Council of Hunting Associations (“CHA”) which was formed in 2001 to co-ordinate, centrally, the policies of the Hunting Associations and promote and protect the interests of hunting across the UK.
The Hunting Office’s purpose is to set and maintain high standards of conduct in the activity of hunting with hounds. As part of this, it also aims to promote and protect the interests and values of hunting and the hunting community.
Hunting with hounds is a unique activity which brings together and bonds rural communities, is of positive environmental benefit and upholds the best values of respect and tradition in our countryside. It is our role to ensure that those values and standards are upheld so that future generations can continue to enjoy an important and valuable rural activity.
How We Work
Each Hunting Association, to whom the Hunting Office reports, is governed by a Committee which meets quarterly and acts as the governing body for that hunting discipline. As the governing body, the Committee approves the rules of the association and overseas disciplinary matters relating to the activity.
The Hunting Office reports to the full Association Committees on a quarterly basis with summaries of current and planned work and items for discussion or approval by the Committee. This produces a working structure of reporting, feedback and approval between the Governing Bodies (Hunting Associations) and the operational running of the day-to-day running of hunting.
The Hunting Office Executive Committee is a small working Committee comprising members of the Associations and the Hunting Office and provides overall direction for the operations of the Hunting Office to ensure that it is run effectively and efficiently.
Hunting Office Team
The Hunting Office is led by three executive directors who are responsible for overseeing and implementing policy.
Alice Bowden - Hunting Office Director
Alice manages the administrative and advisory functions of the Hunting Office. This includes communications with Members, Hunts and External Bodies; planning and co-ordinating training programmes and co-ordinating the Insurance policies for hunts.
Alice grew up hunting in Yorkshire and, after gaining a 2:1 Zoology degree from Bristol University, spent five years living, working and hunting in Ireland. After returning to the UK in 2011 she managed an Equine Veterinary Practice until coming to the Hunting office in 2018.
Mark Hankinson - MFHA Director
Mark's focus is on activities in the field, visiting kennels and ensuring compliance and high standards of foxhound care and welfare. He also advises on the overall establishment of Hunts and assists them with managing day-to-day issues and longer-term considerations.
Mark has worked for the Hunting Office since 2012, initially as Hunt Support Officer carrying out Kennel inspections and ensuring Hunt compliance and high standards. Mark was Master and Huntsman of the United Pack (1994 – 1998) and the Wilton Hunt (1998 – 2012) and and has a huge amount of experience of kennels, hounds and running a Hunt.
Richard Tyacke - AMHB Director
Richard’s focus is on activities in the field, visiting beagle kennels and ensuring compliance and high standards of beagle care and welfare. He also advises on the overall establishment of Hunts and assists them with managing day-to-day issues and longer-term considerations.
Richard hunted the Stowe Beagles in 1993-94, and went on to be Master and Huntsman of the Eglinton (1998 – 2000), the Tyndale (2000-2004) and Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn's [the Wynnstay] (2004 – 2119), and is one of the leading amateur huntsmen of the 21st Century. He has extensive knowledge of hunting operations, running Hunt countries across the UK and over 25 years experience as a top-class amateur huntsman.
Patrick Martin - Hunt Staff Liaison
Patrick Martin is an extremely experienced former professional Huntsman, having hunted the Bicester with Whaddon Chase hounds for 23 years. Patrick visits kennels across the UK for the purpose of assisting Hunt Staff and giving advice in areas including Kennel Management, Hound Husbandry and Hound Care and Welfare. He is vastly experienced in looking after a pack of hounds in kennels and is able to provide support, advice and assistance to all Hunt Staff.
Dilys Hart - Office Manager
Dilys has been part of the Hunting Office Team since 2001 and is an integral part of the day-to-day administration and assistance that the office provides for Hunts, Association Members and Hunt Staff. She focusses on the administration of the insurance policies, the MFHA, AMHB and Hunting Office accounts, the Foxhound Kennel Stud Book as well as the daily communications with Hunts and Members.
Mary Cookson - Office Administrator
Mary joined the Hunting Office in 2020 having previously worked for a National Hunt Trainer. As well as the daily administration, her role includes management of the database; communications with Hunts, Association Members and Hunt Staff; event organisation; licencing and the Staff Registry.