Latest News

Statement from the Hunting Office

Today the National Trust board has informed us of their decision not to issue licences for trail hunting on Trust land.  This decision is hugely disappointing, considering 98% of the Trust members did not participate in the vote to ban trail hunting at the AGM earlier this year.  The board's decision to prevent a lawful and legitimate activity comes as a result of an engineered campaign by opponents of trail hunting to bully landowners into stopping a lawful activity carried out by the rural community.

Hunts have had access to National Trust land for generations and the decision goes completely against the core mantra of the National Trust 'for everyone, for ever'.

We hope that we can maintain an open dialogue with the Trust and have further consultation following the review which we are currently conducting.

Published on 25th November 2021


Boxing Day Meets 2021

As Boxing Day falls on a Sunday this year, hunts across the country will be holding their traditional Boxing Day meets on Monday, 27th December 2021.  These festive meets always attract large crowds and we want to ensure that anybody who wishes to show support for hounds is aware that hounds will meet on the Bank Holiday Monday this year.   

Hunts across the whole country look forward to welcoming local residents and supporters to their annual festive meets, after being unable to do so last year due to Covid restrictions.  Once again families and local communities can enjoy the spectacle of hounds at the traditional meets all over the country.

Published 24th November 2021


Statement from the Hunting Office

“Today the Hunting Office was informed of Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW) decision not to issue licences for trail hunting on its land.  It is disappointing that NRW didn’t consult with the MFHA before making this decision however, we hope that further consultation may be possible following the review that we are currently conducting.”

Published 18th November 2021 


Trail Laying Organisation - Shooting Times Aricle 

Harry Beeby, Master and Huntsman of the Oakley, writes about his experiences organising the trail laying for a day's trail hunting. 

"We have a number of options with regards to how the trails are laid.  Mostly they are laid from horseback or on foot, but we also have the ability for them to be laid from a quad..........Arable land can differ quite considerably. There are many variables - how recently the ground has been cultivated, whether it has been sprayed and so fourth.  I prefer not to know where a trail has been started from, nor the exact route the trail-layer has taken, as it detracts hugely from the business of finding and hunting it....."

Click Here to Read Full Shooting Time Article

Published 10th November 2021

MFHA Chairman Interview in Country Life

We hope supporters may have noticed an interview with new MFHA and Hunting Office Chairman Andrew Osborne in Country Life in October, in which he discusses his hopes for hunting as well as the challenges it faces, and his own long lover affair with field sports.  Thank you to the Fernie kennels for being the venue for the lovely photograph which accompanied the article.

"Despite the challenges huntsmen face trying to keep hounds ‘who haven’t read Hansard’ hunting legally, Mr Osborne still considers it the best job in hunting.  He should know; there are few hunting jobs he hasn’t done, including being a master and field master, amateur huntsman, hound judge and – since May – chairman of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA)……

Click Here to read the full interview with MFHA Chairman, Andrew Osborne, which appeared in the October issue of Country Life magazine.  

Published 2nd November 2021

Hunting Office Statement

"On Saturday, National Trust members voted to ban trail hunting and hound exercise on Trust land.  The vote is non-binding and the National Trust board of trustees has stated that they are satisfied hunts have been complying with the licence requirements and agree that trail hunting is a lawful and legitimate activity.  Although less than 2% of Trust members engaged with the vote, this result is disappointing considering hunts have had access to Trust land for many years, and it goes against one of the Trust’s cores purposes of protecting the nations heritage ‘for everyone, for ever’.  However, in practice, only a few packs have the potential to be affected by a ban and the whole hunting community remains in support of those packs.   

The Hunting Office will continue to make sure hunts are in a position to offer reassurances to landowners, and other stakeholders, that they are conducting legitimate trail hunting activities and operating within the law.  Over 8,000 more members voted to support trail hunting than voted to support it in a similar vote in 2017, indicating that support for trail hunting under licence is stronger than before.  Trail hunting and hound exercise are lawful and legitimate activities and a huge part of the rural community, they should be considered in the same way as any other lawful activity taking place on Trust land.  We will continue working to make sure all landowners are reassured that hunts are complying with any licences in place". 

Click Here for the Countryside Alliance's response to the National Trust Vote 

Updated 1st November 2021

Statement from the Hunting Office 

"Yesterday, Mark Hankinson resigned as Director of the MFHA. Mr Hankinson is still considering an appeal, however, following the judgment and considering the length of time any appeal process may take, he decided that he was unable to continue in the role. The Hunting Office team and the wider hunting community thank him for his many years of dedication to hunting with hounds".

Published 19th October 2021

Statement from the Hunting Office 

“Mark Hankinson, the Director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, was today found guilty of charges brought against him.
This verdict is hugely disappointing however we are considering an appeal. The Masters of Foxhounds Association is aware that this outcome raises concern over the perception of our lawful trail hunting activities and as a result, we will be setting up a review which will be conducted to ensure that hunts are in a position to offer reassurances to all landowners and other stakeholders that hunts are operating within the law.”

Published 15th October 2021

Presentations for Tim Easby and Lord Mancroft

Tim Easby has thanked all those who contributed towards his leaving present, having been presented with a painting of his whippet “Wafer”.  Tim stepped down as Director in 2020, having lead the Hunting Office team for over 10 years. He served hunts and hunting tirelessly - always assisting, advising and, above all, supporting staff, masters and hunt officials. 

Tim said “I cannot begin to thank you all enough for this wonderful painting of our whippet - ‘Wafer’, it will always remind me of over ten happy years at the helm of hunting.  Thank you so much for your most generous donations towards this wonderful painting and for keeping this great sport alive and well”. 

Lord Mancroft retired from the Chairmanship of the MFHA in May this year and was presented with a painting of his beloved hunter “Pee Jay” by Andrew Osborne, at the MFHA conference this week.  Lord Mancroft said “Serving the hunting community as MFHA Chairman has been an honour and I sincerely thank the very many people who have helped and supported me".

Published 30th July 2021

Distinctions for all apprentices completing in 2021

Archie Bramwell becomes the third apprentice to complete his Apprenticeship in 2021 gaining a Distinction at his End Point Assessment.  Archie joins Harry Mayo and William Hand, who also received distinctions earlier this year. 

The Hunting Office Bursary Scheme, run in conjunction with Haddon Training, aims to recruit and train young people wishing to pursue a career in hunting.  The National Diploma in Animal Care is a Level 2 Apprenticeship and a recognised national qualification.  Participating hunts provide a thorough grounding which offers a practical, structured and supportive framework for apprentices to gain the appropriate skills and knowledge at the start of their hunting careers. 

Published: 28th July 2021