National Trust on Dartmoor
Here are the questions to ask the NT. It seems that Ms McGrady won’t actually talk to any of us – I’ve asked and been refused. But we will not give up. And, neither, I hope will you.
Ring 01793 817400 and ask to speak to the Hunting Team. If you get the voicemail, ask these questions. If you get a person, do let us know!
The Dartmoor Hunt states on its website that it goes out on Tuesdays and Saturdays. However, the published dates include Mondays and Thursdays (repeatedly). Why is there a discrepancy?
Why is the National Trust not enforcing its own rules with regard to terriermen?
How will you check that the scent used by the Dartmoor Hunt has been sourced a) legally and b) in sufficient volume for their activities?
Given that we all know that the hunts cannot be trusted (see attached photos, both taken this week), what makes you think that a scheduled inspection has any value at all?
If the NT wants to prove to the public that they aren’t allowing illegal hunting to take place on their land, why don’t they ask experienced monitors to come and watch?
If Trail Hunting leads to the “accidental” and brutal death of so many animals, why is it being allowed on National Trust Land AT ALL?
If you have really listened to both sides, why is it that the hunters are completely happy with your “Position on trail hunting” and those of us who oppose hunting are deeply unhappy?
How much does it cost to get a licence on National Trust Land?
UPDATE 8 AND QUESTION 8
Everything boils down to money. We want to know what the NT makes out of this arrangement. Given the trouble the hunts make for the NT, it’s got to be a sizeable sum. Here is our email:
UPDATE 7 AND QUESTION 7
The NT keeps telling us that it has “listened to both sides”. We know they are not listening to us. Here is question 7:
UPDATE 6 AND QUESTION 6
After the hideous events of the weekend, where the Surrey Union Hunt killed a fox while supposedly out “trail hunting”, we would have expected the National Trust to have had at least something to say for themselves. It appears that they haven’t. The Surrey Union is one of the hunts that have been given a licence to hunt on National Trust land, and the NT have said that such hunts are trustworthy. So – let’s go along with the lie. Here’s question 6
UPDATE 5 AND QUESTION 5
As expected, Ms McGrady has STILL not replied. We suspect that this is because answering our specific questions with specific answers is a problem for her. She would have to depart from lame, untruthful “generic” answer and come up with a real explanation for the NT’s behaviour – namely that they are knowingly allowing illegal hunting to take place on their land. Here is question 5.
UPDATE 4 AND QUESTION 4
Ms McGrady still hasn’t come up with any answers to our previous three questions. So, we’ll move on to Question 4 which concerns “inspections”. We already know that the NT doesn’t actually want to find any evidence of suspicious behaviour, so they have fixed the inspections by giving the hunts notice. “Fixed” is the key word here.
There have been two distressing pictures of animals mauled by the hunts this week, and we have attached these photos to our email. Here is the email.
Email sent to Ms McGrady on 29th November 2018. Attached were photos of the bowels of a fox killed by the North Cotswold Hunt on 28th November and the photo of the tortoiseshell cat killed last Sunday.
UPDATE 3 AND QUESTION 3
As we haven’t received from Ms McGrady for questions 1 and 2, we can only assume that she’s either still horribly stuck, or she’s working on another vague* and disappointing* reply. We have supplied definitions for these two words below.
Here is Question 3.
QUESTION 3 FOR HILARY McGRADY AT THE NATIONAL TRUST – EMAILED WEDNESDAY 28TH NOVEMBER 2018
We added an attachment to this one, of a picture of a fox torn apart by hounds.
UPDATE 2 AND QUESTION 2
Ms McGrady must be stuck on Question 1 (see below). We have not had a reply. However, we will push on with Question 2. Here it is:
We have all received disappointing* replies to our emails to Hilary McGrady from the National Trust.
We, at AAF, complained to the NT about the vagueness* of the response and we were reassured by a very pleasant* young lady called Jade that our complaint will be taken seriously. So, we have decided to ask Ms McGrady one question at a time. Here is the one for today (Monday 26th November 2018)
*disappointing = untruthful
* vagueness = untruthfulness
*pleasant = pleasant. Jade was genuinely polite and helpful
QUESTION 1 for HILARY McGRADY AT THE NATIONAL TRUST – EMAILED MONDAY 26TH NOVEMBER 2018
On 16th November 2018, the National Trust granted the Dartmoor Hunt a licence to hunt on a huge area of NT owned land. They have published an unprecedented 87 dates. The NT are obliged to publish the dates because they think this shows they are being “open” and the public will be convinced that they couldn’t possibly be killing animals. What they are really doing hiding a lot of pebbles on a large beach. If they publish this many dates – then how will the monitors ever find them? It’s a ruse, and we must not let them get away with it.
The Dartmoor Hunt will be inspected once during this time and they will know when the inspector is coming.
How you can help
We all need to email Hilary McGrady at the National Trust.
Choose from one of the two template letters below, and copy the one you like. Or, write your own. Then click on the email address and paste the email. Press send. Takes about two minutes. Let us know how you get on.
Dear Ms McGrady
After all the bad press about the NT allowing hunting on its land and the backlash and anger from a significant majority of people, we are astonished to learn you have given permission to the Dartmoor Hunt to enjoy 86 days of recreational killing. We know that 87 (not 86) dates have been set; but we hope that the animals will probably be safe on the one and only inspection day the hunt will have. And – as the hunt will have advance notice of the inspector’s visit, then they will no doubt be ready to hide what they intend to do on every other occasion.
We, and many others, strongly suspect that some of these dates are actually false and that they have been set with the intention of fooling monitors and wasting their time. Why would so many dates be set, unless this was to be deliberately deceitful? Please answer this question specifically.
Please don’t reply by trying to convince us that the hunts are hunting within the law; we all know that they aren’t and we have very good reason to disbelieve you. Many of us have seen exactly what they do on a day’s hunt and it isn’t following a pre-laid trail.
The NT’s involvement in this cruel, outdated and sickening pastime must stop. Listen to the public, and not to the hunters. There are far more of us than there are of them.
The licence granted to the Dartmoor Hunt must be cancelled immediately. If you do cancel it, then it is a possibility that the public will begin to believe in the National Trust once again. If you do not, the National Trust will sink even further in our opinion.
The National Trust’s website states ‘Our places provide homes for lots of different types of wildlife. We’re working to ensure that these special places and their residents stay protected.’
Could you please explain how issuing 87 licenses to the Dartmoor Hunt fits with this applaudable mission?
87 hunting licenses spanning the period of 1 December2018 to 30 April 2019.
87 opportunities for wildlife to be hunted and killed.
87 opportunities for habitat to be disrupted and destroyed
1 pre-planned inspection
86 opportunities to kill with not even the farce of inspection
0 respect for wildlife
0 respect for the National Trust’s own mission statement
Could you also please confirm that these dates are actual intended hunting days, as in the past there has been an element of subterfuge deployed with bogus dates. Given that the National Trust prides itself on endeavouring to ‘manage our affairs efficiently and transparently’, I would hope that you would be happy to confirm these details.
Finally, I ask that you cancel the Dartmoor Hunt’s license to hunt on National Trust land, be true to the sentiment of your website, stop the killing of wildlife on your watch.