with Horse and Hound

Thank You for Donating Your Land; Now Get Off It

nodh.klmKaren L. Myers photoAnti-hunting lobbyists in England are pressuring the National Trust to curtail even drag hunting on National Trust lands. The National Trust in turn has recommended that their members vote to do just that. I feel like I’ve walked through Alice’s looking glass into an alternate world. Where do these people think this land came from, anyway?

Historically, the National Trust was the beneficiary of English country houses which still make up the largest part of its holdings. Many estates even came with requests that foxhunting may continue there. Now, foxhunters and drag hunters are to be excluded from the very land that their forebears placed into the Trust generations ago. Are fairness and equity totally inoperable concepts in today’s Britain?

The trust describes itself as “a charity that works to preserve and protect historic places and spaces—forever, for everyone.” OK, forget those old-fashioned concepts of fairness and equity in today’s alternate world. Do British citizens intend to ignore the clearly stated purpose of the trust?

To make matters worse, the Forestry Commission, over which lands many hunts ride, is closely watching what is transpiring at the National Trust and may follow suit.

Within a week, members of the National Trust will have voted on whether foxhunters and drag hunters will or will not be allowed to use the lands. Among these trust members, many of whom are urban dwellers and ignorant of the facts, their information comes from activists’ messages on social media where truth has never been an essential ingredient.

Foxhunters are pessimistic over the outcome, and prospects are strong that the National Trust members will succumb to the intense pressure of a rabid group of activists and say to foxhunters: “Thank you for giving us your land; now get off it.”

Even if I were an anti, I could not in any measure of good conscience support such cynicism. I would be nagged by the unfairness and inequity of it. What sort of people are these who would accept the land and vote to disenfranchise the donors and ignore their wishes?

Posted October 16, 2017