Warwickshire Hunt admits foxes may be chased in error

The Warwickshire Hunt.
The Warwickshire Hunt.

A south Warwickshire landowner is furious after horses and hounds in the Warwickshire Hunt ventured on to his land.

Nicholas Trigg, who owns several acres of land between Knightcote and Fenny Compton, says the hunters - who had travelled from Southam last Thursday (November 28) - disturbed a wildlife reserve and damaged some fences.

He was also concerned that the group may have harmed some foxes. Since 2004, it has been illegal to use more than two dogs to hunt a fox.

Mr Trigg said: “We have written to the Hunt to say we don’t want them coming on to our land. They don’t control what the hounds do so they end up running all over the place. We have let them know many times that they are not welcome.”

Mr Trigg, who wife called the police to report the trespass, said that he has not found any fox remains, but he is still concerned that the dogs were chasing foxes.

He said: “They are meant to be trail-hunting, but if they were doing that, they would be able to control their hounds.”

Sam Butler, chairman of the Warwickshire Hunt, said: “I am extremely sorry that any hunters got on to this private land and I extend my apologies on behalf of the Hunt.”

He said he was not aware of any damage done, but added: “If there was, we would expect to put that right.

“Our records show that our hunters went on to this private land in 2001, but this was the only time since then that this has happened.”

Mr Butler explained that the hunters - typically around 80 people on horses - follow fox scent-soaked rags, meaning that sometimes the hounds may chase actual foxes by accident. He said: “If this happens, then it is our job to make sure that they stop hunting that fox as fast as possible. That is what happened on Thursday. Every effort was made to get the hounds off the fox and this was successful.

“We run a transparent organisation and we are happy to hear from anyone who has concerns or queries,”