The Kimblewick Hunt has just had its right to use public land withdrawn

Kimblewick Hounds

Forestry England (FE) has cancelled all further meets by the Kimblewick Hunt on its land. It comes after a judge handed two men employed by the hunt suspended custodial sentences for animal cruelty. And it marks another major blow to a hunt with high-level connections.

All gone

FE, a government body responsible for public woodland in England, has withdrawn the four remaining licences from the Kimblewick Hunt. This means FE will not permit the hunt to use its land for the rest of the 2019/20 season.

Forestry England 2019/20 licences

A court convicted Ian Parkinson and Mark Vincent of animal cruelty on 30 October. The pair, employed as terriermen by the Kimblewick Hunt, threw a live fox into the path of hounds on New Year’s Day 2019. The conviction led FE to cancel the hunt’s following meet on 9 November.

On 26 November, the judge sentenced Parkinson and Vincent to 12-week custodial sentences suspended for a year. Campaign group Stop Hunting on the Nation’s Land said that FE subsequently withdrew all remaining Kimblewick Hunt licences on 9 December. This means FE has excluded the hunt from its land at least until the end of the current season.

Connections

The Kimblewick Hunt has close ties to the pro-hunting lobby group the Countryside Alliance. Guy Portwin, an appointed member and director of the Countryside Alliance, is a former director and joint-master of the Kimblewick Hunt. Guy’s wife, Polly Portwin, is also the lobby group’s head of hunting.

But the hunt’s close ties aren’t only to the upper echelons of hunting. Tory peer and under secretary for rural affairs and biosecurity Lord Gardiner is an honorary member and former director of the hunt. In fact, this connection was raised as a possible reason for the Kimblewick Hunt’s attempt to cover up an outbreak of bovine TB in its hounds in 2016. Lord Gardiner is also former deputy chief executive of the Countryside Alliance.

Read on...

Despite these close connections to the top flight of hunting and rural governance, the wider public is actively shunning the Kimblewick Hunt.

Get these hunts off public land

Although the Kimblewick Hunt has been ejected from public land, FE will still host nearly 30 other hunts on its land this season. Some of these, such as the Surrey Union Hunt and Portman Hunt, have been accused of killing foxes. It’s time FE, which looks after land for all of us, stops harbouring something the majority of the public despises.

Featured image via YouTube – Lydia Knight

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us