Our position on field sports

Stokenchurch Gap

We recognise that trail hunting is an issue that polarises people's opinions and provokes strong reactions from them.

Trail hunting

Parliament has taken a view on the circumstances in which trail hunting can take place, and we operate within that framework. Since hunting with dogs was banned in England and Wales in 2004, we have licensed the legal activity of following an artificial trail over our land where it is compatible with our aims of public access and conservation.

We expect our licence holders to comply fully with the law and the terms of our licence. Anyone who suspects them of breaking the law should contact the local police force as the proper investigating authority. We will, and have, taken strong action against licence holders where the police and the legal process have found them guilty of breaking the law.

Our assessment of how hunts are performing against their licence conditions includes cross-checking their regular reports to us with those of people who wish to monitor their activities and with our own staff’s observations.

We cooperate fully with the police, and our local teams follow up with the hunt in question after any police investigation where we deem that further action is necessary. We also meet regularly with the hunts themselves to ensure that the terms of the licence are being upheld and to discuss issues that arise.

 photograph of Sir Vauncey Harpur Crewe, c.1924, on heathland with gun over left shoulder

Our position on shooting 

Our core concern is looking after special places so that they can be enjoyed by everyone for ever.

Our views

Most of the work we do is affected by wider global issues, which is why our interests extend far beyond just bricks and mortar.

About us

Find out who we are, our history, what we champion and why.

Read about our cause

While we're passionate about open spaces and historic places, we're working hard in other areas too. We care about energy, the environment, food, farming, transport and heritage.