Our position on trail hunting
Hunting wild mammals with dogs was banned in England and Wales by the Hunting Act of 2004: National Trust land is no exception.
The law does allow what is known as trail 'hunting' to continue. This activity involves people on foot or horseback following a scent along a pre-determined route with hounds or beagles. It effectively replicates a traditional hunt but without a fox being chased, injured or killed.
We paused trail hunting on National Trust land last year (2020) following leaked Hunting Office webinars and a resultant police investigation. We’ve been listening carefully to both sides of a highly polarised and passionate debate around trail hunting and will be considering a number of issues before reviewing our position on trail hunting later this year. This means we will not be operating the usual licence application process during this period.
Most of the work we do is affected by wider global issues, which is why our interests extend far beyond just bricks and mortar.
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While we're passionate about open spaces and historic places, we're working hard in other areas too. With your help, we're caring for the environment, food and farming, green energy and transport, and heritage.