Trail hunting FAQs

Winter panorama, Parke, Devon

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions on trail 'hunting'.

Do we allow fox hunting on our land?
No. 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 have taken the decision to pause trail hunting on National Trust land and will not be granting any new licences for the remainder of the season. We do not currently have a date when this will be reviewed.

Do we allow stag hunting on our land?
No. Hunting deer and stags with packs of dogs has been illegal since 2004 and stag hunting groups do not have permission to operate on Trust land for any purposes. If anyone witnesses anything that they believe to be illegal, we advise them to contact the police directly, in addition to reporting the incident to National Trust staff. We will continue to provide all possible support to the police to ensure any incidents are appropriately investigated.

Are we aware of reports of illegal activity on Trust land? 
We do not allow illegal activity on our land and we take any validated reports of illegal activity seriously. We ask that any reports are passed to the police directly, as the appropriate body to investigate criminal matters, in addition to notifying our staff on the ground where possible. We will continue to work with our partners in the police to ensure incidents on National Trust land are appropriately investigated. We are not able to comment on the outcome of any reported incidents. 

Upper Derwent Valley, Peak District

List of licensed trail hunts 

See where licensed trail hunts are taking place and maps of the areas concerned.