Following the convictions in August of two members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt for illegally hunting foxes the National Trust has agreed not to grant a licence for the hunt on its land. The ban comes after hunt master the Honourable John Edward Greenall and Glen Morris were convicted at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court for illegally hunting foxes last October at Sutton on the Hill. Greenall was fined £5000 and ordered to pay costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £15. Morris was fined £250 and was ordered to pay costs of £250 and a victim surcharge of £15. Anti-hunt campaigners, Derby Hunt Sabs, whose evidence led to the convictions then set up a petition to ban the hunt from National Trust land. Roger Swain, who had filmed the hunt and whose evidence helped to convict the two hunt members said: “We contacted the National Trust and started a campaign to bar this hunt from the National Trust properties of Calke Abbey, Kedleston Hall and Ilam Park which traditionally lie within the hunting country of the hunt. The National Trust allows hunts licences if they behave in a legal manner. Clearly this hunt wasn’t”.
The National Trust agreed to the demand and in a statement posted on its Facebook page said:”Since our last post, in the light that members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt have recently been convicted of illegal fox hunting, the Trust has decided not to grant a licence for the 2012-2013 season over its land at Ilam, Kedleston and Calke. The National Trust is very much aware of the importance of countryside traditions. We allow field sports to take place on our property where traditionally practised, providing they are within the law and are compatible with the Trusts purposes, which include public access and the protection of rare animals and birds and fragile habitats. The Trust is a charitable body, and as such cannot take a political position either for or against field sports”.