In 2014 six hunting hounds from the Dartmoor Hunt were tragically hit and killed by a train when they ran onto tracks in the Devon countryside. The hunt said to BBC News at the time that it was a “very distressing and regrettable” incident but how was it ever allowed to be a possibility? Tom Lyle, joint master, said: "Nothing like this has ever happened to the hunt before and it was very upsetting to all involved." However,one must ask the question that if these hunts do in fact follow an artificial trail as they claim, then why and how did the hounds end up running across a railway line? Of course, we all know the “trail hunting” claim to be nothing more than a smokescreen for illegal fox hunting. This awful incident proved yet again that the hunts care little for their hounds and purely see them as disposable tools for their cruel pastime.

However, what is more disgusting is that the hunt responsible for this incident and the deaths of the hounds has ordinarily been licenced by the National Trust to use their land. The major landowner gives out what it calls “trail hunting licences” and the Dartmoor Hunt was one of several hunts over the last few years that received one of these licences. However it is blatantly clear that “trail hunting” is nothing but a smokescreen and tragic incidents such as this one will only be repeated if landowners such as the National Trust continue to hide behind the lies.

Keep The Ban is currently running a nationwide awareness campaign to make members of the Trust understand that they could play a pivotal role in helping to end fox hunting for good. We are calling on all National Trust members who believe that trail hunting should be band on trust land, to sign our pledge to ensure that a permanent ban becomes a reality.

Please sign our pledge
and we will keep you informed of the specific instructions as to how to cast your vote in favour of the motion to end hunting on National Trust land at this years October AGM.


A report from 2018-19 hunting season, conducted by National Distrust highlighted that reckless and out of control hunts continue to wreak havoc across the countryside, terrorising and killing not only wildlife but domestic animals too. This same report, conducted of 44 randomly selected hunts ordinarily licenced by the National Trust, found that a third had convictions for assault upon monitors and that 70% of these hunts had members arrested for wildlife crime relating to activities carried out under so-called ‘trail hunts’.
The report is a damning reflection to the hunt groups and further fuel for the need to impose a permanent ban for trail hunting on National Trust land.


Until 2020 the National Trust has allowed ‘trail hunts’ to use their land. These licences are currently suspended pending the outcome of the police investigation into the leaked hunting office webinars. 

We are calling for these suspensions to be made permanent and for hunting to be banned on all National Trust land indefinitely. 

The lie that is ‘trail hunting’ has been well and truly exposed and now is the time to press the National Trust to ban all hunting on their land. 

Rob Pownall

Founder of Keep The Ban

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