Anti-Hunt protesters have accused hunters of rampaging across a nature reserve on Saturday. The claim came after 11 protestors were arrested in a police operation which included the force spotter plane.
Cheshire League Against Cruel Sports claimed a meet by the Cheshire Forest Hunt at Little Leigh, near Northwich, led to hunters going on to the Dutton Hollows Nature Reserve.
Chris Mahon, director of the Cheshire Wildlife Trust, which manages the land at Dutton Hollows, said they took a dim view of the incident. He said: “This is an area reserved for nature, not an area for hunting nature. The reserve is open to permit holders only and the hunt did not ask us for permission to go on the land.”
Spokesperson for the League Against Cruel Sports, Janet Smart claimed the hunt had also endangered traffic on the main A49 trunk road. “It was frightening to watch hounds running and riders galloping along main road between cars and heavy goods vehicles,” she said.
After protestors turned up when the hunt gathered at the Chetwode Arms, Cheshire Police called in their spotter plane and later made the arrests. “There was no trouble at the hunt but 11 protesters were arrested in order to prevent a breach of the peace, but were later released without charge,” said Inspector Rick Hollinshead.
Spokeswoman for the British Field Sports Society, Janet George, said the hunt was not continued on the reserve.
She added: “The hunt simply used the path as a way of avoiding the hunt protesters who were on the road.”