Stag hunting has been part of life in Holford Parish for a number of years. There are opposing opinions on whether this should be allowed but, under current legislation Hunting Act 2004, such activities are permitted as long as they comply with the legislation.
The Parish Council has received a number of complaints from residents about hunting taking place in protected areas and also about aggressive behaviour by hunt followers/supporters.
To assist residents and Quantock Staghound supporters Holford Parish Council has endeavoured to clarify the position by publishing two maps, the first showing areas where hunting rights have been reserved and where the hunt has no rights to be there other than for using the public bridleway as a public bridleway, or footpaths as public footpaths.
The second map shows permitted tracks where the owners have given permission for hunt-related vehicles and followers to use them.
At a meeting with the Parish Council the Neighbourhood Partnership Police Sergeant emphasised that any confrontation with members of the hunt should be reported to the police using the 101 telephone service. Any issues related to threatening behaviour involving firearms should be reported by calling 999. The Parish Council would appreciate it if any reports of either nature were forwarded to the Chairman of the Parish Council.
It is hoped that by developing a co-operative relationship with the Quantock Staghounds we can avoid any unfortunate incidents and there will be ongoing meetings with them.
Fox hunting is also not allowed where hunting rights are reserved and this incudes National Trust land except where licensed trail hunting is permitted. Beacon and Bicknoller Hills are currently covered under an active trail hunting license. To keep up to date with licensed dates and other licensed areas in Somerset, please visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/list-of-licensed-trail-hunts.