The HSA heard some time ago that the Cumberland Foxhounds were amalgamating with the Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds, due to the loss of hunting land, but were waiting for confirmation before we posted the news. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to hear that the hunt has folded, with the Hunting Office advertising for a huntsman for the newly amalgamated Cumberland pack.
The Cumberland Foxhounds, a hunt led by young huntsman Mike Burton, were up until the last season licensed by the Lake District National Park Authority. However, the hunt often blatantly breached licence rules by having terriermen present on quad bikes, and regularly digging out foxes. A lone female monitor was subjected to abuse, derision, and intimidation when she caught Burton walking amongst the gorse looking for where a fox had gone to ground on LDNPA land, with terriermen present on two quads. The same monitor was followed by a vehicle from the hunt’s kennels, with the vehicle touching her bumper and almost pushing her off the road.
A local farmer also revealed that he didn’t want the hunt ‘marauding’ across his land but was frightened to stand up to them. Members of the public witnessed the hunt blatantly hunting foxes, with one visitor to the area filming this. Lake District National Park Authority suspended the Cumberland Foxhound’s licence in the 2019/20 season, after they were shown footage of quads and attempts to dig on LDNPA land and did not grant them a 2020/2021 licence.
A local landowner who doesn’t welcome hunts found that his boundaries were being regularly vandalised, with fences being cut and posts being ripped out of the ground and thrown down a slope. Hidden cameras were installed which revealed the Cumberland Foxhounds were using the areas where the fences had been vandalised to gain access so that they could kill the wildlife. There was definitely no trail laid onto that land, and we are certain the bloodsports extremists at the Countryside Alliance didn’t intend their own people to be filmed breaking and entering when they constantly bleat on about trespass laws.
It comes to something when a hunt is so desperate for land to hunt on that it will trespass on other people’s property. The thuggish behaviour of these two hunts has left them with few friends – and little land – in the area. Their merging is a desperate measure – hardly the “successful amalgamation” described by the so-called Hunting Office.