On Friday 23rd January 2015, the Ledbury Hunt met at Millbank Farm near to Upton. Due to a hard frost, they left the meet almost an hour and a half late, drawing blank at a couple of small coverts initially (not finding a scent) and hunt supporters starting their silliness early on. Rob Lewis certainly needs to take more driving lessons!
Throughout the day huntsman Mark Meladay and whipper-in Tim Pearce-May tried to encourage the hounds on to the lines of foxes, some spotted by their supporters. At one point, hounds hunted in full cry on to the B4211, still being encouraged on by the hunt despite the fast-moving traffic. As a thank you to a sab who tried to stop them, Meladay kicked her camera out of her hand. Police were called as the hunt were posing a continuous danger to the public and road-users and we were told that they had already received two other separate calls from members of the public about the hunt. Riders continued to canter down the middle of the frosty road as we did so.
Foot sabs continued their pursuit, informing sabs in the car that the hunt had headed for a small covert which they drove around to, finding Meladay taking the hounds away from the area. As they turned to go back to the car, foot sabs radio'd through that a couple of hardcore supporters and the terriermen were lingering and not following the hunt and, as suspected, when sabs returned to the badger sett they had spotted in the covert, terriermen were there with spades and terriers. Despite ridiculous claims that they had nothing to do with the hunt (so the fact we see them out with the hunt on every hunting day is pure coincidence?) and then that the holes were "a rabbit sett" sabs called the police and removed the spades.
We backed off so that they could get the terrier out more easily, locator in the hand of one of the men, though we refused to turn our cameras off even though they asked so nicely... Despite their supposed willingness to wait for the police as they believed what they were doing was legal, the terriermen still swiftly retrieved their terrier and legged it out of the area. They must have heard from David Goddard that evil hunt sabs would assault or kill hunters caught out alone... hmmm.
Meanwhile, foot sabs were being ridden at on a footpath - see our separate video "Hunt riders and footpaths" for footage of this - before our second car noticed a fox trying to escape from the area, spraying his line and the road with citronella and receiving some pretty dark threats from the one and only Rob Lewis for doing so. The hunt continued with their usual bad behaviour until dark when Meladay observed that the only car followers he had left were the antis!
A sab returned with friends on January 25th to check on the sett, finding active runs, digging, bedding and fresh paw prints and latrines. One day later and the hunt were in a similar area and another very active sett was found, hounds prints all over it from where they had marked to ground in the woods. The young terrierman just happened to be taking a walk with a terrier-sized shape under his coat before the hunt got a massive telling-off for trespassing and a bonfire helped foil the chase of the fox.