Vote could ban hunting from all National Trust land

Credit: PA

A controversial motion to ban all hunting activity from National Trust land in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be voted on tomorrow.

If it happens it would have a major impact in the Lake District, where the National Trust is the biggest landowner - owning 20% of the land.

Even though hunting with hounds was outlawed in 2005, so-called "trail hunting" is still permitted.

Normally this is where an animal scent trail is laid down for the hounds to follow.

But critics say it's just a cover for illegal hunting.

Former teacher Helen Beynon from Leicestershire is a National Trust member who put forward the proposal for it to be banned.

She's only been involved in the anti-hunting movement for a few months but says she's seen evidence that trail hunting is simply a cover story for illegal activity.

Dozens of members have supported her proposal as have the League Against Cruel Sports.

But hunt supporters say their ancient traditions could come to an end in areas like the Lake District if they're not allowed to use National Trust land.

A former policeman who is now with the League Against Cruel Sports says it's very difficult to prosecute anyone, even if foxes are killed.

He witnessed one case in another part of the country.

Long term anti hunt campaigners in Cumbria, like Elaine Milbourn, say they've faced intimidation here because of their views.