The first auction site is hosting some fantastic lots that range from a hosted dinner for 8 at an exclusive Private Club, generously donated by Baileys Hunting Directory. There’s also a 4×4 Off Roading and Aston Martin driving experiences, various shooting days, A Gin Tour, original rural scene Art Works, Photo Shoots.
The second auction site has some very desirable and interesting lots. They range from limited edition prints, handmade leather items, a Cerakote gun finish and a gun service by a register gun dealer. There’s also bed and breakfast for two nights plus stabling in the Quantocks; an opportunity to shoot an 1859 (centre fire) Purdey hammer gun plus other vintage guns at a Clay Shoot in Perthshire; various Hunting prints and books.
Both Auction sites will have more items added over the next two weeks before they both go live so please keep looking at the sites. You never know, there might be something there to treat yourself or a loved one. At the same time it will help raise funds for the legal fees for the Packham 3 defence team.
Happy bidding and good luck!
There is still time to donate your items so please contact us here.
Interesting developments on the case which the Packham 3 Fundraising Team have just sent through to us. It gives the main points and a summary of the Case Management Conference held on the 30th of June. It also mentions releasing further updates as the case progresses over the next few weeks.
Summary of Outcome of Case Management Conference
On Thursday 30th June 2022 there was a case management conference for our case attended by our barrister. Packham’s side saw fit to send five lawyers, including two junior barristers, for the hearing which began at 1030 a.m. Following a slightly extended break over lunch, it finally finished just before 1800.
The morning dealt with the question of whether the parties should be allowed to call experts to address certain aspects of the case. While the afternoon dealt with the cost’s budgets, including the proportionality of Packham’s half a million-pound budget.
The Master has now made Directions for the next steps in the action, and we were pleased with the outcome of the hearing. The headline points arising from the case management conference are:
Packham did not want there to be expert evidence on any of the key issues in the case, which have developed in our Defence and his Reply. Despite his protests, the Court granted permission for us to use three experts. The basis includes us serving further particulars of our case along with our expert evidence, after which Packham will serve his own particulars and expert evidence. This will have to take place by the end of September 2022. Our experts will address three issues.Firstly, an analysis of Packham’s handwriting to test our allegation that he faked his own death threat letter. Secondly, to look at the scientific evidence as to whether keeping big cats in the circus is inherently cruel. And thirdly, evidence relating to whether muirburns (which are used to maintain grouse moors) result in the burning of peat. In relation to the second and third issues, we will also give details of our case about Packham’s alleged knowledge of these issues.
The trial is going to take place between 1 May and 31 July 2023, so we won’t be rushed into a trial immediately after Christmas as Packham wanted. We were sad to hear that this will potentially interfere with Packham’s filming commitments. He argued this justified an early trial. However, this timescale gives us the opportunity to gather support for our case, and funds.
The Court made an adverse comment on the costs of Packham issuing and pleading his case. These were part of the £160k in costs that he incurred before the Court could exercise any kind of control over them. The court ruled these were “distinctly high” and that a costs judge should consider any explanation given in relation to them very carefully.
The Court also ruled that Packham should not be instructing two barristers and adjusted his costs accordingly, although his costs remain intimidatingly high, and are at levels which his own barrister (in another case) called “life-changing”.
The Case continues
The case continues. We shall update you as and when there are further developments. We will also go public with the further particulars of our case (mentioned in 1. above) as soon as we can. Thank you very much indeed for your support so far. Let’s keep the donations coming.
There have been malicious attempts by Packham’s trolls, in particular one called Serenwyl Roberts from Rhymney in Wales, to pin Countryside Fightback on the Editor of Country Squire Magazine, Dom Wightman.
Of course, this is a lie. It’s a strategic lie to imply that Mr Wightman is not following defamation law protocols, which of course he is.
This blog is run by a team who are wholly independent of the Packham 3. Mr Wightman has never contributed to or been a part of the Countryside Fightback team.
While we wish to remain anonymous so as not to have to deal with the plague of trolls and other ne’er-do-wells that pester the 3 defendants, we can confirm that the 3 defendants are nothing to do with our work.
We contacted Dom Wightman and got this message back in response:
“Sorry that you guys have been accused of being me and that the silly trolls have been on your backs. I wouldn’t worry. If Truth were a dartboard their darts would continually hit the wall. They are playing into our hands because they are demonstrating concerted harassment in fundraising. Just laugh at them. They are not even master baiters. No point responding to them or trying to illuminate them – trolls never see the light anyway. If they cause you any trouble, let me know and I’ll give you the email addresses for the police involved in investigating them.”
We have also been informed by The Packham 3 Fundraising Team that there will be some interesting developments in the next few days as more details about the case are to be released.WATCH THIS SPACE
We are all supporters of Mr Wightman and his colleagues as should be anyone with any sense. The fundraising links to help fund their legal team follow below:
We have been working hard in the background and are pleased to announce we are now ready to help support anybody who wishes to host a fundraising event for The Packham 3.
We will be able to advertise the events on here, design posters and also set up the events on the Countryside Fightback Facebook page, Countryside Fightback and also on the Twitter Account CountrysideFB.
Here are some suggestions of events people might want to consider running. Fun Rides, Fun Dog Shows, Open Farm Days, Ferret Racing, Dog Racing on a Lure, Scurries, Sporting Day Shoots, to name just a few.
We are also pleased to announce we now have an inhouse artist who is donating their work for free. We are extremely grateful for their generosity. They will be able to create a scene which depicts the event you want to host.
The artwork shown above is our first commission which is to advertise a Sporting Day Shoot at a Clay Shooting Club. We are just in the process of finalising the details of the event in the next few weeks so watch this space.
All enquiries on events or suggestions of other types of events people might want to consider hosting please contact us here. Contact – Countryside Fightback
If you would like to send someone a copy of this article please use the form below:
The Packham defendants are busy preparing for an important hearing before a Judge tomorrow, Thursday 30th March, before the main trial which takes place between the May 2nd to May 12th 2023 which is taking place at the High Court in London.
I am sure by now many of you have seen the Crowd Justice Fundraiser that has been set up by his fellow Wild Justice Director Ruth Tingay. This is to fund his litigation against Fieldsports TV Channel and Mr O’Rourke. He isn’t using his own money which people have started to question. See below:
Thus far the fundraiser has been shared with his fellow Spring Watch presenter Michaela Strachan, and well known Animal Rights Activists, such as Peter Eganare not so well-known Dominic Dyer. It has also been shared by Labour MP, Barry Sheerman . Of course, we must not forget his ‘step daughter’ Megan McCubbin. Her tweet alone has so far reached over 1.3 million views. By doing this it has given him the ability to access millions of people via his and other people’s social media reach to obtain money from their social media followers.
The question that has to be asked is why is he not taking one of the largest papers to court and instead is targeting individuals who are ordinary people instead ? Was it because he thought they would back down?
The Packham 3 Fundraising was started from nothing and run by unpaid volunteers. The money raised so far has taken an extraordinary amount of work and effort without having the benefit of being a well known BBC presenter with far reaching social media contacts. I wonder what his pay cheques have been like over the last few years from BBC taxpayers money ?
Read the article and make your own mind up.
Either do nothing or support the guys Mr Packham is taking to court by donating here:
I came across some old photos in a folder, memories of Africa, and it got me reminiscing.
I lived in Botswana for a couple of years. It was a bit of an adventure and a chance to see some of Africa’s most pristine conservation environments. I was lucky enough to drive up through the Okavango Delta, into Namibia to see Etosha National Park, and the Waterberg Plateau Park.
I saw Victoria Falls numerous times, which is known as Mosi-Oa-Tunya, and can be found in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. What a sight and experience to see.
I went through to Bulawayo numerous times to go into Haddon and Sly. I travelled through Hwange, and less well known small Game Reserves.
I was lucky to be able to join a horse back safari, and even travelled up to Zanzibar. In addition, I saw the beautiful and awe inspiring Stone Town with the Cathedral built on top of the Old Slave Market. I travelled through the Archipelago having meals with the villagers, and chilled out on a beach. Many happy memories of Africa.
Going back to Botswana, it is an incredible place with some of the most wildlife rich areas, and is one of the countries that will be adversely affected by the UK Government’s ignorant ban on trophy hunting.
During my time there I saw first hand the lack of knowledge and education for the locals, who had no idea of the value of wildlife. As far as they were concerned wildlife was either dangerous, associated with witchcraft, edible or ate their crops out on the lands. Very few saw the value at all of having wildlife around them. All they wanted was cattle, and money on the hoof.
In areas where trophy hunting is carried out as part of a well thought out conservation plan, it provides funding to bring the knowledge by educating the local communities. The locals soon became aware and understood the value of the wildlife as more than just bush meat. As well as the education, the funding also provided employment, generated revenue, and even provided something as basic as food on the table.
I know I am probably preaching to people that are aware of the benefits Trophy hunting brings without any other credible alternative. Though probably like me, and many of you wouldn’t want to pull the trigger. Besides that many people are able to see the value of trophy hunting as part of a wider conservation scheme.
Sadly, like many true conservation issues these days including those in Africa, the scientists who were asking to present the facts backed up by many years of scientific research weren’t listened to by the UK Government, and the bill was passed.
The absolute arrogance of the UK Government and some of the UK population thinking it’s ok to dictate to a country managing it’s own wildlife! They do this as well as they can against many difficult issues (poaching, disease, drought etc), is just astounding.
People sign online petitions, throw insults at people who shoot little fluffy, or big fluffy things because that’s cruel. They should be left to themselves, ‘leave nature to itself’, they say. Many people think it will just sort itself out.
In a very long and round about way, this is the fight we are facing here in the UK as well. There are already calls for deer stalking to stop. How people think we have woodlands, crops and even gardens in the UK with all the deer is beyond me. Stop culling them and we certainly won’t.
At the heart of this ‘battle’ is the misinformation/lies being spewed out by their pseudo-celebrity status to garner support from people who should, but don’t know better. People just don’t like to imagine cute fluffy things dying. They don’t think farmers should protect their lambs/chickens as foxes don’t naturally prey on them. They believe we should just leave wildlife to itself, but we know this doesn’t work. Why not add to the mix by reintroducing species long since gone, wolves, lynx, bears, tyrannosaurus rex etc. Lots of money to be made in this ‘industry’.
These battles are all intrinsically linked, starting with stopping the misinformation. Part of that is demonstrating that many people are not entirely honest in all they preach. This includes people such as Eduardo Goncalves, Dominic Dyer and Chris Packham.
In my opinion Mr Packham isn’t being honest with the UK public. He has used his status at the BBC for far too long. He talks to about ideas that are anti conservation, but appeal to people because they don’t have to do anything apart from sign a petition , rattle a tin or donate to Crowdfunder’s. This is all in the name of being for our wildlife ?
According to the RSPB and the Natural History Museum, the UK is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world. The RSPB have started a huge campaign rattling their tins for money, and yet look at the millions they have wasted.
I’m rooting like mad that there will be a court case WIN in May for the three defendants (The Packham 3) over Mr Packham and it will be the start of the turning the tide.
It will show these individuals and organisations that are involved with our so called ‘conservation’ charities in the UK, that they will be held accountable for misleading/lying to the UK public, and particularly where it is used to raise funds.
I urge people to donate to help the Packham 3 win their case.
We have an exclusive one off opportunity for you to bid on special item in the Packham 3 Auction Site. Specifically, a Shit Hot Opportunity!
It is a unique chance to own a second hand copy of a Chris Packham Shit Calendar signed by The Packham 3 Defendants. Obviously, there will only ever be one of these, individually signed by each of the three defendants with the chance to have a dedication of your choice.
The link below directs you to the Shit Hot Opportunity:
Since there are fewer than 60 days to go before the court case commences the three defendants and the team are extremely busy preparing for the case. As a result, an extraordinary amount of work has been going on in the background. It has been galvanised particularly by the overwhelming support that has been received both from the continuing donations, the messages of support and encouragement. We are most grateful to everybody.
Meanwhile, here is the link to the live fundraiser so keep sharing as time is ticking away …….
The Countdown to The Packham 3 Defence against Chris Packham
Someone, I forget who, once said there is a fine line between an activist and a terrorist. Additionally, they remarked that within every circle of family, friends or work, there is always at least one with a history of criminality. The range of these circles is usually quite small, fortunately, and this knowledge is not generally widespread.
In the circles of Animal Rights activists, and activists generally, the opposite appears to be true. There are more criminals and knowledge of them is openly public. In fact, they wear their criminality like a badge of honour, often arguing that the end justifies the means. Such is their twisted logic.
Arguably, one of the most prominent of these is Luke Steele, Yorkshire’s very own Animal Rights activist.
Steele is something of a Walter Mitty character, seeking out publicity that will benefit him while eschewing any that will not. Apparently introduced to campaigning and protest by his parents as a teenager, little can be easily discovered about him. So closed is this area of his life that I am drawn to the conclusion that Luke Steele may not even be his real name!
Luke Steele appears to have been first noticed by the authorities in October 2008, aged 18, when he was arrested. Convicted in 2009 he was sentenced to six months under the Serious Organised Crime Police Act (SOCPA 2005, section 145). In this instance he was in the vicinity of Highgate Farm, a rabbit breeder, protesting as part of his anti-vivisection activities.
Steele next appeared as a spokesman for Stop Animal Experiments in Bradford, a relatively short-lived foray involving a small number of protests and a petition aimed at stopping animal experiments in universities. A new twist developed around this time, that of utilising Freedom of Information requests to gather intelligence for future activities.
Before interest in vivisection totally dried up Steele founded the National Anti-Vivisection Alliance (NAVA) in 2010. In 2012 Steele was arrested again and sentenced to a total of 18 months for three offences, the most serious being intimidation of staff at Harlan Laboratories, a facility breeding beagles for research. A second activist, Jonathan White, was convicted alongside Steele and sentenced to 7 months (suspended for 18 months). The NAVA website has been inactive since Steele’s conviction.
In the preceding period a NAVA activist had infiltrated Harlan Laboratories and was working undercover. By this time Steele had realised that avoiding prison was easier if a stooge did the dirty work. This became a familiar weapon in the activist’s arsenal and appears to have prompted Steele into refining his tactics. Fundraising seems to have produced some nice uniforms giving the whole thing a Hitler Youth feel.
One man coalition
Following Steele’s release came his involvement with the Anti-Vivisection Coalition. AVC, far from being a coalition, was more of a one-man protest outfit. AVC seems to have closed its doors around 2015 and its website is no longer active. This is part of Steele’s modus operandi, never staying still long enough to be pinned down. Possibly as a result of funds from donations drying up when public attention focuses on another area of interest.
In 2015, then said to be a consultant to PETA, Steele gate-crashed Crufts.
It also demonstrates a common pattern, that of a short-lived but extremely noisy campaign, capitalising on a surge of interest and fund-raising before moving on. Interest in vivisection was waning fast by now so a change of direction was needed.
This change was heralded by the arrival of Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire’s Moors. By now things were beginning to take on the look and feel of a well-oiled franchise with many campaigns being spun off, including Ban Bloodsports on Ilkley Moor. That particular one successfully lobbying Bradford Council into refusing to renew the eight day a year grouse shooting lease.
This new organisation morphed into Wild Moors, Steele’s latest promotion and campaign group, albeit with a UK-wide remit nowadays.
Other groups exist, of course, including Stop the Shoot and Moorland Monitors, but they all follow a very similar pattern. That of separating a well-meaning, but gullible, portion of society from some of its hard-earned money. They all have a tendency to be ‘economical’ with the truth, or blatantly lying as many would say, and generally are Left leaning, politically. In many cases hard Left. The Tweet shown on the left was completely untrue, of course, and Steele quickly deleted it leaving hundreds of gullible acolytes dangling. To paraphrase, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
Although something of a lone wolf, Steele is not averse to working with other similarly minded groups such as the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), Wild Justice or even the RSPB. LACS, of course, are no strangers to employing people to infiltrate organisations in an attempt to gain evidence to use against them. Usually, evidence so gathered carries no weight in a court case.
Far be it from us to suggest that Wild Justice or the RSPB would stoop to the levels previously occupied by Luke Steele and his acolytes, but they certainly don’t shy away from contact. The picture shows, left to right, Jeff Knott (RSPB), Mark Avery (Wild Justice) and Luke Steele. It would be inconceivable to imagine Steele is not on familiar terms with many senior figures in both the RSPB and Wild Justice.
We look forward with bated breath to Steele’s next stunt. He’s clearly no duffer but I suspect he won’t have to pay a student loan back when he finishes his PhD. He is probably being funded by US.
The question remains, is Luke Steele an activist or a terrorist?
In order to help stop these nuisances please take a look at our fundraising auctions below or donate via Ko-fi. Many thanks.
Removal of lead from ammunition, a Guest Blog by Clovis Pagewood.
DEFRA have asked the UK chemicals agency REACH to provide a consultation document focussed on the removal of lead from ammunition. This consultation ends its public phase on November 6th. The Consultation document is huge, some 500+ pages, containing virtually no supporting scientific evidence. This is despite the total focus being on removing all lead from ammunition.
Sure, there are many scientific papers cited, these in the main involve, it seems, modelling and assumption. Hard scientific fact would be backed by the likes of Mass spectrum lead isotope marker data, for instance. The other potential problem is that many of the papers shown are written or partly written by a small group of wildlife scientists attached to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and RSPB.
The majority of these scientists are listed by the ” militant eco’ ” organisation Wild Justice, as “Friends”. One has to remember that WJ and W&WT want an end to shooting. Indeed, Chris Packham is heavily involved in both organisations and is an avid supporter of the Hunt Saboteurs Association. The reality of this suggests the work of these scientists must be viewed with some suspicion as to its impartiality.
Opinion vs Science
I extracted this confession from one of those scientists when I asked for detailed scientific proof that backed their claims.
“We and many other scientists believe that it is reasonable to suggest that lead shot is the most likely source of poisoning when poisoned birds have lead shot (usually multiple in our experience) in their digestive tracts, particularly when there is no other obvious source of lead exposure to birds in the environment that they occupy.” Hardly a ringing endorsement of detailed, provable scientific study? Indeed, one could question if they have any provable link between spent lead shot and lead poisoning in Wildfowl?
As for the threat to Humans, read the FSA or NHS warnings about lead shot game. You would be led to an assumption that you take your life in your hands tucking into a partridge. My MP provided this table of lead poisoning admissions to hospitals in England over a 10-year period.
These figures average out at 16 .5 people per year out of 17 + million hospital admissions. The average for people admitted having been struck by Lightning is 48 and being bitten by poisonous snakes 92!!!!
Lead vs Alcohol
Lead is a neurotoxin with no known safe level of exposure. This is the same position as held by alcohol, yet the figures for alcohol, for 1 year are these. There were 280,185 alcohol-related hospital admissions under the Narrow definition in England in 2019 to 2020. That’s an increase in the rate to 519 (per 100,000). This represents the second consecutive increase in the rate since 2017 to 2018. Alcohol-related admissions (Narrow): A measure of hospital admissions where the primary diagnosis (main reason for admission) is an alcohol-related condition. If one looks at deaths then it is even more worrying. There were 19,190 alcohol-related deaths in England in 2019, a minor reduction in the rate to 35.7 (per 100,000). The rate shows no significant change since 2016.
Lead is almost impossible to avoid
Most perplexing when considering these two highly “dangerous neurotoxins” is the fact that the FSA state that “it is impossible to avoid lead in food”. Alcohol consumption, however, is a conscious decision to ingest and can be avoided by choice. One could conclude that REACH and DEFRA could be using this consultation as a stalking horse to introduce prohibition of alcohol in UK. It seems there is a far stronger case for this than banning Lead ammunition!?!
As for the environment, there is virtually nowhere in UK that does not have at least traces of lead ore in the rocks and soil. Indeed the FSA confirm it is “impossible to avoid lead in food”. In fact, many root vegetables contain much in the way of lead ions within their skins and flesh. The same can apply to domestic stock and poultry.
However, reading the REACH consultation, which admittedly is focussed on lead in ammunition, this is the primary source of “deadly lead” in UK. There is no science produced to back it up! In conclusion, to any reasonable person it would seem there is no substantive evidence or reason to even consider banning lead in ammunition. In fact, it is questionable if lead shot should be banned for wildfowling. That same reasonable person might, to use the words of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust scientists, find it “reasonable to assume that the evidence so far presented is purely assumption”. The actual aim of those presenters is to ban all shooting which may actually be their reason for instigating such reports on a purely emotional level driven by “counterfeit virtue “.
If DEFRA on behalf of the government acts on this, then they are surely guilty of an act of blatant discrimination. Discrimination against a substantial minority of the UK population. Governments in the last 40 years have managed to reduce and, in some cases, remove discrimination. Particularly with regard to sexual orientation, race, colour and gender. Would it not be paradoxical if, led by emotion only, it decided to discriminate against up to 1 million citizens who participate in Fieldsports in the UK?
One has to remember that similar evidence was presented to the then Environment Minister Liz Truss MP in 2016 by the Lead in Ammunition Group (LAG). LAG wanted lead in ammunition removed. Liz Truss viewed what was presented and rejected the recommendation stating, in both instances – human health and wildlife – the report did not show that the impacts of lead ammunition were not significant. Certainly not enough to justify changing current policy. We therefore do not accept your recommendation the removal of lead from ammunition. The reality in 2022 is the situation has not changed at all!
We were approached by Hounds Magazine September | 2022 | Hounds Magazine (houndsmagazineonline.co.uk) to commission an article for them to publish, to show support for the Packham 3 Fundraiser. On behalf of the Packham 3 Fundraising Team, we would like to thank the Editorial Team at the Magazine for their support. And, of course, thanks to Sarah Green for writing this excellent article for us.
Trail of Lies
‘Trail of Lies’, is a cartoon commissioned by group Keep The Ban purporting to show how trail hunting really is. Chris Packham narrates the video and gives yet another airing of the Pack of Lies regularly trotted out by anyone who is against hunting. The only ‘new’ aspect was the use of the word ‘smokescreen’. This was uttered during the trial of Mark Hankinson at the infamous and infiltrated Hunting Office webinar. It was then leapt on with alacrity by all and sundry who wanted to drag hunting towards an outright ban.
Strangely, these loud -mouthed pundits were not quite so vocal about the appeal. This overturned the original verdict and exonerated Mr Hankinson of encouraging illegal hunting by using ‘smokescreen’ methods. He had addressed this at the beginning of the webinar by stating he was discussing legal trail hunting. He went on to discuss the means of deflecting hunt saboteur activity. This comment was taken out of context and turned back on him.
Country Squire Magazine
This is an article I wrote for Country Squire Magazine on debunking the video
Trail hunting has been constantly targeted by anti hunt activists and saboteurs since the 2004 ban. This is despite the fact that anti hunt organisations were involved in drafting it. These includede the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) for example, were involved in drafting it. For a time, they were accepting of the term ‘trail hunting’ and the policies for its enacting. LACS registered as a charity with the Charity Commission in 2003. In 2004, the year the ban came in, LACS income was £57,623. LACS income dropped massively in 2005 to £11,095. In 2006 its income had rocketed to £182,060. This coincided with LACS ramping up claims of illegal hunting and the need for further action.
There were no convictions for illegal hunting connected with foxhound packs during this period. However, this fact did not stop the claims. Pointing the finger of law-breaking at hunting has become a very lucrative source of income for many groups.
On social media hunt saboteur groups have successfully pulled the wool over the eyes of willing devotees for years. The gullible are regularly plied with ‘true’ stories. They write of the horrors emanating from the hunting field. Thwarted, naturally, by the heroic actions of the ‘brave sabs’. These ‘brave sabs’ were out that day to ‘spoil’ the ‘bloodthirsty’ fun of the ‘toffs’. This is always followed by a please donate to our ko-fi fund. This will keep our horrendously polluting, ancient vehicles in action so we can keep ‘saving our wildlife’. At the same time it will be lining our pockets.
Hunt saboteur groups are obviously very social and regularly join forces to maximise their impact. Social media saboteur reports regularly list the several groups who have turned out to sab a hunt. This is sometimes as many as a dozen representatives from four or five hunt saboteur groups. Obviously, the way they are presented on social media suggests this is a good turnout.
It’s certainly good for the coffers as none of these groups are registered with the Charity Commission. As a result none of them have to transparently account for their income and expenditure. I have asked for access to the accounts of these publicly donated funds from a couple of groups. Inevitably, I am blocked by those who run the pages and have my requests deleted.
For numerous reasons animal rights activism attracts a large number of people who appear to be oddballs. Many of them have lengthy criminal records, which doesn’t sit well when they accuse hunting people of criminal activities. Some people are in it for genuinely held animal welfare reasons, others are in it for anarchic political reasons. Yet more are in it to wield power and control over the governance of the country. The method used is lobbying via Non-Governmental Organisations.
These have been highlighted in this article. https://thealdenham.wordpress.com/2021/03/10/the-truth-about-the-trail-hunting-suspensions/ It is an excellent and well -researched online blog. In this article, published on 10th March 2021, the way that these groups work is exposed. This is manipulation to gain traction, pure and simple. It is based on a ‘command pyramid structure’ under the name of the ‘Wildlife and Countryside Link’. It has links via Dominic Dyer* to Carrie Johnson, Boris Johnson, and Zac Goldsmith.
*Dominic Dyer, Born Free Foundation and previously the Badger Trust.
The Command’s purpose is to bring together non-Governmental Organisations whilst still being seen to be working independently and separately. As a result it appears to politicians, the media and public, that many groups saying the same things. Accordingly, the implication is that it is based on a majority evidential base as well as public opinion. This is not the case and is carefully planned and orchestrated.
Wildlife and Countryside Link
The ‘Wildlife and Countryside Link’ has 65 member groups, employing over 11,000 fulltime staff and 174,000 volunteers. It has a collective membership in UK of over 8 million. Amongst these member groups are the National Trust, League Against Cruel Sports, the RSPCA and RSPB. Connected with these groups is TV wildlife presenter Chris Packham, who has a big social media following. Packham knew which landowners to approach to call for a ban on trail hunting PRIOR to the verdict on Mark Hankinson. There are other organisations who have banned or suspended hunting based on the webinar infiltration allegations with connections to the Wildlife and Countryside Link. These include Forestry England, Lake District National Park, Natural Resource Wales and United Utilities.
Some other members of the ‘Wildlife and Countryside Link’ group are: – Council for the Protection of Rural England, Council for British Archaeology, Floodplain Meadows Partnership, Keep Britain Tidy, Marine Conservation Society, and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
Whilst there is no suggestion that these organisations have any particular interest in, or have been active as a group in, calling for a trail hunting ban, the fact that they are allied to the other groups by the link charity could be seen to be confering tacit support to the active organisations who have banned trail hunting. Members of these and fellow link groups are called ‘Passive supporters’, and will have no knowledge of how the link charity governance and policies are formed and will be kept in the dark to keep the membership and subscriptions coming in.
Although these groups may have no interest in, or connection to, field sports they may influence others. For example, would members be told the mechanics of how the ruling bodies might be influenced? And by whom if the decision to support further trail hunting bans were made?
The National Trust ban on issuing trail hunting licenses was gained by a campaign reported in the media exhorting Trust members to ‘wake up to the reality of trail hunting’ and that ‘concerns have been raised that the lawful activity is being used as a ‘smokescreen’ for chasing and killing foxes’ (www.thelondoneconomic.com, ‘Wake Up to ‘reality of trail hunting, National Trust told’, 30 October 2021).
However, in all the various media reports there is no mention of who exactly is telling the National Trust to ‘wake up’. The vote was carried unanimously by the 76816 who voted for a ban, against the 38184 who voted against it, this is just 2% of the National Trust membership, yet it was touted in the media as a ‘landslide’ and ‘overwhelming’ vote of the membership, when in fact it was nothing of the sort as 98% hadn’t bothered to vote, suggesting they weren’t interested. This fact barely registered with mainstream media so another ‘win’ for ‘anti’ rhetoric.
Tim Parker, Chairman of National Trust, resigns
In 2020 its Chairman, Tim Parker, who had a reputation of being ‘woke’, resigned. The resignation apparently had been provoked by the setting up of a splinter group called ‘Restore Trust’. Sir John Hayes, MP and National Trust member, said that the Trust had ‘sadly lost sight of its purpose. It is preoccupied by the prejudices of a woke minority’. (www.theguardian.com, ‘National Trust rejects claim that chief quit because of campaign against ‘wokeness’. 30th May 2021). The Deputy Chair, Orna NiChionna Turner, was in charge at the vote. She is a ‘passionate environmentalist’ and had previously been Chair of the Soil Association who, coincidentally, are also part of ‘Wildlife and Countryside Link’.
The Aldenham research shows that many of these groups are ‘woke’ and interlinked. I think many of us, some of whom may be members of the organisations within the link charity, will be shocked about the underlying network of subterfuge and, to paraphrase Sir John Mays words, ‘ preoccupation with the prejudices of a woke minority’, particularly the lack of transparency about these preoccupations and the pressure they put on other organisations to follow their lead, without fully informing their membership of their reasons for doing so and how they came to the conclusions they expect others to acknowledge.
Chris Packham is a significant link between the ‘Wildlife and Countryside Link’ and hunting. Mr Packham never knowingly misses the opportunity to damage our way of life in any way he can. His anti-field sports stance is well known. According to his website he is Vice President of Bat Conservation Society, Butterfly Conservation, RSPB and RSPCA. He is a Patron of Birding for All, Naturewatch Foundation, ORCA, Raptor Rescue, the Seahorse Trust. He is a supporter of Marine Conservation Society. You may be interested to know all these organisations, with the exception of Birding for All, are members of Wildlife and Countryside Link.
The lie laden ‘Trail of Lies’ anti propaganda cartoon is given extra credibility by having him as a ‘respected’ BBC wildlife presenter doing the voiceover. He presents lying, anti rhetoric as fact. We ignore this at our peril. Complacency and keeping our heads down has done us no good in the past. We must fight fire with fire. Stop the momentum that is being built up to finish hunting once and for all.
The Packham 3
The “Packham Three” are the defendants in the High Court case of Packham v. Wightman and others (QB-2021-001227). The three individual defendants are Dominic Wightman, Nigel Bean and Paul Read. The Claimant is Chris Packham. The case is about the alleged ‘rescue’ of several former circus tigers from Spain. The tigers were donated to the sanctuary. The sanctuary then loaned them to go to the Isle of Wight Zoo, now the Wildheart Trust Sanctuary. One of the of trustees is none other than Chris Packham. More on this can be found here.
Please look at update number 5 as this gives more detail about the case
To fight the underhand way that is being meted out to The Packham 3 by Chris Packham and, by extension, to us that hunt, donations are needed to fund the court case. During which case it is hoped to prove him to be a liar, not trusted to impart the truth. It will be a huge boost to the real countryside and those who live and take their leisure in it by traditional means.
It will demonstrate that people who carelessly accuse hunts and their employees of breaching the law without any proof will soon see the end of them. Even if the media and social media zealots are willing to be deceived, the judges will not be swayed.
How you can help
You can donate via the link above, or donate here where you can use PayPal https://ko-fi.com/packham3 or if you prefer to pay the Solicitors via bank transfer or cheque contact the Fundraising Team via the contact page.
We have had news from the Packham 3 Fundraising Team, and they are asking for your help.
They have just signed up to and will be launching two online auction sites which they will be aiming to go live on Monday 1st November. All money raised will be going directly to the Solicitors via transfer directly from the Auction sites.
So how can you help? They have already had some very generous donations, but they would like to see if you would be able to help to get even more donations in.
They can be physical items, books, paintings, hunting/shooting/fishing equipment or memorabilia, a box of meat or a hamper. It could also be a voucher, a dinner for two or more, a clay shoot lesson, a guided wildfowl flight, a day’s shooting or stalking, a ride out with a Hunt, a day’s fishing, a visit and tour around a farm or hunt stables, a lesson in butchering just to name a few. It could also be to provide a service for example a day’s ratting, half a day’s gardening.
If you do have any items, you are willing to donate then please get in touch with us vis the contact form and we will pass the details onto the Fundraising Team.
Thanks all and please get sharing round your friends and colleagues and let’s see if we can get those donations rolling in!