COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE

 
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Campaign: write to M&S about grouse

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

We are asking everyone who cares about shooting to write to the Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer (M&S), Marc Bolland, because, barely three weeks before the Glorious Twelfth, it has abandoned plans to expand the number of stores in which it was to have sold grouse.  Instead it will not be selling grouse at all in 2014. M&S says it is doing this because it cannot agree “environmental and biodiversity standards” with “key stakeholders”. This came as a surprise as M&S had not been discussing such standards with its suppliers or shooting organisations. What it actually means is that the RSPB, which is actively campaigning against driven grouse shooting, has complained about grouse sales and M&S has rolled over. Read on to write to M&S via our automated system.

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Saboteur charged with assault and harassment of hunt employee

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

An anti-fox hunting activist, who targets the Flint and Denbigh hunt has been charged with aggravated trespass, assault and harassment of a hunt employee. She has also been given a restraining order, forbidding her from contacting the man.
The charges relate to an incident on 28 January and footage that Rhyl-based Judi Hewitt took and posted onto YouTube of the hunt’s countryman Rob Smith using a terrier to flush a fox from underground to a waiting gun, in accordance with the Hunting Act. She can be heard screaming and trying to stop Mr Smith from doing his job. She is also alleged to have made threats against Mr Smith on social media.

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National Rural Crime Network receives Home Office funding

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Home Office has awarded almost £40,000 to the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) which will look at innovative ways to reduce crime in rural areas, provide information and support for rural communities and share best practice.
The concept of a rural crime network was developed by the Rural Services Network (RSN), working alongside most of those Police and Crime Commissioners´╗┐ (PCCs) serving rural communities.

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Congratulations, Commonwealth shooters!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Congratulations to the home nations medallists in shooting, including record-breaking Mick Gault on his 18th Commonwealth medal for England, a bronze in 10m air pistol, while it was double trap gold for Charlotte Kerwood and Steve Scott, also shooting for England. Matthew French took silver and Rachel Parish bronze in the same event. Drew Christie won Scotland's first medal as he picked up a silver in the men's skeet with England's Rory Warlow taking bronze in the same event. Newport shooter Elena Allen claimed silver in the women’s skeet for Wales. Further medals have been won, see below. These are great times for shooting sports in the UK!

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Credit: Mark Webb Photographer

RSPCA reported to be dropping hunt prosecution policy

Sunday, 27 July 2014

On Sunday 27th July 2014 the Sunday Times front page carried a story headlined 'RSPCA to stop chasing hunts after backlash.' This story arose from the soon-to-be-published Wooler review into the Society's prosecutions policy which was launched last year and to which the Countryside Alliance contributed. The article quoted Alliance head of campaigns Tim Bonner who has long said, and told the review head Stephen Wooler, that the RSPCA cannot be a political campaigner yet maintain objectivity in prosecutions. Read the article on the Sunday Times website (which has a paywall) here. The Telegraph subsequently picked up on the story and quoted the RSPCA as saying the change would probably brought in "within months". Clive Aslet, Editor at Large of Country Life, then wrote about the issue in the Telegraph, saying that "years of hounding the innocent" are over.

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National Rural Crime Network (NRCN)

Friday, 4 July 2014

The National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) has now been formally set up and has the support of 28 Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs). It is being chaired by the PCC from North Yorkshire, Julie Mulligan, and the Vice-Chair is Tim Passmore, PCC for Suffolk. The constitution allows six PCCs on the executive committee and four non PCC representatives. The Countryside Alliance is sitting on the Executive Committee as one of the four non PCC representatives. Over the summer we will be compiling a list of rural crime priorities which will shape the work programme of the Network. Fly-grazing, heritage crime and general anti-social behaviour are on that list and we would welcome your suggestions too. Please email policy@countryside-alliance.org raising any issues you feel the National Rural Crime Network should be prioritising.

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Barney explains why we must act on hen harriers

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner writes: There are hundreds of thousands of hen harriers in the world. Hundreds of pairs breed in Scotland, dozens in Wales, but very few in England. There is nothing new about the lack of breeding hen harriers in England, they have been very rare for a hundred years or more. Nor is there any doubt about the original reason for their absence as they have never been popular either with gamekeepers or poultry farmers and, as a ground nesting species, are particularly vulnerable to persecution and predation.

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Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education

Re-connecting kids and the countryside
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Food Labelling

Food Labelling

Campaigning for mandatory country of origin meat labelling
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Game to eat

Game to eat

Promoting the great taste of game
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