The Countryside Alliance is marking its 20th anniversary by asking supporters for their photographs and anecdotes from the ground breaking Hyde Park Rally.
On 10th July 1997 120,000 people attended a rally in Hyde Park which was organised in response to the new Labour government’s commitment to banning hunting. The Countryside Alliance as an organisation was at that time emerging from the amalgamation of the British Field Sports Society, the Countryside Movement and the Countryside Business Group. While hunting underpinned the rally and the numerous rallies, marches, vigils and demonstrations that followed, the Countryside Alliance was created to defend and promote the rural way of life more broadly, and still enjoys the support of those who shoot, hunt, fish, farm and live and work in the countryside.
Countryside Alliance Chief Executive Tim Bonner commented: “Only in looking back can we see how far the rural movement has come. It’s important for all of us to focus on the future of the countryside, but on this occasion it’s pleasantly nostalgic to look back on that great occasion and remember the day the countryside found its voice – a voice we have never lost.”
Countryside Alliance President, Baroness Mallalieu (pictured), who addressed the rally, said: “In celebrating 20 years of the Countryside Alliance we should all remember how the organisation began and why. The striking thing about the passing of the last twenty years – aside from how quickly it has flashed past – is how far the rural movement has come but also how much remains the same. Certainly those feelings about hunting, deliberately evocative, can still swell the hearts of so many of us as they now do so many of a new generation who were too young to stand with us then but who love hunting, as we do, now.”
To mark the 20th anniversary of the rally members and supporters are invited to send in photos, short anecdotes and hopes for the countryside’s future to the Countryside Alliance so that we can celebrate the unity and love of the countryside that still exists.
Your contributions can be viewed in a live interactive gallery at countryside-alliance.org/CA20
You can also [email protected] with your submissions which will be used on the Countryside Alliance’s website and social media platforms. The hashtag to use when tweeting about this anniversary is #CA20.