At the weekend this story featured in the Sunday Times.  The story was discussed on Sophy Ridge’s Sky News Sunday press briefing and was also published by the Mail Online this morning. 

Clearly it’s a relief that common sense has prevailed and the girls in question have been allowed to carry on trail hunting and remain with their loving foster parents. However, the case does reveal a worrying gulf in understanding between the Social Services Department in question and rural communities it seeks to serve, in this instance, this gulf in understanding has resulting in unnecessary anxiety being caused for two girls who have a love for hunting . We hope that lessons have been learnt and that there is no repeat of the worrying tale outlined in the Sunday Times.

The Countryside Alliance provided a full statement to the Sunday Times, part of which was quoted in the story, please see below the full statement:

“This case demonstrates the dangers of a gulf in understanding emerging between two different ways of life, the urban and the rural.

“Fostering children is a compassionate act that should be applauded so it is a huge relief that this couple, who devote their time to helping others, will be able to continue providing this valuable service in the community.

“Despite the concerns that the two children were going to have their passion for riding and hunting taken away, we are delighted that social services have recognised the many benefits that that rural pastimes have on people’s lives.

“Foster children come from all walks of life and these girls may never otherwise have experienced countryside pursuits, however having discovered something that have a passion for it was heartbreaking to think that it may have been taken away from them at such an impressionable age by an authoritative body.”

Tim Bonner, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance