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FAQ's

We've compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions on this page to your questions about the Countryside Alliance's work, campaigns, and how to get involved. Explore our FAQs for information on rural issues, hunting, shooting, and more. If you're still unable to find what you need, please contact us.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the concessionary rate at 75?

We appreciate that the concessionary age is different at the Countryside Alliance but after a survey of our members, we found that people were willing to pay more for a bit longer in order to support our cause and our campaigning work.

If you would like to continue to support the Countryside Alliance, you can donate as a one off or as a regular donation to a budget that suits your circumstances. Your support enables the Countryside Alliance to challenge bias and misinformation about countryside activities, and to represent your voice in parliament, in the media and on the ground.

I would like a refund for my membership, how do I do cancel?

You may cancel your membership by writing to us, by phone or by email. If you wish to cancel your membership within 14 days of the date of purchase of your membership, provided you have not taken advantage of any member benefits or claimed on the insurance included with your membership, you will receive a full refund of the membership premium. No refund will be offered after this 14 day period.

I pay for someone else's membership and I want to change/cancel it how do I do this?

Due to Data Protection, only the main subscriber can make changes or cancel the membership unless this relates to a child.

Where is my membership card?

We haven't issued membership cards since October 2020. If you require a copy of your insurance, please email us at info@countryside-alliance.org with your membership number and we can email over your membership documents

How old do my children have to be for a family membership?

Children have to be aged 17 years old or younger to be part of a family membership and must live at the same address.

Can I have a Joint membership with a friend?
For Joint membership, both members must live at the same address.
Can I pay for someone else's membership?
Yes, you can. But due to Data Protection we cannot discuss the membership with you.
What are the Countryside Alliance membership benefits?
- Access to dedicated experts who are working to influence all political parties' policies. 
- Insurance cover for hunting, shooting, fishing and many other of your favourite country pursuits needs. 
- Our membership magazine, My Countryside, which is packed with expert insights and updates on our work.
What does the Campaign for Shooting do?
  • Our objectives are to secure and enhance the long-term sustainability of shooting and its associated land management practices, and to manage and reduce political risk at all levels.
  • We have a pivotal role in promoting and protecting shooting in parliament, across the devolved administrations, in the media, and on the ground.
  • We challenge misinformation and bias; promote the considerable environmental, economic, and social benefits of shooting; and positively influence policy.
  • We are constantly looking to hone arguments, develop research, and when necessary, we will lead radical reform.
  • For politicians and journalists, we are frequently the first to be contacted when input on shooting issues is required, and our coverage both in the national and regional media is extensive.

    For more information on the campaign for shooting click here
How can I support the Campaign for Shooting?
  • Be a fully signed-up member of the Countryside Alliance
  • Hear the latest updates from our campaign through our email newsletter.
  • Enter our prize draws to win fantastic prizes such as driven grouse days or new steel-proofed guns, or simply make a donation today.
  • Purchase and wear our Campaign for Shooting pin badge each season, to show your support both to us and to your shooting friends.
  • Share our work with your friends and families to enable the whole shooting community to support each other.
  • Share our world of shooting and game with all those you know who have not yet had the chance to get involved; get them out in the field!
When are the new season's Campaign for Shooting badges available?
The new season's Campaign for Shooting badges are available for purchase in the Countryside Alliance online shop from 1 June each year.
What is Aim to Sustain?
There are many types and creeds of shooting organisation, with different roles to play; the Alliance's role is predominantly in political and media campaigning. Aim to Sustain is an umbrella partnership of eight countryside organisations, with the GWCT as its scientific advisor, which strives to protect and promote sustainable shooting, biodiversity, and the rural economy. The Countryside Alliance is proud to be a partner organisation of Aim to Sustain.
How can I get a firearms medical report if my GP refuses or charges too much?
When you come to apply or renew your firearms licence or shotgun certificate, and your GP practice either refuses to provide that service or charges an unreasonable fee, you do have alternative options. Third party firearms medical report providers, run by doctors who understand the needs of shooters, are there to help. They charge a reasonable fee and usally provide a fast turnaround time. The Countryside Alliance recommended provider is ShootCert, who can be found using the following link: https://www.shootcert.co.uk/ 
What is Aim to Sustain Game Assurance?
The Aim to Sustain Game Assurance scheme is an independently audited assurance scheme (akin to 'Red Tractor') for lowland shoots, upland shoots and game farms. The scheme is part of the wider network of self-regulation which is so important for the continuation of shooting in the UK, allowing shoots and game farms to demonstrate that they operate to the highest standards. These standards encompass more than just the animal health and welfare that other assurance schemes cover, and are based on legislation, science and best-practice guidelines. These varied , comprehensive, auditable standards are focussed on assessment of:
•    Animal health and welfare
•    Food quality
•    Environmental enhancement and protection
•    Staff training
•    Health and Safety
What is the Code of Good Shooting Practice?
The Code of Good Shooting Practice sets out how game shoots should be run. It should be your yardstick when deciding if you should accept an invitation or what shooting to buy. Check if shoots you are involved with, whether as a Gun, a beater or a picker-up, are Code compliant. If not, go elsewhere. 

This Code sets out the framework that enables shoot managers, Guns, gamekeepers and their employees to deliver sustainable shooting, paying attention to management of habitat and avoiding nuisance to others. All who shoot, or are involved in shooting in any way, should abide by and remind others of the provisions set out within this Code.

To read the Code in full, click here
What is the Gamekeeper Apprenticeship Scheme?
Given the immense value of gamekeepers to the countryside, the Countryside Alliance developed the new 'Underkeeper Apprenticeship', which has been published by the government body the Institute of Apprenticeships.

The apprenticeship takes place over 18 months and covers all the key areas of gamekeeping. Candidates will work alongside keepers while also receiving off the job training at several land-based colleges around the country to achieve the required qualifications. Read more here
What does the Campaign for Hunting do?
• Supports all forms of legal hunting - of both mounted and foot packs - with foxhounds, beagles, harriers and other types of hounds for the benefits it brings to individuals, the environment and the rural economy.
• Promotes high standards of hound and horse welfare as well as hunt conduct, both on and off the hunting field.
• Liaises with the general public, hunts, politicians, institutional landowners, the police and the media to create a better understanding of how hunting with hounds fits into modern society.
• Lobbies MPs and other decision-makers to help prevent unjust changes to legislation which may affect the future of hunting with hounds or have an impact on our way of life.
• Engages with councils and councillors to enable hunts to retain access to council-owned land whilst challenging motions which propose to enforce restrictions.
• Creates positive news stories which are circulated to local and national press, including broadcast media, whilst responding to hunting-related content and providing spokespersons who can comment and give interviews where appropriate.
• Helps promote hunting to a wider audience by supporting hunts to engage with the public both face-to-face, and through the use of print and social media, plus other digital channels.
• Works alongside packs of hounds to ensure they continue to offer a legal wildlife management service and retain the support necessary to sustain the infrastructure of hunting and the jobs that go with it.
• Dispels misconceptions about foxhunting and combats mistruths spread about legal hunting activities.
What is the Action for Hunting initiative and how do I get involved?
Our Action for Hunting initiative recognises the threats facing hunting but highlights how hunts and hunt supporters can take action to help secure hunting with hounds for generations to come. The most effective lobbying that we can do is in constituencies at a time when MPs and candidates are most focused on securing our votes.

We encourage those who want to protect the future of hunting to sign up to take action for hunting. You may be asked to take direct action, including signing e-lobbies, online petitions or lobbying candidates of all parties ahead of the most important election since before the Hunting Act became law. To sign up click here
How can I support the Campaign for Hunting?
•    Be a fully signed-up member of the Countryside Alliance.
•    Receive the latest updates about our campaigns through our email newsletter.
•    Share our work with your friends and families to enable the entire hunting community to support each other.
•    Visit our stand to discuss our work with our representatives at shows and events across the country.
•    Follow our social media profiles on different platforms then share and engage with our posts.
•    Advise us of any newsworthy hunting news so that we can generate press releases and help to promote the good work carried out by hunts and the hunting community.
•    Engage with our Action for Hunting initiative.
How can I keep up to date with issues relating to hunting with hounds?
How can I get involved in hunting?
Hunts across the country welcome new members and supporters, with many holding Newcomers' events in the autumn. You can find out more here
What is trail hunting?
Trail-hunting involves laying of a scent across the countryside which a pack of hounds then searches for and follows using their noses. Trail hunting replicates traditional foxhunting and other forms or quarry hunting, however, instead of following live quarry, the hounds follow the artificial scent which has been laid for them. The season starts in the autumn and continues throughout the winter, with most packs finishing during March. To find out more click here
Is foxhunting legal?
Traditional foxhunting was an activity which became restricted in England and Wales when the Hunting Act became law. Hunts in England and Wales conduct their activities to comply with the Hunting Act. In Scotland, hunts have to comply with the Hunting with Dogs.
When did the Hunting Act become law?
The Hunting Act was passed in November 2004 and was enforced on 18 February 2005.
Do I need insurance to go out hunting?
Many hunts insist that those who participate are members of the Countryside Alliance in order that they have liability insurance cover. Members of the Countryside Alliance receive Public Liability insurance, up to a limit of indemnity of £10 million, which covers a wide variety of legally recognised activities, including hunting.
How can I become a member of the Countryside Alliance?
To become a member of the Countryside Alliance, please either join via our website https://www.countryside-alliance.org/join-us or call us on 0207 840 9300, where our friendly Membership Team will be able to assist you.
I would like to leave the Countryside Alliance a gift in my will. How do I organise this?
Thank you for considering a legacy gift in your Will to support the Countryside Alliance. Your generosity will ensure we have the expertise to advance campaigns that preserve the countryside you know and love. You can find all the relevant information for leaving a gift in your Will here.
Where does my membership fee go? / What does my membership fee go towards?

Your Countryside Alliance membership fee is used to support a range of activities that protect and promote the rural way of life, including:

  • Campaigning: The Countryside Alliance lobbies for policies that benefit rural communities and the countryside, such as, protecting rural activities, promoting access to the countryside, protecting wildlife and habitats, and supporting rural businesses 
  • Public Liability Insurance: All individual members receive public liability insurance, covering a wide range of activities like hunting, shooting, fishing, and working with animals.
  • Member Services: The Alliance provides members with access to a variety of services.
  • Publications: Members receive a quarterly magazine, "My Countryside," and regular newsletters about the Alliance's campaigns.
  • Discounts and Benefits: Members can access discounts on various products and services with some of our partners.
We need your support continued to ensure the protection of the countryside.
What type of insurance coverage is included with Countryside Alliance membership?

Countryside Alliance membership includes public liability insurance, up to a limit of £10 million, for a wide range of countryside activities.

It's important to note that Countryside Alliance is not the insurance broker but rather a facilitator. They have partnered with an insurance provider to offer this coverage as a benefit of membership.

If you have any questions please contact the Countryside Alliance Insurance Helpline.

By using this link

 The Insurance Centre is designed to provide all the information you should need, including Frequently Asked Questions, Product Summaries and Policy Wordings.  However, should you require any further details please contact the team, as follows:

T: +44 (0) 1234 230279
E:insurance@countrysideallianceinsurance.co.uk
Please note: all information relating to insurance is valid only until the renewal date of any particular policy.  For details of cover after that date please contact Howden.

What insured activities am I permitted to take part in as a member of the Countryside Alliance?
 To see a list of the legally recognised activities.  Please note: If you are joining or renewing your affiliation to the Countryside Alliance in 2024, there has been significant changes to the list of insured activities, so please read the information carefully 
Do the Countryside Alliance insurances carry any age restrictions?
There is no upper or lower age restriction in relation to the Public Liability insurance. 

(For those remaining eligible for Personal Accident benefits (having joined the Countryside Alliance or renewed their insurance in 2024) the maximum age is 75 years.) 
What significant exclusions apply to the insurances?

A significant exclusion has been added for those who are joining the Countryside Alliance or renewing their insurance in 2024.

  • Competitive riding events
  • Property in member's custody or control.
  • The insured person participating in any sport as a professional.
  • Competitive riding events other than team chasing, hunter trials, showing and dressage.
  • Pony Club and gymkhana activities undertaken by any member aged 19 or over.
  • The carrying on of any trade business or profession where it is the member’s principal source of income.
  • Fundraising activities which include bungee jumping or activities involving bungee ropes or cords, fireworks or other forms of pyrotechnics, rock climbing, mountaineering or orienteering, obstacle courses, “It’s a Knockout” type competitions, swimming or diving in any body of water including swimming, baths, pools, ponds, lakes rivers and the sea.
  • Liability arising from non-compliance of the provisions contained in the Firearms Act(s)
  • Motor Liability where such liability requires compulsory insurance by legislation governing the use of such motor vehicle or trailer.
  • Aviation or Marine Liability (but not watercraft less than 25 metres in length for use in inland waterways or up to twelve miles offshore not owned but being used for entertainment purposes)
Will the Liability insurance cover my occupation?
No, Countryside Alliance membership insurance does not provide cover for any activity, even if the activity is a Countryside Alliance recognised activity, which you rely upon as your principal source of income. This does however mean that if you are assisting with a recognised activity and receiving payment for doing so (such as beating at a shoot) cover will be provided as long as the activity is not your principal source of income.
How does group membership differ to that of an individual membership?
The membership insurance policy is intended to provide coverage for a group for the broad range of activities typically undertaken by that group (subject to policy terms, conditions and exceptions). It is also recognised that in the vast majority of cases the group will be an informal body of individuals with no legal status, therefore the extra breadth of cover provided to the group “entity” automatically extends to the named individuals that make up that group member including the officers of the group.

Examples of typical extra activities covered by our policy that a group could be involved in beyond the specifics of simply carrying out a recognised activity are summarised as follows:

Administration and officer/committee meetings
Maintenance activities
Conservation activities
Ownership of property and/or land
Fundraising activities – with specific exclusions as detailed in the policy and cover summary
Exhibiting, participating, demonstrating at country fairs and similar events
Social events
Competitions and events
Coaching
I am involved in coaching others in a Countryside Alliance recognised activity, am I covered?
Yes, coaching would be classed as participating in the recognised activity and so liability arising therefrom would be covered as long as the coaching activity is not relied upon by the member as their principal source of income.
Will I still have insurance covered if I cancel my membership?
If you  cancel your Membership of the Countryside Alliance or do not renew your membership, your insurance cover will stop
from the time of such cancellation or non-renewal. 
What is a Gold Membership?
If you join the Countryside Alliance or are renewing your Gold and Equestrian Membership, you will receive Public Liability insurance, up to a limit of indemnity of £10 million, covering a wide variety of legally recognised activities including hunting (such as hunting, team chasing and hunter trials), projectile sports (such as sporting and clay shooting), working with animals and birds (such as falconary and hound trailing), angling (including sea, game and coarse) and voluntary and conservation work. Complimentary tickets to Cheltenham Countryside Race Day, the Game Fair and the Festival of Hounds. Auto renewing membership. Includes Equine activities.
How do I request a speaker from the Countryside Alliance for an event/ talk?
Countryside Alliance representatives regularly speak at events including at Young Farmers clubs, universities and at various membership meetings. Please email press-office@countryside-alliance.org for further information, detailing information about your organisation/ club. 
What is the Countryside Alliance Foundation?

The Countryside Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of the Countryside Alliance, a leading advocate for rural communities and the environment.  The Countryside Alliances Foundations mission is to:

  • Promote the health and educational benefits of experiencing the countryside.
  • Inspire a passion for protecting the natural environment.
  • Helps individuals benefit from being involved in the natural environment.

The Countryside Alliance Foundation's two programmes; Fishing for Schools and Castaway, serve an important purpose. If you would like to donate to the Countryside Alliance Foundation you can do so by clicking here