Following the judgement handed down in court today (Wednesday 13th February) the Tyrwhitt-Drake family asked the Countryside Alliance to share the below statement on their behalf.
Countryside Alliance Chief Executive, Tim Bonner, commented: “We welcome the judgment and the end of this long-running case, and are extremely grateful to the Tyrwhitt-Drake family for defending it so robustly. Many people would have folded faced with this sort of prosecution setting an extremely dangerous precedent. Everyone who shoots is in their debt.”
The Tyrwhitt-Drake family said: “We are obviously extremely pleased, and indeed relieved, to have won this case which we have had to fight for the past 2 years. We are also very pleased that the Judge, having listened to a great deal of evidence very carefully, recognised that the allegations simply couldn’t be sustained and therefore ruled in our favour. We as a family are very glad that the matter is now at a close.
It was vital for us, in fact a matter of principle, to robustly defend our livelihood, as we have run the Bereleigh shoot for over 60 years, and also the interests and reputation of the wider shooting community and industry. The Bereleigh shoot is, in common with many shoots, an integral part of the community, creating jobs and income for a wide variety of people, as well as providing social and recreational benefits. As one local resident said when asked “It brings the local community together … there’s a camaraderie, it’s being part of a community.” We are happy and relieved that these benefits will now be able to continue for many years to come.
As a family we have been both overwhelmed and sustained, over a lengthy period, by the warm and caring support we have received, both locally and from further afield. It is difficult to find the right words to express our deep gratitude for this support, or to explain the comfort it has provided to us through this difficult time.”