The Countryside Alliance has expressed its support to the National Trust following the announcement that their AGM will not be taking place this year.
In correspondence emailed to their membership this morning, the Trust has confirmed that the Board of Trustees had made the decision not to go ahead with the meeting - which usually takes place in October - because of the impacts of coronavirus and the potential health risks of large gatherings.
It was also confirmed that elections for the Council have been cancelled for this year, while any members' resolutions submitted for 2020 will automatically be rolled over to the 2021 AGM.
Polly Portwin, Head of Hunting at the Countryside Alliance said: "Under the current circumstances it is entirely understandable that the Board of Trustees has made this decision which we wholly support."
"Following a hard-fought campaign in 2017, members of the National Trust, including many members of the Countryside Alliance, successfully defeated a members' resolution which proposed to ban all forms of hound exercise and trail hunting on the Trust's land," continued Polly. "We understand that a similar motion had been proposed this year, which may again be part of the AGM process in 2021, and can assure those who support trail hunting that we will continue to campaign to protect the interests of our members and supporters."
Before the decision to cancel the AGM was made, temporary constitutional changes were required which have all been agreed with the Charity Commission and are supported by the National Trust Council.
Details about how to join and ask questions at an online members' broadcast taking place on 7th November, where members will have an opportunity to ask questions of the Trustees and senior staff, will be circulated to National Trust members later in the year.