Below are a collection of some significant events relating to the York & Ainsty South hunt and the Escrick Estate. The hunt have been observed countless times in addition to theseover the last few years, by hunt saboteurs and monitors, intentionally breaking the Hunting Act as routine.
7/3/14 – We are delighted to hear, via Sheffield Saboteurs, that Escrick Park have banned the criminal York & Ainsty South hunt from their estate. We have decided to leave our Facebook page and website up, to celebrate this victory, and will only take them down if we receive a statement from the estate confirming they no longer allow the hunt on any of their land. Below is a picture of the sabs stopping the illegal digout on December 28th.
1/3/14 – Hunt saboteurs witnessed the York & Ainsty South hunt deliberately hunt a fox in the Howden area and had to intervene.
25/2/14 – Hunt saboteurs witnessed the York & Ainsty South hunt deliberately hunt 2 foxes in the Bursea Grange area and had to intervene.
25/2/14 – North Yorkshire Police confirmed that they have interviewed under caution, three members of the York & Ainsty South Foxhounds in relation to the events of 28/12/13 at Escrick Park. Below is one of these men struggling to separate his terrier from the face of a fox during the incident.
15/2/14 – Hunt saboteurs witnessed the Y&AS hunt deliberately hunt a fox near Willitoft and intervened to help it escape from the hounds.
9/2/14 – The Durham Ox pub (in Crayke) decide to stop hosting meets of the York & Ainsty South hunt after being informed what they get up to.
5/2/14 – The Crown Inn (in Bolton Percy) decide to stop hosting meets of the York & Ainsty South hunt after being informed what they get up to.
1/2/14 – Ian Bell, the Escrick Park gamekeeper, is made “redundant” because of links with the York & Ainsty South hunt terriermen, and moves out of his cottage on the estate (where he’s lived for 23 years). It has long been suspected that he has been a problem for both foxes and badgers on the estate. He is second from the left at this attempted digout on the estate.
31/1/14 – Sheffield Saboteurs are sent an email which appears to say that the York & Ainsty South hunt have been banned from Escrick Park – but the estate still have not confirmed this.
5/1/14 – A spokesperson for the York & Ainsty South hunt states that it is a condition of their permission to use Escrick Park that they hunt within the law, in The York Press.
5/1/14 – The Boycott Escrick Park campaign is launched. The campaign will continue until Escrick Park confirms that the York & Ainsty South hunt have been permanently banned from the 8,600-acre (35 km²) estate.
2/1/14 – Charles Forbes Adams, owner of Escrick Park, releases a statement in response to the events of 28/12/13, saying “After the hunt had finished, there was an alleged incident on the estate involving a fox, which we are currently investigating. It is very important to stress that Escrick Park Estate deplores any illegal killing of animals.”. The estate has provided no information about their investigation.
30/12/13 – It is revealed that North Yorkshire Police lied about fox hunt member, PC Sarah Ward no longer policing fox hunts or similar matters. She is in fact still a Wildlife Crime Officer, and still interferes with cases against hunts.
28/12/13 – Hunt saboteurs intervened to save 3 foxes from being intentionally and illegally killed by the York & Ainsty South hunt, one of which was being illegally dug out of a badger sett. This incident is currently being investigated by the police. Full Story: http://sheffieldsaboteurs.wordpress.com/news/fox-saved/
This was also the first time that the terriermen have worn balaclavas.
Footage released On 8th September 2014:
22/8/13 – David Elliot (York & Ainsty South huntsman) appeared in court accused of breaking the Hunting Act as huntsman with the Middleton Foxhounds. The case unfortunately fell through. A local resident who reported the incident said he saw a fox run into his garden: “It was in the most horrific state I have ever seen a fox, covered from its shoulders to the tip of its nose in blood.”
22/5/13 – Following complaints about (fox hunt member) PC Sarah Ward acting as Wildlife Crime Officer for North Yorkshire Police, the force informs complainants that Ward “will no longer deal with similar matters or any wildlife crime”.
30/3/13 – Dick Tonks (York & Ainsty South terrierman) launched an outburst of aggression against a hunt monitor which got him convicted of Section 5 of the Public Order Act.
9/3/13 – Hunt saboteurs witnessed the York & Ainsty South hunt hounds being encouraged by huntsman Nigel Leighton, to hunt a fox round and round a patch of elephant grass for minutes before they ripped it apart, and the huntsman sounded the horn to celebrate the kill. North Yorkshire Police Wildlife Crime Officer Sarch Ward (who rides with a fox hunt) investigated the incident and unsurprisingly took no action against the hunt for illegal hunting because they claimed the fox death was accidental. This was in the Escrick estate.
23/2/13 – Hunt saboteurs attended a meet of the York & Ainsty South hunt and intervened to save 2 foxes that were being deliberately hunted.
16/2/13 – Hunt saboteurs attended a meet of the York & Ainsty South hunt and intervened to save a fox that was being deliberately hunted.
12/1/13 – Hunt saboteurs attended a meet of the York & Ainsty South hunt and intervened to save 3 foxes that were being deliberately hunted.
15/12/12 – Hunt saboteurs attended a meet of the York & Ainsty South hunt near Tadcaster. Arriving half way through the day, they started to follow the hunt, but before too long came across an exhausted roe deer, which couldn’t stand, lying just inside a wood. The deer had and old injury to her leg, and fresh swelling to the head. It seems a bit of a coincidence that she would be in this state on land that the hunt had hunted over a few hours before, and it not be connected to the hunt, so it is suspected she had been chased by the hounds, and fell jumping a fence before they got there. The deer was taken to a wildlife rescue project but unfortunately she died the next day.
17/11/12 – Hunt saboteurs attended a meet of the York & Ainsty South hunt and intervened to save a fox that was being deliberately hunted.
10/3/12 – Hunt saboteurs attended a meet of the York & Ainsty South hunt and intervened to save a fox that was being deliberately hunted. Huntsman Paul Roberts nearly smashed a hunt sab vehicle windscreen, but changed his mind at the last moment when he realised he was on camera.
17/12/11 – Hunt saboteurs were tipped off that a fox was being dug out of a badger sett at a meet of the York & Ainsty South hunt. On arrival they found that a fox had been killed. The terriermen initially stopped what they were doing, but then later tried to continue digging-out. Sabs waited in sight of the earth until after dark, when the fox eventually came out of the earth and ran off. Wildlife Crime Officer, Sarah Ward (who rides with a fox hunt) took evidence of the dig-out but took no action against the hunt.
16/12/11 – Hunt saboteurs received a statement from York & Ainsty South hunt member Natasha Douglas in which she effectively admits that the hunt broke the Hunting Act in Escrick Park on 26/11/11, saying “a fox had been run to ground”.
26/11/11 – Hunt saboteurs attended a meet of the York & Ainsty South hunt at Escrick Park. Around mid-day a fox was hunted into an earth. Hunt sabs got to the earth before the terriermen, but over 10 people then came to move them off the earth so the terrier men could dig-out and kill the fox. These people became violent but sabs stood their ground. They came back 2 more times that day to try again but sabs stayed at the earth till after dark to ensure the dig-out couldn’t go ahead.
Hunt saboteurs were also assaulted by hunt members on this day.
22/10/11 – Hunt saboteurs attended a meet of the York & Ainsty South hunt and intervened to save 3 foxes that were being deliberately hunted.
1/10/11 – Hunt saboteurs attended an afternoon meet of the York & Ainsty South hunt at Escrick Park. At the start of the day, the hunt terrierman, Dick Tonks, was seen grabbing one of his terriers from the back of his pickup truck and throwing it onto the road where it went straight under a passing car. Dick buried the dog in a shallow grave at the side of the road minutes later and the police took no action against him. The hounds also disturbed a fox from a wood and the group intervened to stop them hunting it.
Oct 2009 – Hunt saboteurs attending a meet of the York & Ainsty hunt near Escrick Park found the terriermen trying to dig out and kill a fox that had took refuge in a badger sett. As the group approached, the terriermen stopped and walked back to their vehicle having only got as far as blocking up some of the sett entrances.
5/7/96 – Christopher Rooke, of North Yorkshire, who was an amateur terrierman with the York and Ainsty South Foxhounds, was fined £750 with £60 costs by Easingwold Magistrates Court after admitting interfering with a badger sett. The incident happened during a meet of the York and Ainsty South. A local landowner who had fenced off an area of his land which contained a badger sett, felt the fewer people who knew about it the better. However, on the day of the hunt, the landowner noticed the fence had been broken down and somebody was digging up the sett. Rooke, who had 20 years’ experience as a terrierman, farcically claimed he thought it was a rabbit warren, and told that there was a fox down it and it was his job to get the fox out.