Protecting the Wild Equipment Fund #8: Salisbury Plain Monitors

The Protecting the Wild Equipment Fund was set up in Summer 2023 to help put ‘eyes in the field‘, empowering people to protect British wildlife.

We set the fund up because we know that many monitors are largely unfunded volunteers. That usually means that to be able to keep an eye on the countryside monitors are paying for the fuel they put in their vehicles themselves, and they usually have to buy the kit they use in the field too. The more we’ve been in contact with these remarkable and selfless people the more we want to support them by donating the equipment that they or their group may need: everything from trail- or body-cameras, radios, night-vision optics, or perhaps hi-viz clothing.


One of the groups we have been on good terms with for some time now is the Salisbury Plain Monitors, a small group that works closely with the ‘Moonrakers’ (the now HSA-affiliated and rebranded Salisbury Plain Hunt Sabs). Out multiple times a week, they are a constant thorn in the side of (amongst others) the Royal Artillery Hunt (RAH).


The RAH are a particularly notorious and blatant hunt that uses so-called ‘trail hunting licences’ issued by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to hunt Salisbury Plain. The DIO itself appears to be utterly fed up with the way the RAH behave (see below) but seems to lack the courage to simply withdraw licences and kick them off the Plain – which is, after all, one of Europe’s most important grasslands containing multiple protected Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) because of its unusual flora and fauna.
Protect the Wild is proud to support the Salisbury Plain Monitors, who tell us below about the work they do to protect the wildlife of Salisbury Plain:

Charles Carter, RAH huntsman. Image Salisbury Plain Monitors


“Salisbury Plain Monitors are an independent group of volunteers who monitor illegal hunting on Salisbury Plain. Whilst our focus is the Royal Artillery Hunt (RAH), we also include the Tedworth Hunt and the Wiltshire Infantry Beagles. We receive no funding, use our own vehicles and equipment and work hand-in-hand with the Salisbury Plain Hunt Saboteurs as one team and get great support from other Sab and monitor groups.

As well as monitoring the Plain we also engage with the Ministry of Defence Police, Wiltshire Rural Crime team and try to engage with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO). Sharing evidence has led to the start of prosecution by MDP and the CPS for illegal hunting and MDP action against the RAH for breach of bylaw following a heart-stopping deer chase for a considerable distance and over a public road.

We have greatly appreciated Protect the Wild raising awareness of the illegal hunting and abuse and campaigning to get their licence revoked. We do not have a social media process, so depend on other credible organisations to share our story.

Our appreciation now extends to thanks for Protecting the Wild Equipment Fund for their donation of a bodycam, as not all of our monitors have them. These are such important tools for both evidence of illegal hunting and also to capture the abuse that we receive.

Whilst the DIO, with their ‘connection’ to the RAH (including a Master working for DIO), is clearly biased and refusing to act upon the evidence below we truly believe that dedicated groups working together will result in the revoke of the hunts ‘licence to kill’.

  1. OFFICIAL WARNING FOR BREACH OF BYELAW– 1981 section 3, to Charles Carter, huntsman, and Guy Loader, kennel-man, for 2 deer chased over a considerable distance by the pack of hounds and riders, including over a public road. Landmark for accountability of out-of-control dogs, in this area frequented by members of the public for dog walking and recreational use.
  2. COMMUNITY RESOLUTION ORDER ISSUED TO HUNTSMAN -Charles Carter, used for anti-social behaviour, as he admitted to damaging a monitor’s car, for which he had to pay for repair.
  3. POLICE CAUTION UNDER THE PUBLIC ORDER ACT – a regular rider of the hunt was given a police caution under the Public Order Act 1985, section 4a, (will be on her criminal record) for her threatening behaviour.
  4. PROSECUTION FOR ILLEGAL HUNTING– both the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Police and Crown Prosecution Service used our evidence, substantiated by their own, to bring a prosecution for illegal hunting against the RAH last year. Sadly, justice was prevented after Charles Carter, huntsman, attended court for his plea hearing, his defence discovered a loophole, an admin error with late filing of court papers, just after the cut-off date (which was Easter). This was the 1st prosecution of a military hunt and 1st on military land. Additionally, under section 3 of the Hunting Act, the landowner (MOD) has legal accountability and can be prosecuted.
  5. HUNT ADMITTED KILLING A FOX – through the completed ‘accidental mammal kill form’ (obtained through Freedom of Information process, FOI). The document shows the huntsman, Charles Carter claimed he was ‘relieving himself, his wife held his horse and the hounds located a fox and killed it’. Salisbury Plain Monitors arrived just as the hunt rode off, the leg found first was still warm, pieces of flesh strewn over a wide area and the rest of the body stuffed into the undergrowth.
  6. MOD FRONTLINE STAFF ‘ANY OTHER UNIT WOULD BE BANNED FOR THIS BEHAVIOUR’ – the repeated threatening behaviour of the hunt is proven by MOD internal emails, shared in FOI response,
  • ‘they obviously have no respect, we don’t like their threatening tone used’.
  • ‘the attitude of the RA masters/staff when trying to arrange meets is becoming rather threatening in tone which is unacceptable’
  • ‘any other unit would be banned for this behaviour’




  • The Royal Artillery Hunt is under pressure. It is constantly followed and clearly disliked by the staff that grant it licences. We can help the monitors and sabs groups working on the Plain. Protect the Wild is running a petition to demand the DIO stop licencing hunting on Ministry of Defence land – please join over 25k other supporters and sign End Hunting on MoD land
  • If you have something to report please use the Salisbury Plain Hunt Sabs tip off line 07780 962296
  • Header image: Charles Carter of the RAH being ordered to return to kennels by the police. Image Salisbury Plain Monitors

We’re working hard to raise the profile of the Protecting the Wild Equipment Fund so that more groups (and more wildlife) can benefit. As part of that effort we’ve asked each recipient to explain what they do and how they are using the equipment we have provided – not only to show supporters how their donations are being spent, but also to encourage other groups to apply! After all, the more ‘eyes in the field’ there are, the higher the chances that wildlife criminals will be caught, and the safer wildlife will be.

We are able to buy the equipment we give out because of paid subscriptions on Substack. While all our online content is free, any money we do receive from paid subscriptions is ringfenced and used to buy equipment to put ‘eyes in the field’. It’s a simple idea – but the best ideas usually are! If you’d like to know more we have explained it all in our post “What do we mean by “Empowering people to protect British wildlife“?

With your support we will be giving out many more pieces of equipment to groups over the coming months and years. And we will always keep you up to date with how your support is directly helping wildlife!

If you’re an individual or organization working in the field and would like to apply to our fund please read our T&Cs here first and use the online application form on the same page.