South Shropshire Hunt illegally hunting on Long Myn National Trust

Hunt master fined after hunting fox on National Trust land

Hunt master fined £600 after failing to call dogs away while illegally fox hunting on National Trust land

South Shropshire Hunt master Daniel Cherriman, aged 37, was filmed in November 2021 trespassing and illegally fox hunting on National Trust land in the Long Mynd area of Church Stretton when the hounds he was in charge of caught scent of a fox. The fox fortunately escaped and was not killed.

Almost a year later Telford Magistrates Court heard that footage of Cherriman was taken by members of the public who were visiting the Long Mynd area at the time. They witnessed Merriman making ‘tongue rolling’ noises to disturb foxes. He did nothing as the hounds hunted.

As a hunt master, the Court was told, Cherriman is supposed to be in charge of the hounds at all times (as per the Hunting Act 2004) and should have known what was happening and taken measures to take the hounds off the scent.

Cherriman, of Eaton Mascott, Cross Houses, near Shrewsbury, pleaded guilty to hunting a wild mammal with dogs, contrary to the Hunting Act 2004.

Stephen Belford, said that the guilty plea very much reflected Cherriman’s remorse and mitigating on behalf of a client that was caught breaking the law and hunting a wild mammal, said that Cherriman would likely “be subjected to adverse comments for weeks, months and probably years” from hunt saboteurs who would “rejoice” in his guilty plea. (If you don’t want ‘adverse comments’ we suggest not breaking the law and hunting wild animals.)

                                                         Fox fleeing South Shropshire Hunt in Nov 2021

The case had been due to go to trial in December, with Cherriman’s “whipper-in” or assistant, Oliver Beasley, also due to appear in court. However, Cherriman told his legal representative he would plead guilty at the beginning of October if the case against his co-defendant was dropped.

Cherriman is a self-employed father of three who rides as an amateur jockey in point-to-point races.

Magistrates fined him £607, as well as ordering him to pay £135 in court costs and a £61 victim surcharge. While Cherriman’s lawyer says that his client ‘expressed remorse’ that was presumably more for being caught than for breaking the law.

Hunts and the National Trust

Hunts routinely trespass on National Trust land. The Long Mynd, described by the National Trust as a”wildlife-rich upland heathland, with extensive views across the Shropshire Hills”, is a favoured stomping ground of numerous hunts that know full well that Trust staff rarely monitor hunt activities and typically suggest members of the public contact the police if they witness crimes taking place instead – as they have thankfully done in this case.

This incident took place less than a week after the National Trust board ratified a membership vote taken at the Trust’s AGM in Harrogate to ban “trail hunting”. A reason cited by the Trust for the ban was “a loss of trust and confidence in the MFHA, which governs trail hunting” following the renowned ‘smokescreen webinars’ released by the Hunt Saboteurs Association.

The South Shropshire Hunt has form when it comes to the National Trust, and in 2018 were banned by them because of allegations of illegal hunting and having terrier men on Trust land in breach of an existing ‘trail hunting’ agreement.

Oddly there is no mention of that or of the recent law-breaking by its hunt master on the South Shropshire Hunt’s website, despite the declaration (made by all hunts of course) that their ‘activities’ “fall within the constraints of the Hunting act [sic] 2004“. Or not, as this incident yet again shows…