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Protecting the Wild Equipment Fund #1: Cheshire Borderland Monitors

The Protecting the Wild Equipment Fund provides equipment like radios or cameras to individuals or groups who are working in the field to protect wildlife. We have 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! The more ‘eyes in the field’ there are, the safer wildlife will be.

In this post the Cheshire Borderland Monitors tell us who they are, what they do, and how they will benefit from the Protecting the Wild Equipment Fund.

 


 

“Cheshire Monitors, recently renamed Cheshire Borderland Monitors (CBM) to incorporate the wider area we now cover, have been around in one form or another since before 2005 when the Hunting Act came into force.

We were the first and only group in Cheshire for over ten years, using direct action to stop hunting. The hunts were violent and intimidating towards us and the police didn’t trust us and treated us like terrorists.

Then, around five or six years ago, a few other groups sprang up, some members from which originated with us, and the added cover was very welcome as it had been hard work alone. The other groups in Cheshire are now concentrating on the Cheshire Forest and Cheshire Hounds hunts and we are able to focus on the third hunt in Cheshire, the Wynnstay Hunt who, despite everything have always been committed to proper (traditional) fox hunting and were originally getting very little attention.

  • Funding for radios: We as a group are very grateful to Protect the Wild for funding our radio upgrade. They are particularly useful to us as they mean that we now have radios that are compatible with the other groups that help us, meaning that communication between groups is high class. This will have a knock on effect for the foxes we aim to protect and the local people who hate the hunt.”
  • Police: CBM have worked very hard over the years to establish a particularly good working relationship with both Cheshire and North Wales Police. It has taken time, persistence, and constant following-up to get to the current situation where we have the ear and cooperation of the police. They now have respect for CBM and what we do. Both forces know that the Wynnstay hunt is breaking the law and are ‘keen to look at any potential evidence we may have whether actual or circumstantial’.
  • Landowners: We have had lots of success enabling local landowners and homeowners to stand against the hunts in a peaceful but coordinated way by giving advice and support. From being isolated and intimidated they are now empowered and growing in number.
  • Locals against the hunt: We take local input very seriously and have built a large network of locals against the Wynnstay hunt in particular, in pretty much every area that they hunt. These locals help us in many ways and the relationship enables them to be proactive and empowered.
  • Cases against hunts: We have had one case of illegal hunting against the Cheshire Forest Hunt, two against the Cheshire Hounds Hunt, and two against the Wynnstay Hunt. We also managed to secure two public order offences against the Wynnstay hunt (see for example ‘Wynnstay huntsman guilty of threatening behaviour‘ and ‘Wynnstay Hunt supporter filmed giving nazi salute to hunt monitor‘).

 

We have featured on BBC’s The One Show, and BBC North West Tonight a number of times, as well as featuring in many national press articles. We have had our footage shown in parliament when MPs have discussed the much-needed strengthening of the Hunting Act.

It can be tough and intimidating work, but we know that the hunts in Cheshire, North Wales and beyond see us as a force to be reckoned with. Our main problem is that the Hunting Act is totally unfit for the purpose for which it was intended, and our aim is to change the law and to stop foxhunting once and for all.

We will continue to:

  • protect our wildlife
  • expose illegal hunting
  • lobby for the rewriting of the Hunting Act 2004.”

 

 


 

We are able to buy the equipment we give out because of paid subscriptions on Substack. While all our 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“?

If you would like to apply to our fund please read our T&Cs here first and use the online application form on the same page.