Update: 30 November 2020
The Peak District National Park Authority has not previously given permission for trail hunts to take place on land that we manage.
We are aware of the recent allegations made to the police in relation to a webinar hosted by The Hunting Office, hunting’s governing body. We will not support any request for permission for trail hunts to take place on land we manage whilst these allegations are being examined by the police and Crown Prosecution Service to determine if any criminal offences have taken place. We will consider any further action that may be needed once the investigation is complete.
What is trail hunting?
Following the Hunting Act 2004, which bans the hunting of foxes, hunting activity is restricted to the exercising of hounds, trail-hunting or drag hunting by scent trails which may be laid by hand or via a vehicle such as a quad bike.
Does the National Park Authority have a management role in hunts accessing land for trail hunting?
The National Park Authority recognises activities such as trail hunting may be pursued as legal recreational activities within the National Park, in accordance with relevant legislation. The Authority can only make decisions on whether to grant permission for trail hunts to access land that we manage.
Such activities may also be refused on Authority-owned land on the grounds of potential damage to sensitive habitats.
The Peak District National Park Authority does not have any overall power or responsibility to manage this activity on land owned or managed by others in the National Park.
What does the National Park Authority do to monitor the legality of hunts?
The Authority has no regulatory or monitoring role in respect of hunting within the National Park. If any form of illegal activity is reported to be have taken place, this would be a matter for the police to investigate.
Are you aware of unauthorised trail hunting taking place on land managed by the National Park Authority?
We take any reports of unlicensed trail hunting on land that we manage very seriously and where we hear of it we seek urgent clarification from the relevant groups.
Groups are aware that they need to request permission if they wish to use land that we manage. Most groups are responsible and recognise the importance of working with us to ensure this activity takes place lawfully in a safe way, within the National Park.
Any group wishing to use facilities such as our car parks must do so in line with the relevant regulations and not cause any obstruction, safety risk or nuisance to other users. There is no obligation upon hunt groups (or any recreational group) to inform the Authority prior to their use of our facilities such as car parks, if this is done so in accordance with the site regulations. Access to land we own for the purposes of trail hunting itself would require additional and separate permission as outlined above.