Liberty & Livelihood stories, September 2002

Back to News Index

(*)- added since last update


Durham Advertiser 30.9.02 Rural communities take their message to London by the staff of the Durham Advertiser …Christopher Arthur, 60, of Hallgarth Street, Durham, said: "It was beautifully organised and very cheerful. There was a wonderful cross-section of people and it was a very moving experience… Gary Watchman, from Sedgefield, a member of the South Durham Hunt based in Wingate, close to Prime Minister Tony Blair's constituency home, said: "It's gone tremendously well and the support has just been overwhelming."… (story in archive)

North West Evening Mail 30.9.02 ULVERSTON TORIES BACK COUNTRYSIDE …The Ulverston branch of the Barrow and Furness Conservative Association has expressed its support for the Liberty and Livelihood march in London and the sentiments behind it… (story)

North West Evening Mail 30.9.02 ISOLATION THREAT TO CUMBRIA WOMEN - … New research carried out by the YWCA states that such women's experiences have largely gone unreported or are invisible in previous research. Carole Scott, speaking for the group, said: "With last Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood march, the state of rural Britain has been on everyone's agendas. Once the shouting has died down, however, pressing issues will remain, such as the need to tackle problems faced by young women in rural areas."… (story)

Bolton Evening News 30.9.02 Why milk farmer is cheesed off . . . Robert Johnson spoke to one man who has become an organic farmer but who is not convinced it is the way forward. BRITAIN's farming communities emerged into the public consciousness with their well-publicised "rural invasion" of London. Some people argued that the countryside march was just a protest against the proposed ban on fox hunting and not the wider issues surrounding the farming industry. But try telling that to Bolton's only organic farmer who is trying to make a living in what is supposed to be a thriving industry… (story in archive)

Newcastle Journal 30.9.02 Bill Telfer column - I hadn't really intended to mention the march, but I can't resist commenting again. As an absentee in body, although present in spirit… I've come to the conclusion that to be a politician it is necessary to be able to ignore the blindingly obvious and to slant any given circumstance to their preferred point of view. I wasn't therefore surprised to hear Gerald Kaufman suggest that the 400,000 who attended the march were a very small percentage of the population and therefore unimportant… (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 30.9.02 Answers to the hunting debate - Mr Eddie Dougal has asked why hunting has lasted for so long when most people in the town and country want it done away with… the RSPCA took far too long to start to complain about hunting. When they campaigned to outlaw bull baiting and dog fighting, they were accused of discriminating against the working classes in favour of the upper classes. Secondly, the hunters should be grateful to the saboteurs. They have emphasised cruelty allegations, but, as David Green has pointed out, this has really boomeranged as the question is so imponderable the hunts have been able to turn it to their own advantage… The hunts' own arguments against a ban have now boomeranged too. They have found out too late that it is never the question what? But the question why? Which gets things banned. All 360,000 who marched on Sunday have wasted their shoeleather and stained their hands with blood by association. Soon they'll all be on the march to London again, this time to leave the country. TREVOR HART, Woodbridge (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 30.9.02 Numbers higher than reported - I enjoyed reading Sam Thomson's article in the East Anglian of September 23, but the statement that "The Essex and Suffolk Hunt" had a big presence at the march, with more than 50 people did not reflect the whole facts. The Essex and Suffolk Hunt had 19 coaches and over 200 on trains, and others went independently. GILLIAN ALDOUS, Layham, Ipswich. (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 30.9.02 Slashing hedgerows threatens wildlife - Now that the dust has settled back down in London and the pursuers of Liberty and Livelihood have dispersed to their dens, may I make a statement on behalf of the other poor, homeles and neglected countryside residents?... Hedgerows which the day before were covered in the berries of hawthorn, hips and sloe have been ripped back to a paucity of food source and cover. Is it any wonder that wild life is still declining? How is it that the pursuit of liberty and life does not extend to the other members of the countryside… J FULCHER, Cransford, Woodbridge (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 30.9.02 Condemned by a lack of understanding - Yesterday on returning from the Countryside march I switched on the television to watch the news, I was confused by a complacent Alun Michael being interviewed. The upshot of which seemed to be that the march would change nothing, he was already working with the Countryside Alliance and that he didn't understand the message that was being put across. Out of his own mouth he stands condemned!... F J JELLIFF (Mrs), Wenhaston, Halesworth (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 30.9.02 Alienation put all the marchers together - The march for Liberty and Livelihood put nearly half a million people on the streets of London. It was an extraordinary manifestation by any standard. It was not, of course, just about foxhunting and farming. The thing that the marchers had in common - whether they lived in Wiltshire or Wandsworth - was that they had a sense of being victims in Blairite Britain… MICHAEL YARDLEY, Witham (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 30.9.02 Better ways to help countryside - you will doubtless know on Sunday, September 22 many true country folk went to London to march in protest of the plans that our present government hope to impose on them, plans that will be yet another step in the destruction of our present fragile country life… C J SMITH, Spinney's End, Coddenham (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 30.9.02 Marching to preserve way of life - In my view, the proposed "march" on Whitehall by the so-called Countryside Alliance and the nocturnal poster activities by its unwanted agent The Real CA will be counter-productive to enlisting support… NORMAN SMITH, Ransom Road, Woodbridge. (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 30.9.02 GM crops are the real countryside issue - Sir, – Your excellent coverage of the Countryside Alliance plans (EADT, Sept 21) brought out many of the strands but failed signally in one respect. There was nowhere any mention of that fact that next Spring the moratorium on the commercial growing of GM crops in this country runs out… It is perhaps not surprising that you do not mention it, as neither does the Countryside Alliance…. DAVID BRITTON, Waterloo Avenue, Leiston. (letter)

Yorkshire Post 30.9.02 For and against in the furore over fox hunting
From: Jean Brookhouse, Everingham, York - In the Yorkshire Post (September 24) I read "Hijacked by foxhunters" "letting the pro-hunting lobby hog the headlines". It is obvious that your correspondent Stephen McClarence was in the Peak District expecting preferential treatment from a publican and not in London observing the marchers…. The hunting fraternity did not "hog" the march, they feel deeply about rural England and its fate, as well as their own present predicament….
C Horsman, Coppergate, Nafferton, East Yorkshire - How refreshing to read a well-reasoned article on September 24 by your columnist Stephen McClarence after the pro-hunt propaganda of the Yorkshire Post ad nauseam… (letters)
Yorkshire Post 24.9.02 Our countryside, right or wrong - The Liberty and Livelihood March was no place for a townie, so I got out my oldest tweed jacket and spent Sunday in the country. After all, the country folk who turned out in their hundreds of thousands say we townies don't understand the country way of life. They're right. Some of us can't understand, for instance, why these people, with their often justified grievances, allowed their march to be hijacked by hunt supporters…

Wolverhampton Express & Star 30.9.02 No peace for the fox - Regarding the march through London to try to stop the ban on hunting with hounds. Despite overwhelming support for the ban, the government is holding back the planned ban until next year… Please support the ban, write to Downing Street reminding them of their promise, and urge them to bring the ban forward Chris Bird, Highfield Avenue, Burntwood (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 30.9.02 COUNTRYSIDE MARCH BORN OUT OF ANGER - The Countryside March on September 22, in London, was born out of frustration and anger with Government policies…Many of us in the countryside don't think this march will change Government policy. If anything it will alienate the public. If we really wish to reduce the fox population it could be done scientifically… Mr R Graham, Hollym, Withernsea.
…most of the people who attended were only there for one purpose, to stop the Government banning hunting with dogs. These happy upper class folk, (including the Royal Family) see it as their right to chase to utter exhaustion an unlucky and defenceless animal … Mrs P Smith, Jipdane, Orchard Park, Hull (letters)

Derby Evening Telegraph 30.9.02 RURAL MINORITY ARE JUST MAKING TROUBLE - If, as we are told, an estimated 400,000 rural folk attended the "Liberty and Livelihood" march in London it would follow that the remaining 99.3 per cent of the population remained indifferent… As for the Countryside Alliance, I do not believe they truly represent the rural community. They are just a bunch of frustrated rich Tories out to cause as much damage to the Government as possible…. Peter Chambers, address supplied (letter)

Manchester Evening News 30.9.02 THE rural bullies, who marched in London, jumped on the bandwagon of countryside people who were protesting about other issues. These bullies were an insult to millions who live in the country and detest fox hunting and hare coursing… Anti-Hunter, Manchester
HAVING been convinced by the countryside march that tearing animals apart is fun, can we now have live hares at Belle Vue dog track? Dave Roadby, Manchester (letters)

Scotsman 30.9.02 Narrow-minded - I resent the narrow-minded attitude of Fiona McCade (Opinion, 24 September) regarding the recent Countryside Alliance march. She misses the point in that she insists on looking only at the issue of fox-hunting. … Whether Prince Charles goes skiing or hunting is neither here nor there. He is an active member of the farming community, and he should be listened to. CATHERINE LUKE, Langstrasse, Zürich, Switzerland (letter)
Scotsman 24.9.02 Charles can take his band of Barbour-barians on a butchery safari - Fiona McCade … I have one thing in common with the Countryside Alliance, it’s a hearty acceptance of the fact that, in part, the foxhunting debate is a Class Thing. Anybody who remembers their protest-drive through Edinburgh, and counted the number of Mercedes and gleaming four-wheel-drives gliding through the city in the name of the countryside, will know it’s about class…. Meanwhile, Charles can take his merry band of Barbour-barians on a world-wide butchery safari: baiting bulls and crushing donkeys in Spain, clubbing seals in Canada, culling kangaroos in Australia and generally gallivanting wherever their blood-lust takes them. Everybody wins!... (story)

Scotsman 30.9.02 Rights from wrongs - I am not in particular a country person, nor would I class myself as enviable of those, as Roy L McCallum puts it, "successful people enjoying themselves"… He suggests that those of us opposed to fox-hunting merely envy the upper class, and even goes on to define these people as "successful"…. IAIN CAMPBELL, School View, Polmont (letter)
Scotsman 27.9.02 Hunting - It is highly ironic of Roy I McCallum to accuse those seeking to ban fox-hunting of class war (Letters, 25 September). Surely, it is just the opposite… Matthew Egan LINLITHGOW (letter)
Scotsman 25.9.02 Government is displaying class envy at its worst - I am a city person and I have never been on the back of a horse, but I can recognise class envy at its worst when I see it; and if the government presses ahead with a ban on hunting after Sunday’s demonstration, then there will be little doubt about its real motives. If some 400,000 obviously respectable people cannot change the government policy by peaceful means, they are entitled to conclude that only violence and hooliganism are effective…. ROY L McCALLUM, Pollok Drive, Bishopbriggs, Glasgow
A demonstration intended to highlight serious issues affecting country-dwellers, such as transport and children’s education, was again hijacked by the pro-hunting lobby which seized the chance to trot out old arguments in defence of its primitive rituals…. WALTER J ALLAN, Colinton Mains Drive, Edinburgh (letters)

Scotsman 30.9.02 Frightened Newspapers have said there was no unity on the Countryside March. We may all have had different grievances, but no-one on the march was in any doubt that we were completely united in our fears… Aileen Aiton BEMERSYDE, MELROSE (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 30.9.02 TIME FOR A TAX ON 'FOOD MILES' - I went on the Liberty and Livelihood March to London - I was brought up on farm although a townie now… This Government has got to start listening. ROBERT GORE Gainsborough. (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 30.9.02 REAL RURAL ISSUES NOT ADDRESSED - I was not surprised to see a picture in the Herald Express of Tory MP Anthony Steen on the "tweed and corduroy" march in London. Pity he and thousands of others taking part didn't find time and a few years ago to turn out for the thousands of miners, steelworkers, engineers and others who were confined to the scrap-heap as a result of the then Conservative government's policies… ARTHUR PARKER, Swallowfields, Totnes (letter)

Argus 30.9.02 No option for foxes but to flee the land - Congratulations on a good, fair report of the Countryside Alliance demonstration in London (The Argus, September 23). The general public has been misled into believing the march was to "defend the freedom" of those who wish to continue with the "harmless leisure activity of fox-hunting"… -Dr Bob Potter, Addison Road, Hove (letter in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 30.9.02 HUNTING I am writing in after reading the letter (September 26) suggesting a "cat hunt" in cities towns and villages across the country on mopeds and skateboards… When debating a serious subject like fox hunting it's always nice to hear from someone with a keen sense of humour. Henry Wells, Hampton Park, Redland. (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 26.9.02 THE ALTERNATIVE HUNT DEBATE - I am fed up with the amount of coverage that the media is giving to The Liberty and Livelihood campaign, which seems to me to have been hijacked by the pro-hunt lobby… An alternative to hunting innocent foxes and deer with dogs is very, very simple and is as follows: Why not rid the cities of pests which are running wild, killing our native birds and defecating in our gardens? Yes, the domestic cat… Is it not more natural for dogs to chase cats? Followers of the hunt could still ride their horses and enjoy the social event, while doing Britain a great service… (letter)


The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 29.9.02 OFFICIALS NEED TO GROW AN UNDERSTANDING WITH FARMERS - Robert Hawley - A WEEK ago I had the privilege and honour of being one of the 400,000 who attended the countryside march in London….Robert Hawley is a member of the Staffordshire branch of the Council for the Protection of Rural England… The march was hyped as being predominantly concerned with hunting, this was certainly not the case with those I met. The emphasis was strongly on farming and the countryside… (story)

Scotland on Sunday 29.9.02 Talking Stock - Will Brown scrap stamp duty on share dealing? You better not believe it - Richard Northedge - THERE were two great London gatherings last week: the Liberty and Livelihood march staged by the Countryside Alliance and the City alliance rally that united the investment and corporate lobbyists to call for an end to stamp duty on shares. … But the government gave the City alliance the same response it gave the country marchers: it ignored them. Ministers did not even comment on the impressive turnout or say the message was muddled: they pretended it had not happened. … (story)

Sunday Telegraph 29.9.02 Ignore marchers' anger at your peril, Mr Blair By David Harrison, Environment Correspondent The government's chief adviser on the countryside will warn Tony Blair this week that rural frustration will spill into civil disobedience if he ignores concerns raised during the Liberty and Livelihood march in London. Ewen Cameron, the chairman of the Countryside Agency, who was appointed Mr Blair's rural advocate two years ago, will tell the Prime Minister that the protesters are angry at the Government's failure to tackle problems that "drain the lifeblood" from the countryside…. (story)

Sunday Times 29.9.02 Mean fields: Jonathan Miller: A better class of bumpkin - I perform a somewhat abbreviated and politically incorrect version of the country bumpkins’ demo. The uncharitable would call it protesting club class… Sunday morning dawns. It is a short walk from the Miller billet in Soho to the posh Institute of Directors on Pall Mall, where I breakfast in company with Vinnie Jones, shooter; Clarissa Dickson Wright, maker of game pie; Kate Hoey, renegade politician; and Charlie Wilson, horseman and editor, a former boss, presently a Countryside Alliance director… The government’s designated spokesman is Alun Michael, a Defra minister. Michael has not spoken to anyone at the march as he did not go. He instead spends the day touring television studios where he declares: “I don’t know why they are marching.”… (story)

Scotland on Sunday 29.9.02 Blair riding for a fall if he ignores groundswell of rural anger - Gerald Warner - DEVOLUTION for rural Britain: will that be the outcome of the countryside crusade that we saw on the march last Sunday? In the wake of the Liberty and Livelihood demonstration, there is now talk of creating some kind of council to represent rural dwellers. This could be the acorn from which will grow a mighty oak on which Blairism will be hanged… The total, wilful lack of understanding of rural concerns by New Labour and its media acolytes is a repudiation of democratic responsibility that will backfire on them…. The BBC, under the control of Labour supporters Greg "Pravda" Dyke and Gavyn "Izvestia" Davies, did its loyal best to prevent news of the peasant revolt distressing the urban public… (story)

Observer 29.9.02 A big day out in Leftistan - Old and new radicals joined forces to make the Stop the War coalition feel more like the start of something, says Euan Ferguson - It was nice to see things back to normal. There were reports, after last Sunday's countryside march, that the police, for the first time in history, had agreed with the organisers about the number of marchers. Yesterday afternoon, as London limped to a halt because of the massive anti-war/pro-Palestine peace march, we were back in happy and familiar territory… (story)
Observer 29.9.02 Foxes stir the soul of a nation: Saddam doesn't - Clive Aslet, editor of Country Life, was in his element at the Liberty and Livelihood March last Sunday. Yesterday he found a similar sense of solidarity from a very different set of people… This is a tale of two marches. Last Sunday, I walked up to the Liberty and Livelihood March from Victoria, but then had to double back from Hyde Park - the start - because of the huge crowd waiting to join. Having my seven-year-old son with me, I nipped in through a gap in the barriers, or he would have been exhausted before he had begun. Yesterday, I joined the anti-Iraq war march. It was noisy, passionate, full of people who were equally frustrated at the failure of democracy to take account of their views. But their numbers were more of a stream than a tide… (story)

Observer 29.9.02 Just whose liberty and livelihood is being milked? Damien McCrystal - Of all the placards held up by protesters at last Sunday's countryside march, the one which struck me most said: 'Milk farm-gate price 9p, supermarket price 36p'. How could this be? Surely, if consumers pay 36p a pint, a decent slice ought to go to the producers, oughtn't it?... (story)

Sunday Times 29.9.02 Letters to the Editor: Still taking liberties with our livelihood … I do not hunt, but I am prepared to go to prison in the cause of freedom. Many banners reminded the government that hunting has been banned only once: by Adolf Hitler…. Thus the government, which pays lip service to a “vibrant rural economy”, strangles us with overregulation. On our farm we produce best quality beef and lamb, raised to the highest welfare standards. But we cannot compete with countries with lower wages and regulatory standards — or even with other European Union countries more generously supported by their governments…. Lady Emma Tennant, Newcastleton, Roxburghshire (letter)

Sunday Times 29.9.02 TOWNIES: What is this townie ignorance quoted by Ian Botham and others last week? Am I the only “ignorant townie” that supports the Countryside Alliance? Not at all — perhaps the majority of us (in common with most countryside workers) love the rural life but cannot afford to live in the country…. H Jones, Wallasey, Wirral >(letter)

Observer 29.9.02 Our country, right and wrong
So Tony Blair is being held as a scapegoat by 400,000 country and hunt supporters for the ongoing problems of our countryside (News, last week)… If the House of Lords were to allow a Bill to pass through giving farmers the right to purchase their land in the same way that Margaret Thatcher gave that right to council house tenants that, too, would help… D.E. Gardiner, Weymouth, Dorset
The Countryside Alliance is probably pleased that it mustered a crowd of 400,000 last weekend. What a pathetic turnout. The streets of Islington, Liverpool and Manchester are regularly lined with more than twice that number when the local football clubs win a trophy. Michael Lynch, Nottingham
I have become an enthusiastic supporter of the Countryside Alliance's desire to march, en masse, through London. This morning I have enjoyed rural peace and tranquillity as never before… Kevin Caveney, Newton Abbot, Devon
I trust all those who went on the Liberty and Livelihood march will do their best to support farmers by boycotting the large supermarkets and 'shopping local'. Caroline Glover, Bishops Nympton, N. Devon (letters)

Sunday Telegraph 29.9.02 Basil Brush is vermin - While returning by train from Sunday's monumentally successful Liberty and Livelihood March so admirably supported in advance by your paper. I was amazed to see Basil Brush on the front of the TV & Radio section. This cuddly and lovable character has gone a long way towards wrongly convincing children and urban dwellers that the fox is anything but the mass-murdering vermin that it is… (letter)


Guardian 28.9.02 Blair's letter sidesteps rural row - Protest march was a credit to Countryside Alliance, says PM - Anne Perkins, political correspondent - Tony Blair has backed away from confrontation with the Countryside Alliance, telling its chairman, John Jackson, that last Sunday's demonstration was "a credit" to the pro-hunting organisation. In a letter that appears to seek to isolate the question of a hunting ban from wider issues of of rural decline, Mr Blair said: "While you will not be surprised to learn that I did not agree with some of the views expressed during the march, the numbers involved, and the way those took part behaved, was certainly a credit to your organisation."... Mr Michael's less conciliatory letter pointed out that farmers were not the first to suffer change, and challenged the alliance to work with him. .. Yesterday's letters suggest the government is hoping to separate hunting from other rural issues. The alliance, irritated that it had not received the letters by mid-afternoon yesterday, reacted angrily. "In the light of the A-level fiasco, we will be checking all the answers relate to the questions." (story)
Scotsman 28.9.02 Blair praises countryside march - JASON BEATTIE - LABOUR moved yesterday to head off criticism that it was indifferent to the plight of the countryside, by publishing a letter from Tony Blair praising the organisers of last weekend’s Liberty and Livelihood march. The belated response by the Prime Minister came amid concerns within Labour that the success of the march could cost the party a substantial number votes in the Scottish and Welsh elections next May... (story)

Telegraph 28.9.02 Why this nasty Guardian cartoon hit the wrong target - Everyone who joined last Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood March was loathsome, ridiculous, ugly, arrogant, loud-mouthed and intensely stupid. Most of the marchers were braying upper-class idiots, who spoke in the most hilarious accents. They said "orf", for example, when they meant "off". Can you imagine anything funnier? The few members of the working class among them also spoke in a comical way, saying "moy" (would you believe it?) instead of "my". They were selfish, sly, bloated and greedy, so inbred as barely to be human...They are my attempt to translate into words the message of the cartoon that accompanies this article, which first appeared in Monday's Guardian and is reproduced here by permission of the artist, Griffin... An image of last Sunday's march that will stick in the mind was of a small group of anti-hunt protesters in Whitehall, who were shown on the evening news. Among them was a blonde woman, who was shrieking "Scum! Scum! Scum!" into a megaphone as the marchers filed politely past...It strikes me that my friend Griffin could have made an excellent drawing of her, with his gift for caricaturing the uglier side of human nature. How odd that he chose instead to turn his vitriol against those 407,791 decent, civilised marchers, whose liberties and livelihoods are being threatened by a government that doesn't give a damn about them (story)

Telegraph 28.9.02 BBC 'advised' Fogle not to march - By Peterborough - Ben Fogle, a presenter of the Countryfile programme on BBC1, was "advised" by the corporation not to attend the Liberty and Livelihood march for fear that it would compromise his duty to impartiality. Fogle had been asked by the Countryside Alliance if he would take part in last weekend's march and speak to journalists about the issues raised. However, after consultations with his BBC bosses, Fogle turned down the invitation....(story)

Telegraph 28.9.02 Motormouth - Car-Free Days are a joke when public transport doesn't work. It's time to get real, says Mike Rutherford - So important was last Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood March in London that the other big story of the day was barely acknowledged by press and public. Quite right too. Sunday September 22 was the day country folk gave Tony Blair his biggest political fright since the fuel crisis. But it also happened to be official "Car-Free Day"... (story)

Telegraph 28.9.02 Urban dog: marching order - Continuing the life of Parker the Scottie, chronicled by his owner, Will Cohu ...We have been in London since the weekend, when we came down for the march. Following the advice in the newspaper, I left the dogs at home. We are not fox-hunters, but marched on behalf of the Ulaby and Fordington Mole Trappers, who fear the imposition of a law demanding that moles be considered and provided for in gardens... There is a sackful of problems, but they all tend towards one consequence: the erosion of community. It may not be possible to legislate to create communities, but it is certainly possible to leave alone what remains of them, and laws that attack the customs of communities are hardly helpful in this respect... My mother came from Lincolnshire with the South Wold Hunt. Like many, she thought she'd make a point and was surprised to be so dismissed by Alun Michael.... (story)

Scotsman 28.9.02 Robert McNeil's week - HOW depressing. It isn’t so much the fact of lairds, factors, lackeys, scroungers, toffs, sophists, sadists, phoneys and posers (not counting dragooned infants, estate employees "encouraged" to attend, members of the Real Countryside Alliance - named after the Real IRA - and the British National Party) marching for the right to mangle animals, as the ludicrous coverage they receive.... (story)

Western Morning News 28.9.02 BIAS AT THE BBC IS A WIDER PROBLEM - In his excellent article (WMN, September 25), Mark Daniel draws attention to the issue of BBC bias, as does the Daily Telegraph in its withering leader today (September 26) - as usual the WMN has it first!... John Kelly, Exmouth(story)

South Wales Evening Post 28.9.02 A HUNTING WE WILL GO - I was proud to be one of the 400,000 people who marched through London last Sunday in an effort to make the Government see some common sense about country sports and the country way of life... Of course some "posh" people hunt, just as they play golf, sail or go down the pub. Most hunters are far from "posh" but are ordinary people who love watching hounds work and make a small contribution to pest control at the same time. And don't tell them to go drag hunting. As someone who does just that on a regular basis I can tell you that while the two sports may look the same they are about as similar as soccer is to rugby. You can love one and hate the other, but no one puts you in jail for your preference... Clive Rees, Talycopa Farm, Llansamlet, Swansea (letter)

Manchester Evening News 28.9.02 WAS it a case of quaker-mass? I reckon the earthquake was due to Sunday's mass wave of country bumpkins in and out of London. You can't tell me that the displaced weight of half a million fat yokels with their iron pitchforks and the odd tractor didn't have a bearing on Britain's underlying rock strata... Darrell Mlynarz, Prestwich (letter)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 28.9.02 Democracy was march winner - WHATEVER your views on the aims of the Countryside Alliance you have to admire the way they organised the demonstration in London... The protest proved that in a democracy you can make your protest without resulting to thuggish behaviour. I think that democracy was the winner. COUN DAVID PEARSON, Rawstorne Street, Blackburn (letter in archive)

Telegraph 28.9.02 Not a political march - Sunday's march was not entirely about hunting, but also about the loss of the many services such as shops, post offices and affordable housing in our villages with which, in my second career as Secretary of the Rural Community Council, I was heavily involved for some 14 years when the previous government was in power... I was proud to wear my Council for the Protection of Rural England tie when marching. I am sorry that its executive committee under Sir David Ford's chairmanship decided that the CPRE should not be drawn into this "divisive issue". Cdr Keith Evans RN, Kingsley Green, Surrey (letter)

Western Daily Press 28.9.02 MARKET FORCES ARE BEHIND RURAL PLIGHT - Why was last Sunday's march aimed at the Government and not big business?... So what is the freedom that the walkers were demanding? Is it the freedom to have their way of life further supported by taxes, which they usually vote to reduce? Or simply the freedom to hound a wild animal to a cruel death? Eric Grimes Southville Bristol (letter)

Yorkshire Post 28.9.02 From: Jean Evans, Langley Drive, Norton, Malton. Sir, - I feel quite sorry for Alun Michael... When more than 400,000 marchers peacefully protested about this Government's treatment of the countryside, he accused the hunt of "trying to hijack the protest". Come on, Alun Michael, that number of people is not hijacked by anyone, they are deeply concerned about the livelihood and conditions in the countryside.... (story)

Leicester Mercury 28.9.02 THE REAL ISSUES - The article on the Countryside March in London (Mercury, Sept 21) did not expand on the real reasons for its taking place. The catalyst for the event was a threatened ban on hunting with dogs and hunters are making a last ditch attempt to protect their liberty to chase and terrorise animals for sport... Christine Harris, Loughborough. (letter)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 28.9.02 DESPAIR IN THE COUNTRYSIDE - Fox hunting is only a minor issue compared with the desolation and heartbreak in villages right across Britain... The mass demonstration of more than 400,000 was composed of people from all walks of life to demonstrate their love of the countryside to an arrogant government. NORMAN WRIGHT Forsbrook (letter)

Worcester Evening News28.9.02 Where was hunting lobby in those days? - THE Evening News (You Say, September 14) joined forces with the Countryside Alliance in promoting their "Liberty and Livelihood" march... On the livelihood theme, campaigns to save jobs are not new, and in earlier year's miners, steelworkers and many more of us lost ours as a result of Conservative Government policies. Where was the support from the hunting lobby at the demonstrations held in those days?... STAN BROWN, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 28.9.02 NFU LACKS ANY REAL LEADERSHIP ...The Countryside March of 407,791 people highlighted a deep despair at the plight of rural wrongs. We need people like Richard Haddock to be there putting some sting in for us at the Drone Club (NFU) but, ideally, agriculture and related issues is in desperate need of an agricultural alliance, with a leader of substance, ability to debate and ability to be independent of Government.It is because this is lacking that the Countryside Alliance, Farmers For Action, FMD Group and others have all been formed.J Britten address supplied (letter)


Westmorland Gazette 27.9.02 Hunters Steal March - AT THE corner of Great George Street, a bank of anti-hunt protesters stood behind a barrier, separated from their opponents by three feet of space and another barrier lined by a wall of Met police… Pat Appleton, an Ulverston-based member of the League Against Cruel Sports, said the march had succeeded in "hijacking genuine concerns about the countryside" and was wrongly portrayed as a show of strength for fox hunting…. (story)

Biggleswade Chronicle 27.9.02 COUNTRY LOVERS TAKE TO STREETS - Special report on the Liberty and Livelihood March in London on Sunday - The Biggleswade Chronicle's Pete Seward reports from the Liberty and Livelihood March in London on Sunday... The type of people I travelled with were most concerned about the congestion they might cause and were asked by the organiser to pick up any litter they saw and bring it back rather than give the city dwellers cause for complaint... One local organiser passed round a cutting from the August 24th 1947 "Sunday Dispatch". It was a letter from old Labour's Herbert Morrison... "Mr. Herbert Morrison, Lord President of the Council, opening a horticultural show yesterday at Grove Park near Bromley said: 'No state officer or local government official can prevent the people living a life of their own and any statesman who gets beyond a certain point in trying to order people about and in trying to shape their lives will have a lively time.' As long as this spirit exists there will be no Hitler arising in Britain."... The message I came away with from the marchers was that they are not generally in favour of direct action but that there was an underlying message to the Government that this could be the last such demonstration of passive solidarity (story in archive)

Carmarthen Journal 27.9.02 NOW WAIT FOR THE COUNTRY BACKLASH - It turned out even bigger than expected. Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood march was dramatic and captured a great deal of attention. Only time will tell whether it made any difference to the Government... (story)
Carmarthen Journal 27.9.02 HUNT WARNS OF ACTION BACKLASH - Carmarthen hunt supporters could be prepared to break the law and ignore a total ban on hunting if it was imposed by the Government. Dai Jones, joint master of the Carmarthenshire Hunt, said there was strong support for a continuation of hunting in the area, even if a ban was imposed.... (story)

Kent Messenger 27.9.02 Countryside marchers claim huge success (story)

Hampshire Chronicle 27.9.02 Liberty and Livelihood march report by Warwick Payne … Outside Basingstoke Station, the Hannington Silver Band played uplifting tunes to speed the marchers on their way and recall memories of colliery bands pounding out songs of defiance as miners tried to preserve their industry in the mid-1980s…. Countryside Alliance organiser, Alistair Stobart, from Dummer, Basingstoke, was keen to stress the aim of the march was to protest without causing chaos…. Keith Story, of the Winchester Meadows Conservation Alliance, attended the march with a coach party from Sparsholt. "It felt that one was with the people who represent the heart and soul of England."… (story in archive)

Hucknall Dispatch 27.9.02 HUNDREDS JOIN MOMENTOUS COUNTRYSIDE MARCH - PROTESTERS from the Dispatch district joined more than 400,000 marchers in London last weekend in the biggest public rally the capital has ever seen… The South Notts Hunt, which is based on the edge of the Dispatch district, organised ten coaches of protesters…. (story in archive)

West Cumberland Times & Star 27.9.02 CUMBRIANS JOIN IN THE GREAT MARCH … One coach organised by the Melbreak Hunt and Cumbria Terrier Club left Cockermouth at 1.30am to reach Hyde Park for the 9.30am start…. (story)

Keighley News 27.9.02 Airedale hunters join countryside march by Richard Brugger ….Two coaches departed from this area in the early hours to reach the capital in time for the demonstration. John Harding, of the Airedale Beagles, said that members wanted to continue their tradition of hunting for hares… (story in archive)

Malvern Gazette 27.9.02 March was just the beginning! COUNTRYSIDE supporters from Herefordshire and Worcestershire have hailed the Liberty and Livelihood March in London as a great success… Shirley Denton, committee member on the Clifton-on-Teme Hunt, organised two coaches for people from Bromyard to travel down to the capital…. Val Allfrey, joint master of North Ledbury Hunt, said the event was an amazing experience…. (story in archive)

Cumberland News 27.9.02 THAT WALL OF SOUND RIPPLES UP BEHIND... CHEERING AND HORN-BLOWING BOTH ROARING TOWARDS US …3.55am We climb on the coach the Bewcastle Fox Hounds. Gerry does a head count - Linda and Joe, Kathleen and Ronnie, Victoria, the lads, the men at the back (naturally), Michael and Diane, Roger with his window seat… (story)

Cumberland News 27.9.02 'TIRED AND VERY SWEATY, THERE IS THE FEELING THAT WHAT WE HAVE DONE MAY …5:00 am. I'm boarding a coach at Burneside near Kendal. laid on by James Cropper plc of Burneside. The paper manufacturer is headed up by James Cropper, Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, who has sponsored the travel arrangements for his local shoot, the Gunswick Hall Shoot…. I saw Scots cheer an English contingent, and the English cheer the Welsh. Everyone cheered the Ulstermen. I saw members of the County Clare Hunt from the Republic of Ireland not only join in when a brass band struck up Rule Britannia but doff their bowler hats in salute as it closes. 2:00 am. Burneside once more. "Cheers, Lads; see you next time". The fellowship is over - for the moment at least (story)

Hexham Courant 27.9.02 ON THE MARCH … Urban ignorance pigeon-holed the marchers as blood-soaked sadists who spend every waking hour chasing innocent little foxes to their doom, blasting pheasants out of the sky, or swigging pink gins in their stately homes. The rest of us are seen as forelock-tugging suckers on straws, leaning bucolicly on a gate leading to a countryside which miraculously looks after itself, and provides an open all hours picnic site… The sneering attitude of Countryside Minister Alun Michael has not helped dispel that feeling. Writing off the march would be a grave mistake, because feelings in the countryside are running high, and any future action might not be so peaceable. (story)

North Devon Journal 27.9.02 IGNORANCE OF RURAL WAYS - The PROPOSED ban on foxhunting was just one of many rural worries being debated by marchers on the Liberty and Livelihood demonstration…. (story)
North Devon Journal 27.9.02 COACHLOADS FROM REGION JOIN MARCH - More than 400,000 people took part in what was called the largest demonstration ever to take place in the United Kingdom. And North Devon was well represented at the Marching for Liberty and Livelihood event organised by the Countryside Alliance… (story)

Newark Advertiser 27.9.02 Countryside on the march - Advertiser reporter Billy Phillips and photographer John Raikes joined Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood march across London, in which a record numberof people protested against the state of Britain's rural economy and the Government's proposed ban on hunting with hounds…. The Grove and Rufford Hunt has around 500 members in the north Nottinghamshire area, with around 200 active hunters. Its band of protesters travelled by chartered train from Newark, with a Liberty and Livelihood logo on the front…. (story may only be on website for a week)

Kent/Sussex Courier 27.9.02 MY WORRIES FOR FARMING FUTURE … Beef farmer Laurel Stevens hired an electric scooter to take part in the Countryside Alliance Liberty and Livelihood March. She joined dozens of others on a specially chartered train from Paddock Wood Station…. Mrs Stevens is also treasurer of the Ashford Valley Hunt… (story)

Bucks Free Press 27.9.02 Rurul Britain is being ignored, say protesters By Margaret Smith - THE Countryside Alliance said Sunday's march in London was about the threat to rural life. But it was the threat to hunting which dominated the scene as 407,000 people made their way to Parliament Square with their banners and placards… Bob Pitt, from Tetsworth, has hunted with the Vale of Aylesbury for 25 years. He said: "Foxes have to be culled and it's better by hunting with dogs than by poisoning, shooting or snaring them."… (story)

Telegraph 27.9.02 Re: Dog's army - Your Comment article on the Liberty and Livelihood march (Sept 23) closed with the sentence: "If I were Mr Blair, trying to lead my nation into a war abroad, I would not be wanting one at home." It gets more complicated than that: in a coach just behind ours on the way to the march, the sign read "Wiltshire Infantry Beagles". J Taylor, Disley, Glos (letter in archive)

Telegraph 27.9.02 Don't ignore the march - Adam Nicolson's comments on farming are well wide of the mark… The British Government will not pay the agrimonetary compensatory amount negotiated many years ago to compensate for strong currencies in the EU. They also pile on welfare directives that other countries exporting the same produce to us do not have to adhere to…. They will not stop meat from other sources that have been proved to contain specified risk material - brain and spinal column - which is banned throughout Europe, and they will not have a public inquiry on the foot and mouth outbreak… Tony Blair should not ignore last Sunday's march. If ever a country needed its leader to support it, it is now. Roger Miller, Beech Farm, Shelford, Nottingham (letter in archive)

Rutland & Stamford Mercury 27.9.02 Countryside March not just about hunting - I AM in sympathy with many of the concerns which prompted the Countryside March and seriously considered joining the protest but, at 85 years-old, I decided a letter to the Mercury made more sense and may give a clearer message!... DAVID POWELL Sacrewell, Thornhaugh (letter)

Rutland & Stamford Mercury 27.9.02 March not just about hunting - IN reply to N Warde’s letter, the Countryside March is not just about hunting, nor I believe were the agribusiness people there in droves. I marched in protest at a government that does not listen, covers up misconduct in the foot-and-mouth crisis and seems to seek to reduce the number of small farmers and businesses, the core of the countryside…. FELICITY LAMIN Oakham Road, Greetham (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 27.9.02 livelihoods are at risk - BY now everyone will have seen the reports on the countryside march that took place in London at the weekend 400,000 country people marched on London to show their disgust at the way this Government has let down the countryside. What irks me is the fact that so many people think it was just a march to protect foxhunting. It wasn't…. We live in it, we harvest it, we conserve it and we will preserve it, so that you in the towns and cities can appreciate it. J CURTIS , Kingsley Avenue, Wootton Bassett (letter in archive)

Scotsman 27.9.02 Social class factor and the countryside march - I am puzzled by Fordyce Maxwell’s article, "Some questions for the ‘liberty’ marchers" (Opinion, 25 September). He claims to support the countryside, but comes across with apparent political and "class" prejudice…. PETER DEWAR-FINCH, Chapelfields Road, Acomb, North Yorkshire
Fordyce Maxwell’s dismissive view of those who took part in the liberty and livelihood march in London on Sunday is disappointing for a man who claims unimpeachable rural credentials. I am surprised that he seems to have such a low opinion of the protests from rural Britain… ALLAN MURRAY, Director, Scottish Countryside Alliance, Ingliston, Edinburgh (letters)
Scotsman 25.9.02 Some questions for the 'liberty' marchers - Fordyce Maxwell - SOME of us have spent most of a working lifetime trying to argue a case for farming and the countryside, trying to get a fair hearing against the general media tide…. ou’d need a heart of stone not to laugh at the continued insistence that the "Liberty and Livelihood" march was not just about foxhunting and dislike of the government. It was, and almost every banner and marcher interviewed confirmed it…. I HAVE said before that I have mixed feelings about hunting, but that the Westminster government, and Holyrood, should have had more important things to think about…. (story)

Mirror 27.9.02 IT'LL be a disgrace to this country if so many more people march in favour of fox hunting than march to stop innocent Iraqi civilians being killed in our name… Richard Milner, Coventry (letter)

Cambridge News 27.9.02 - Taking liberties, From Mr M Michalak, Swaffham Road Burwell - ON SUNDAY September 22, with a group of friends, I stood on the corner of Whitehall to make a peaceful protest against hunting with hounds. During the five hours that we stood there we were subjected to torrents of abuse, pelted with eggs, told to get a job by toffs who had never done a decent day’s work in their lives and threatened with castration, annihilation and every other “ation” known to man…. for me the saddest sight of all was well-heeled parents encouraging their children to spit abuse and hatred at us…. (letter)

Cambridge News 27.9.02 From John Savill, High Street, Sawston - WELL, the Countryside March has taken place quite successfully, but time now to try to make sense of it!.. It’s no good marching unless you are prepared to put your feet into very deep and complicated water; and, I might add Prince Charles, if your major reason for being in this country is to go hunting foxes, then you should indeed emigrate! (letter)

Western Daily Press 27.9.02 I RECALL MARCHING FOR A LOST CAUSE LIKE RURAL FOLK - I feel somewhat sad for all those who marched for the hunting cause in London. In their hearts, they must know they are on the losing side… J A Rowbrey Taunton Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 27.9.02 GET MESSAGE NOW, MR BLAIR? - What planet is this Government on? Certainly not the same one as the rest of us! More than 400,000 country people descended on London last Sunday, and the Rural Affairs Minister, Alun Michael, said, and I quote: "I don't know what the message is they are trying to get across."… (letter)

Western Daily Press 27.9.02 TOLPUDDLE LINK IS AN INSULT - Anyone who saw the TV news coverage of the Liberty and Livelihood march, and heard the demonstrators speak, will be under no illusion as to what it was all about. It was to oppose any restriction on the ability of the landed gentry to indulge in their favourite pastime of tormenting and killing wild animals…. R W Banister Swindon (letter)

Western Daily Press 27.9.02 PROTEST IS NOT ANTI-LABOUR … I know that many of our supporters who marched through London are also Labour supporters who do not share the views of many of the anti-hunt back-benchers in the House of Commons. For a start, the Countryside Alliance has a Labour peeress as president, a New Labour chief executive and a Fabian party chairman…. Mal Treharne Countryside Alliance Aley Somerset (letter)

Western Morning News 27.9.02 SIGNS OF DECLINING DEMOCRACY - I don't think Sunday's record-breaking Countryside Alliance march and the planned anti-war demo are at all unrelated, as Neil Young seems to think they might be in the public's mind. Both are expressions of disgust at the way that our so-called representatives ignore their duties and spend their time feathering their own nests and future prospects at our expense… Tony Maskell Newton Ferrers (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 27.9.02 IT'S CASE OF AS YOU HAVE SOWN, SO SHALL YOU REAP - There are two quite separate issues involved in the Countryside Alliance march. Firstly, fox hunting - I never realised that the liberty of people to chase small, furry animals around a field and then get a pack of wild dogs to rip them to pieces was so important… Dennis Treleaven, Address withheld on request (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 27.9.02 RURAL VOTERS FAVOURED FOLLOWING MARKET FORCES - How silly of me to think that the Countryside Alliance march had anything to do with hunting, when it was about oppressed country folk. Rural voters elected Margaret Thatcher three times… David Fanson, Beacon Lane, Whipton, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 27.9.02 SO-CALLED 'TOWNIES' LOVE THE COUNTRYSIDE TOO - I write regarding the Countryside Alliance march held in London…. how can those people who say the countryside should be left in the hands of those who know how to look after it think they are right when it is in the state it is in now?... Sandra Kendal-Ward. Beacon Avenue, Whipton, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 27.9.02 GO MARCHING EVERY DAY AND LEAVE FOXES ALONE - What a pity hunters don't go marching every day. Foxes and stags would be left alone rather than being hunted to death… M Floyd, Salway Close, Cullompton (letter)

North Devon Journal 27.9.02 HIJACKING OF ISSUES IS NOT GOING TO HELP US - Undoubtedly there were a number of coaches going to London for the Liberty and Livelihood March on Sunday from North Devon and as such we appreciate that there are a number of pressing rural issues that this Government needs to address…. However, just as last time, when the just causes of many Countryside Alliance supporters were hi-jacked by the misguided agenda of the fuel lobby, once again the hunting fraternity have taken over the march…. Ricky Knight, Co-ordinator, North Devon Green Party, Taw View Terrace, Bishops Tawton (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 27.9.02 WE MUST NOT LOSE SIGHT OF REAL ISSUE - The campaigners who marched through London last Sunday seemed to have completely missed a very important point. Intensive and factory farming methods have done more harm to our countryside than any ban on hunting ever will…. Susan Winter, The Green, Aston-on-Trent. (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 27.9.02 PROTEST RALLY WAS HIJACKED - Congratulations to the Countryside Alliance on one of the most successful protests of all time… It is, however, a shame the march appeared to be hijacked by the bloodsports fraternity…. Roger, DAR/Derby Hunt Sabs (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier 27.9.02 STOP WAVERING ON HUNTING WITH DOGS - Any reasonably sincere pro-countryside campaigners on last Sunday's so-called countryside march made a great mistake by being there. They were simply being used as lobby fodder by the Countryside Alliance fighting anti-bloodsports legislation…. Dave Wetton, Castle View, Hadlow (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier 27.9.02 SHOW DEPTH OF ANTI-HUNT SUPPORT - More than 300,000 felt strongly enough to come to London to protest their support for rural culture in general, and fox-hunting in particular. Surely, public opinion will now look to the anti-hunt brigade to demonstrate the depth of its support by attempting to stage a comparable show of strength. If they fail to mobilise significant numbers or duck the challenge, people will suspect that the only real pressure to ban hunting with any conviction comes from a few thousand unreconstructed class warriors in New Labour's urban and trade union strongholds…. Tom Lewis, Morghew Park Estate, Tenterden (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier 27.9.02 HOPE OUR EFFORTS MAKE DIFFERENCE - I marched on Sunday to defend the rights and basic liberty of those who live in the countryside. I am utterly disheartened by this Government's apparent inability to listen. I am fearful of the consequences of this… Alison Crowe, Limes Lane (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier 27.9.02 SADISTIC CRUELTY OF PASTIME … A mob of nearly 400,000 marched in London, but how many had faced honestly the problems aired? How many simply wanted a jolly good day out?... Rosemary Alexander, Howbourne (letter)

Newark Advertiser 27.9.02 Point made - With a majority of over 200 in the House of Commons, Labour can do anything it wishes but 400,000 protesters must carry some message to Blair and co… ALBERT WALKER, Fisher Close, Collingham. (letter may only be on website for a week)

Hexham Courant 27.9.02 PUT MONEY WHERE OUR MOUTHS ARE - Congratulations to the thousands of North-East people who helped make Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood March one of the biggest demonstrations in our history and almost certainly the most peaceful for its size. I read with disappointment but little surprise that some Ministers were claiming that they were unsure what message to take from the march… The nation cannot afford to let agriculture continue on its current alarming spiral of decline. The whole rural economy and the social and environmental well-being of the countryside are increasingly at risk as the farming population dwindles and vanishes…. Antony Haslam, Regional director, Country Land & Business Association. (letter)

Wiltshire Times 27.9.02 WHEN he was little, my eldest son was in the last class of a small rural school that was closed down with only nine children left…. . The simplistic claims of the Countryside Alliance do not actually stand up. JOHN BOWLEY, Jasmine Way, Trowbridge (letter in archive)

Wiltshire Times 27.9.02 THE recent Countryside March drew attention to many worthwhile causes and inequalities in our countryside by country folk, including farmers and landowners… Just who is capable of being responsible for the wise stewardship of our environment in the countryside? What kind of quality of liberty and livelihood are we striving for? DAVID J OVENS, Bratton Road, West Ashton, Trowbridge. (letter in archive)

Lancaster Citizen 27.9.02 A cover for fox hunters - THE `nobs' and their `hangers-on' have had their day for protesting about countryside rights - in reality a cover for defending fox and stag hunting `rights'… Where were these `CA' people when rural rail links and stations were shut down by the Tory pro-roads lobby led by Marples and Beeching in the 1960s?... Those most concerned about the other issues the pro-hunters have tried to hijack should turn instead to the trade union and socialist movement for real and genuine support and assistance… Steve Metcalfe, Palatine Ave, Lancaster (letter in archive)


Tamworth Herald 26.9.02 HUNT MARCHES TO PROTECT THE COUNTRYSIDE - LUKE DICICCO - More than a thousand supporters of the historic Atherstone Hunt descended on London this week to fight the Government plans to abolish fox hunting... (story)

Morpeth Herald 26.9.02 MORPETH JOINS LONDON MARCH CASTLE Morpeth was strongly represented at the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood March on Sunday, as 400,000 people converged on London to drag the plight of the countryside into the capital. Ponteland North County councillor Richard Dodd was there in his capacity as Countryside Alliance Regional Director…. Ponteland East County Councillor and Joint Master of Morpeth Foxhounds, Michael Jeans, was also stewarding at Whitehall…. (story in archive)

Clitheroe Advertiser & Times 26.9.02 Rural residents head for Lonon to join in Countryside March by John Turner - SEVERAL hundred Ribble Valley residents organised their early morning calls to advance on London to give the Government a resounding message in the "Peasants' Revolt" 2002-style. The main thrust was from Gisburn, where four coaches left the Auction Mart carrying 180 people, mainly supporters of the Pendle Forest and Craven Hunt…. (story)

Amesbury Journal 26.9.02 Marchers make their case for the country - THOUSANDS of people from the Salisbury and New Forest areas helped to make history on Sunday… (story in archive)

Cambridge Times 26.9.02 - A GAP of more than 30 years separated farmer Duncan Boughton taking to the streets to protest against Labour Government policies. On Sunday he spearheaded protest from the March area to join 400,000 supporters of the Countryside Alliance in London. "In the early 60s we took on Harold Wilson about the state of the industry," said Mr Boughton. "On Sunday we did it to protest about not only the state of the industry today but to allow people the freedom to enjoy the countryside. (story)

Wisbech Standard 26.9.02 MP in London march for 'solidarity' - NORTH-East Cambridgeshire MP Malcolm Moss pictured with farmers and other protestors from the Fens who took part in the Liberty and Livelihood march in London on Sunday… (story)

Northwich Chronicle 26.9.02 Marchers give voice to rural resentment By David Hinde, Northwich Chronicle - TONY Blair has been urged to listen to the needs of the countryside after Sunday's March for Liberty and Livelihood in Westminster… A spokesman for the Cheshire Hunt estimated the true number of protesters was closer to half a million than 400,000. Such were the numbers waiting to pass through the off icial counting point, thousands didn't manage to do so before the day ended…. (story)

Wilts & Glos Standard 26.9.02 The Liberty and Livelihood March by James Cowling … John Phillips, a Bibury farmer and a member of the Vale of the White Horse Hunt, said: "I don't see why an rural majority should be ruled by a urban minority… Mark Hill, joint master of the VWH hunt, said: "The government has not even put forward a plan for the future if there is a ban on hunting or how to put right the consequences of it."… (story in archive)

Somerset County Gazette 26.9.02 COUNTRYSIDE campaigners were in determined mood this week after what is being claimed as the clearest message from beleaguered rural communities… (story in archive)

Penarth Times 26.9.02 It's barbaric - I read with interest the article by Gemma Mitchell on the RSPCA campaign to ban hunting with dogs. This was a very timely piece considering the march for liberty and livelihood last Sunday. While I could understand the plight of rural village post offices, shops and schools, I could not support their march because of their policy on foxhunting…. Name and address supplied (By e-mail) (letter in archive)

Driffield Times 26.9.02 400,000 COUNTRY VOICES - HUNDREDS of countryside protesters from the Driffield area joined the 407,000 Liberty and Livelihood marchers who demonstrated in London on Sunday…. Driffield farmer Paul Temple joined the march with his family. He told the Driffield Times yesterday: "It was a tremendous day for the countryside. I was quite bowled over by the amount of support the march received…" (story in archive)

Southern Daily Echo 26.9.02 Hunting ban sounds like disaster for my business by Fiona Griffiths - WHEN Ian Compton joined campaigners in London for the Country-side Alliance march, his liberty and livelihood really were at stake. A ban on fox-hunting would spell the end of Ian's business - as Britain's only manufacturer of hunting horns. Ian employs a team of ten at Calcutt and Sons in Sutton Scotney, near Winchester, where the horns are handmade out of sheets of copper… He also denied hunting is cruel, adding: "The cruelty is when they're shot and maimed. "With a hunted fox it's either killed instantly or it gets away."… (story in archive)

Scotsman 26.9.02 Rite of passage for the virginal marchers - Jenny Hjul- AMANDA Platell, William Hague’s one-time press spokeswoman, let slip at the Liberty and Livelihood march that she’d never been on a march in her life before. Amanda is roughly of my generation, was university educated, albeit in Australia, and is noticeably gregarious, so how did she manage to escape marching? Her confession is shocking and suggests a misspent youth… (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 26.9.02 COUNTRYSIDE PLEAS BACKED - Backing for the aims of the Liberty and Livelihood March in London last weekend has been voiced by the leader of East Lindsey District Council. Coun Mick Capes said: "It is vital that those living in rural areas win the ears of decision-makers."… (story)

Northern Echo 26.9.02 John North: Marching with the rat pack - SCOTCH Corner, Sunday, 6.30am. All manner of folk await all kinds of buses, comparing lapel badges like old sweats' campaign medals. "That was the Edinburgh march, that was the Newcastle..." The column is heading south with the Shildon Countryside Movement, good down-to-earth lads, whose chairman Mike Hardy is warm in his still somnolent greeting. "Bloody hell," he says, "the things you see when you haven't got a gun..." At Watford Gap, where there are folk in plus fours - to us Shildon lads, plus fours is five - Mike Hardy gets his first text message from the Countryside Alliance, admirably organising the big event. "Be peaceful, be proud, we're winning," it says. "Nee kickin' heads in," the chairman translates…. At 1.35pm there's another message on Mike's mobile: "200,000 and counting." The pipers play Scotland the Brave, the Irish band takes the Long Way to Tipperary. To keep the Welsh happy, there are a few choruses of Oggy-oggy-oggy, as well…. We're followed throughout by the Glaisdale Hunt, though the scent may be different from usual… (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 26.9.02 REBEL FARMERS' WARNING AS BLAIR GOES TO GROUND - Tony Blair disappeared off to his rural retreat last night, still refusing to comment on last Sunday's massive countryside march… And last night, militant farming activists warned it was a question of when, rather than if more direct action begins… (story)

Lynn News (26.9.02) Holkham fair marches on - THIS year's two-day Holkham Country Fair was moved forward a day to allow supporters of the Countryside Alliance to travel to London for the Liberty and Livelihood March on Sunday…. (story in archive)

Wear Valley Advertiser 26.9.02 The day the country went to town … More than 25,000 people from the North-East and North Yorkshire crammed on to specially chartered trains and buses to take them to the capital…. Gary Watchman, from Sedgefield, a member of the South Durham Hunt, based in Wingate, close to Prime Minister Tony Blair's constituency home, said: "It's gone tremendously well and the support has just been overwhelming."… (story in archive)

Evesham Journal 26.9.02 Half-million marchers make their voice heard …. There were nearly 500 people on the North Cotswold Hunt special train from Evesham and Moreton for the area… Jamie Smith, of the North Cotswold Hunt, who helped organise the event, said: "It was an absolutely marvellous turnout…" Rob Adams, of the Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt, said: "It was a very successful day and well organised…." Sir Michael Spicer, MP for West Worcestershire, said: "I am proud that so many of my constituents took part.." Peter Luff, MP for Mid Worcestershire, who has been one of the prime movers for the "middle way," said: "I'm more and more convinced that that banning hunting will increase animal suffering in the countryside in the countryside."… While the countryside marched on London, Friends of the Cotswold Support Group for the Abolition of Hunting held a "Cruelty-Free Countryside Day" with a picnic and a litter-pick on the Thames Path. (story in archive)

Hereford Times 26.9.02 Villages come to a standstill as country folk head to City - WITH thousands of country folk from Herefordshire helping to bring London to a standstill last Sunday, many villages were left virtually empty… Marcher Liz Pursey, chair of the Herefordshire branch of the National Farmers' Union, said people didn't like to be militant and disobey the law but if the Government didn't take notice there would bound to be a sense of frustration and non-compliance…. Hunt whipper-in Matthew Price of Ross Harriers said that if the Government ignored the rural wishes it did so at its own peril. "If you grab a tiger by its tail you know what to expect."… Maria Smith, who works at the South Herefordshire Hunt kennels, said she was in one of the eight coaches that left Wormelow and contained a diverse section of the community - from hunt servants and farmers to shooters and fishermen - who all wanted to preserve their rights…. (story in archive)

Berwickshire News 26.9.02 DISILLUSIONED AT GOVERNMENT'S HANDLING OF COUNTRYSIDE - HUNDREDS of Berwickshire farmers, hunters and supporters travelled to London on Sunday to voice their anger at the government's handling of countryside issues… Between 60 to a hundred Berwickshire Hunt members and supporters also made the journey to London… Master of the Foxhounds Jeremy Whaley said: "I think we wanted to show solidarity with people in England and Wales who will be facing the same problems we were faced with in fighting the ban…" (story in archive)

Denbighshire Free Press 26.9.02 Country goes to town on the big protest march - FARMERS and landowners from Denbigh, Ruthin, Corwen and Bala joined a 400,000-strong throng of countryside campaigners which converged on London… (story in archive)

Whitehaven News 26.9.02 COPELAND CROWDS JOIN LONDON PROTEST MARCH - HUNDREDS of people from Copeland joined the thousands of protesters who converged on London on Sunday for the Countryside Alliance march… Local huntsman, Stan Ellwood, made it along to Egremont Crab Fair on Saturday night, but only to apologise for the lack of other country folk at the event. Ellwood usually leads locals in blowing a horn and singing country songs, but there were no takers in the adults section of either event…. "Most of my fellows have gone to London, they are fighting for the countryside, it isn't just about fox hunting but is generally about the way that we are being treated by this government, we must fight Tony Blair." (story)

Buckingham Advertiser 26.9.02 MARCHING FOR THEIR BELIEFS - THE countryside was out in force on Sunday as representatives from every country industry descended on the capital to show the Government the sheer numbers involved in the campaign for what they call the country way of life… Nicola Taylor, a 10-year Master of The Bicester Hunt until 1990 said: "The country way of life is being attacked as we know it, of which hunting is a small but important issue…" (story in archive)

Cambrian News 26.9.02 MP missed march - spokesman on agricultural affairs, of “turning his back on the farmers of Wales” by failing to attend the Liberty and Livelihood rural rights march in London on Sunday. National Farmers Union, Cymru’s manager for Mid and North Wales, Emyr Hughes, believes that the MP should have been supporting the farmers of Wales, rather than staying at the Plaid Cymru Conference his political party’s conference in London at the weekend… HUNDREDS of Ceredigion farming families, and other countryside enthusiasts, were amongst the estimated 400,000 protesters at the rural rights march in London… (story in archive)

Canary Wharf Weekly 26.9.02 OO-AR YOU LISTENING? - Country marchers troop through Wharf - Aaron Langmaid - OVER 10,000 farmers from across the country filed through Canary Wharf before the largest demonstration of its kind in British history… (story)

Ely Standard 26.9.02 On the march for rural life - EURO-MP Robert Sturdy praised the thousands of protesters from East Anglia who marched through central London on Sunday to highlight the needs of rural communities… (story)

Redditch Advertiser/Alcester Chronicle 26.9.02 Capital day for protest by Becky Procter … Redditch councillors Karen Lumley and Anita and Brandon Clayton attended the Liberty and Livelihood march organised by the Countryside Alliance…. (story in archive)

Boston Standard 26.9.02 MARCHING ON... The 407,791 Liberty and Livelihood marchers included many coachloads from this area. The South Wold Hunt alone sent ten 53-seater coaches… One demonstrator locked in the queues had a poster saying: 'I only came out for the papers'. Another was proud of his poster which read: 'Canabis and caravans, the only crops profitable'…. There was little activity from anti-hunting protestors, with only a handful in evidence. But one girl carried a poster with a chilling message for the marchers: 'While you lot are here, my mates are robbin' your houses'…. (story in archive)

Melton Times 26.9.02 A GREAT DAY ON THE MARCH - COUNTRYSIDE supporters in the borough say they are delighted with how the Liberty and Livelihood march went in London on Sunday…. John Martin, senior joint-master of the Belvoir Hunt, dismissed the suggestion put forward in some quarters that hunt protesters had hijacked the march to suit their own ends. He said: "The main issue was hunting. People had their other arguments but 99 per cent went there because of hunting issues."… The protest had the firm support of Rutland and Melton MP Alan Duncan, who was at the front of the Liberty march. He said: "It could not have been a more powerful statement of people's feelings. What a contrast to left-wing marches where there are riots and litter…"

Spalding Guardian/Lincs Free Press 26.9.02 COUNTRY PEOPLE JOIN LIBERTY AND LIVELIHOOD MARCH … A coach organised by Long Sutton and District Agricultural Society was one of thousands which travelled to London for the Liberty and Livelihood march…. (story in archive)

Grantham Journal 26.9.02 HUNT SUPPORTERS JOIN MARCH - Around 1,000 hunt supporters from the Grantham area joined the Countryside Alliance´s Liberty and Livelihood March in London on Sunday… Chairman of Belvoir Hunt Tor Owen said: "It took quite a long time to get there but once we met the other march we were counted as we marched in silence past the Cenotaph and finished on Westminster Bridge…." (story in archive)

Leighton-Linslade Citizen 26.9.02 COUNTRYSIDE PROTESTORS LIGHT WING BEACON - THE rural way of life is under threat and country people must take up the challenge or communities will be destroyed, Sir Nicholas Bonsor told a rally of more than 200 people last week. He was speaking at a gathering on Wing Airfield, at which one of nearly 3,000 beacons were lit in support of the Countryside Alliance march called Liberty and Livelihood…. Supporting the Countryside Alliance march, which took place on Sunday, was one way in which country people were making their voice heard, he said… (story in archive)

Stroud News & Journal 26.9.02 Thousands of locals protested in London … Representatives from hunts throughout the area including Prince Charles' Beaufort Hunt all attended…. Painswick horse trainer Tom George returned home from the March to find his property vandalized… On their return home they found part of their schooling equipment, the fences used to teach horses, had been broken. Mr George said: "There is no doubt in my mind that this was done by anti-hunt campaigners. They had already vandalised our posters for the march."…

Cornish Guardian 26.9.02 CORNWALL GOES ON THE MARCH - After months of waiting the day finally arrived when rural Cornwall made a stand with its countryside kin across Britain…. (story)
Cornish Guardian 26.9.02 CORNISH MARCHERS MAKE THEIR POINT - Tens of thousands of countryside supporters from all over Cornwall marched on London last Sunday in one of the biggest demonstrations ever seen in the capital - more than 400,000 people protested, according to the organisers… I took an impartial view of the event and joined the East Cornwall Hunt coach to report the Liberty and Livelihood march for myself… Farmer Antony Dawe and Richard Chinn, of Fal Valley Beagles "pest control", proudly wore their yellow and gold rugby shirts and carried the Cornish flag…. (story)
Cornish Guardian 26.9.02 'SERIOUS PROBLEMS IN THE COUNTRY' - Coach 14 from East Cornwall carried a wide cross section of country people who all said they were defending a way of life… They included Graham Higgins, a farmer and master huntsman at East Cornwall, who said the issues are far bigger than fox hunting…. Brian Macintosh, 70, a retired farm manager, went on his first hunt in 1945 in Northumberland and later went on to ride with North Cornwall… (story)
Cornish Guardian 26.9.02 'EFFORT WAS WORTH IT TO DEFEND OUR WAY OF LIFE' - …The East Cornwall coaches were organised by Helen Higgins, the wife of farmer and master huntsman Graham Higgins…. (story)
Cornish Guardian 26.9.02 A NEW SPIRIT OF DETERMINATION - After Sunday's Countryside March, rural campaigners "must stick together if they are to reverse the urban bias of the last 20 years," said North Cornwall MP Paul Tyler… (story)
Cornish Guardian 26.9.02 KEEPING A WATCH A cornish helicopter charity was keeping a watchful eye over vacant farms at the weekend as farmers took part in the Countryside Alliance march… (story)

South Wales Evening Post 26.9.02 IGNORE DYING PROTESTS OF THIS ENDANGERED SPECIES The Countryside Alliance rally held in London last weekend to promote its pro-hunting agenda was certainly attended by many determined people but large numbers and strength of emotion do not automatically equate with a just cause…. The hunting down and killing of wild animals which are in a state of terror by howling packs of dogs remains the barbarity it always was… Stuart Walters, Llwyn Carw, Morriston, Swansea (letter)

Redditch Advertiser/Alcester Chronicle 26.9.02 Ban would bring worse pain - Surely the loss of the right to hunt with dogs will be the animals lovers' gain? On the contrary. If a Government heavily biased towards the urban middle class imposes a ban upon a rural population who choose to hunt, then more pain lies ahead for the fox… I want a Government that spends its time tackling these issues for the benefit of all. A Government that allows people to live their lives responsibly in the way they choose and that protects its citizens from prejudice and bigotry. I see none of these and it is to deliver this message that I was in London on September 22 for the Liberty and Livelihood march. Steve Barras, Alvechurch (letter in archive)

Tavistock Times 26.9.02 ‘Crass stupidity’ - THE Countryside March was at times a stirring and moving occasion as well as a depressing one. The whole crass stupidity of this awful government was encapsulated by the fact that within five minutes of leaving Waterloo to walk to the start of the march at Blackfriars, I had to step round or over numerous sets of homeless bodies sleeping in cardboard cartons on the pavement. Would Blair not be better employed solving the problems of the homeless and the ‘druggies’, the schools and the hospitals, the lawlessness and countless other problems that beset this country, than spending time trying to create a new criminal class with which he will then expect his already overworked and undermanned police force to cope?... R A Neon Reynolds, Close Hill, Bridestowe (letter in archive)

Berwick Advertiser 26.9.02 Put money where hearts are — in the country - SIR, — Congratulations to the thousands of north east people who helped make Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood March one of the biggest demonstrations in our history — and almost certainly the most peaceful for its size. I read with disappointment but little surprise that some ministers were claiming that they were unsure what message to take from the march… ANTONY HASLAM, Regional Director, Country Land & Business Association. via e-mail. (letter)

Evesham Journal 26.9.02 Who is fighting for us? - The man standing next to me on the Circle Line train after the Liberty and Livelihood march last Sunday said "these things travel at a hell of a rate."… He wasn't interested in fox hunting. He just wanted to stop having to pay his neighbour's daughter hard earned money from his meagre income for her to fill in the blizzard of Defra and other Government forms which leave him bemused…. ROY JENKINS, Meerings, Weston-sub-Edge. (letter in archive)

Evesham Journal 26.9.02 Bombarded by boards and stickers - MAKING a trip to the Cotswolds I felt bombarded with Liberty and Livelihood boards and stickers. I thought about the lack of liberty the hunted animal had when it was chased to death, often with its escape routes blocked up… JANET CUMMINGS, Tower Road, Rugby, Warwickshire. (letter in archive)

Glasgow Herald 26.9.02 Rural mistake - THE big losers in last Sunday's freedom and liberty march were those rural people who associated themselves with the Countryside Alliance in the hope that issues other than hunting would be clearly represented…. Angus Macmillan, Meikle Boturich, nr Balloch (letter may be in archive)

Western Daily Press 26.9.02 DO KIDS KNOW WHAT GOES ON IN COUNTRY? Sir - You reported the Countryside Alliance chairman, Mr John Jackson, as being impressed by the huge number of family groups and children present at the Liberty and Livelihood march… But how many parents would have taken their children had they had to witness the violence of a live fox or hare being torn apart?... C P Harrell Pill North Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 26.9.02 SUBSIDIES ARE FROM THE EU - In your report of the Prime Minister's reaction to the countryside march, the Government spokesman was quoted as saying that farming receives £3billion in subsidies from the British Government. In fact, any payments come from the EU under the Common Agricultural Policy as 'nondiscretionary funds', which is paid to every farmer in the EU. Britain is the only country in the EU that has no national support system for farming… Pat Harrison Chelwood Bristol (letter)

Banbury Guardian 26.9.02 NATION'S RURAL GUARDIANS - I WOULD like to point out to Rod Prewer (Your View, Banbury Guardian, September 12) that the right to hunt was given to us by God – See Genesis 1.27 and 28, King James version…. The Angling Conservation Association prosecutes companies for poisoning waterways. It’s fishing clubs who restock rivers – whether you hunt with dogs, ferrets, guns or fishing rods these are the real life people who are the guardians of the countryside. Isn’t it just as cruel to build houses and factories on the countryside that deprives all wildlife of its habitat. So come on Mr Prewer stop living in the Walt Disney world of animals. It’s a myth. Reg Crain, Cherry Road, Banbury (letter)
Banbury Guardian 19.9.02 MARCHERS ARE BENT ON CRUELTY - I am writing concerning the article about marching for the country (Banbury Guardian, September 5). This march is a march for cruelty. It is a bloody liberty not a civil liberty… I for one will not be there, and nor will many more. Anybody wishing to join the League Against Bloodsports. Please contact me on 01295 259217. Rod Prewer, Hazeldene Garden, Banbury (letter)

New Post Leader (26.9.02) IF THEY ARE SO WELL OFF, THEN WHY... REGARDING the letter from Mr G Forster, September 5. Can Mr Forster tell my why if farmers are so well off, why they have the highest suicide rate of any industry, why so many are leaving the industry and why so many of their heirs are not continuing the family business? I am not a farmer nor do I hunt with the hounds. I do provide a pest control service to farmers with the aid of dogs and the most natural way to cull rats, rabbits, fox etc is with dogs…. LOL DUNN, Prestdale Avenue, Blyth. (letter)
New Post Leader 19.9.02 NO ONE BELIEVES HARD UP FARMERS ANYMORE - ACCORDING to Richard Dodd, the Countryside Alliance Director, the rural community are to march on London again. Actually they are catching a bus. He blames MPs for all the troubles of the countryside, citing the proposed ban on hunting with dogs as being the final nail in the coffin. I suspect country folk said the same thing when they banned bear baiting and organised dog fights many years ago… G FORSTER, Blyth (letter)

Western Morning News 26.9.02 WHAT A MAGNIFICENT TURNOUT - The senior Labour MP Gerald Kaufman is quoted as having said of the Countryside March on Sunday that: "One quarter of a million people marching means 99.6 per cent of the British population are not marching… Mr Kaufman has got his figures wrong (over 400,000 people marched)… However, if numbers is what it is all about, let Mr Kaufman organise a similar event for the supporters of a ban on hunting with dogs, and see how many people march for that. Mark Sanders, Taunton (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 26.9.02 IT WAS A MARCH FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY AND NO MISTAKE What a lovely peaceful day Sunday, September 22, was. Our gain was London's loss. It is a pity that those people who care about the countryside issues of affordable housing, lack of services and post offices closing are trying to get their views across and tying it in with the hunters' Countryside Alliance…. Kathy Moyle, Collins Park, East Budleigh (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 26.9.02 Fox and fence - MY letter suggesting that the Countryside Alliance march was purely in support of hunting with hounds has elicited the expected response from the likes of J Curtis and JP Hunter… My dad kept chickens for years but he had a novel way to beat the fox: it was called a fence. PHIL BEAVEN, Merton Avenue, Swindon (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 24.9.02 Farmers killed poor cock robin - Many of the insects, butterflies and creepy-crawlies that these birds used to rely on have been slowly wiped out by farmers with their insecticides, pesticides, artificial fertilisers and weedkillers. As for his comment about a mangy fox biting heads off chickens, surely this is a better way to die than being ripped to pieces by a pack of hounds or spending your life in a battery cage never seeing daylight… M KING, Wootton Bassett, (full address supplied) (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 20.9.02 Urban folk will never understand hunting - The letter writer Phi Beavan (Evening Advertiser, September 13) when referring to the popular forthcoming Countryside Alliance march says " a large majority of country folk enjoy animal abuse and cruelty." Where is the actual evidence for such a stupid statement please?... I spent many years hunting in the Wiltshire countryside and elsewhere in the UK and can truthfully say I never saw any cases of animal abuse or cruelty whatsoever. N J D GALLIMORE, Santa Barbara, California, USA (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 20.9.02 There are more foxes in towns than the country - Re: `Who killed cock robin', firstly I would like to know how many farmers keep hens in an old fashioned hen house? Not many! We all know that most hens are condemned to a hellish life as battery hens…. It is time to accept that what these `country folk' want is us off their land and the right to carry on barbaric and archaic cruelty…. (Miss) J Eatwell, Castleton Road, Middleleaze, Swindon (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 19.9.02 Drivers blamed - MR BEAVEN'S views of the Countryside Alliance, as expressed in his letter of Friday, September 13, are unsurprisingly narrow. Likewise, his monumental ignorance of the crisis facing rural England is equalled only by his intestinal dislike of the countryside and the people in it… J P Hunter, Kerry Close, Shaw, swindon (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 18.9.02 Who killed cock robin? …Phil Beaven (Letters, September 13) says of next week's Countryside March to London that it is `purely in support of fox hunting and nothing more' and that there are `some misguided souls without the power of independent thought who are going along for a day out'. This march is not about fox hunting. It is to demand that our Government governs for all people and recognises minority rights, and to highlight that country people are distressed, dissatisfied and disregarded… J CURTIS, Kingsley Avenue, Wootton Bassett, Swindon (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 13.9.02 Not a great day out - In Brian Sedgley's letter (Evening Advertiser, September 10) about the Countryside Alliance march on Sunday, September 22, he somehow forgot to mention that the march is purely in support of hunting with hounds nothing more and nothing less…. Phil Beaven, Merton Avenue, Swindon (letter in archive)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 26.9.02 Is Charles fit to be king? THE recent pro-Liberty/Livelihood march in London by the Countryside Alliance was impressive, but somewhat confusing. What more freedom do the farmers want? To spray more pesticide, insecticide and other chemicals to produce greater crop yields?... B DOWNHAM, Beatrice Place, Blackburn. (letter in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 26.9.02 … Your comment (News & Star, September 23) seems to think the Government should not ignore those who marched, even though for every one who did, 49 people stayed away… ELAINE MILBOURN, Torpenhow, Wigton (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 26.9.02 VITAL COUNTRYSIDE ISSUES ARE OFTEN BEING IGNORED - It is a pity that the views of people who support hunting with hounds have been able to dominate the ongoing campaign by the Countryside Alliance to highlight the problems of rural areas… ANDREW STEVENSON Barden Road Nottingham (letter)


Tivyside Advertiser 25.9.02 Hunt hopes high - Local hunt supporters have sounded the tally-ho on Tony Blair following Sunday's mass protest march in London… "If last Sunday's march doesn't make them change their minds, then I don't know what will," said Adrian Simpson, national director of the Countryside Alliance… One of the local marchers was David Barber, master of the Tivyside Hunt. "Up until Sunday I was concerned for my future," he said. "But following the march the government's got to sit down and listen to us. They can't just ignore that number of people."… (story)

Telegraph 25.9.02 Alliance stands by march count - The Countryside Alliance said yesterday that it would not be reopening the count of the 407,791 people who took part in the Liberty and Livelihood March in London on Sunday, despite some complaints that this might be an underestimate…. (story)

Guardian 25.9.02 In 30 years of following union, peace and anti-apartheid marches, I have never experienced the police and the organisers agreeing to the same march figures. A Mawani, London
Thank you for what's turning into a week's worth of coverage for the Countryside Alliance march. I trust you'll be devoting as much space to Saturday's anti-war demonstration taking place in the capital this Saturday. Andrew Collins, London
I suppose it would be stretching character faithfulness a bit for Brian to have a secret assignation with Siobhan for the Stop the War demonstration, but surely one village resident (Jill Archer?) should have been reading about major issues such as war? Rae Street, Littleborough, Lancs (letters)

Horncastle News 25.9.02 (also Skegness Standard, Louth Leader) MARCHING FOR THEIR LIBERTY - COUNTRY folk who feel persecuted, including thousands from Lincolnshire, travelled to London for Sunday's gigantic Countryside March… The South Wold Hunt alone sent ten 53-seater coaches… (story in archive)

Market Rasen Mail 25.9.02 RASEN PEOPLE JOIN MARCH ON LONDON - MORE THAN 100 people from the Market Rasen area joined the crowds in London on Sunday for the Liberty and Livelihood march… (story in archive)

Warwick Courier 25.9.02 FARMERS WANT LEVEL PLAYING FIELD - Thousands of protesters from south Warwickshire marched through London for rural rights on Sunday… Warwickshire hunt member Dianne McDougall said: "We sent 36 coaches of people from south Warwickshire representing just over 2,000 people… (story in archive)

Ludlow Advertiser 25.9.02 The day the county marched on London - FOR thousands of south Shropshire people who marched on Parliament Square flying the freedom banner with more than 400,000 other demonstrators on Sunday, the Countryside March was an occasion to remember… Jean and Brian Griffiths of Cleobury Mortimer said they had joined the march "because the Government attack on our lives affects both of us". She is a member of Ludlow Hunt and her husband is a farmer… Country marchers were elated at greetings from London supporters waved from balconies but it did little to change the `town against country' emotions whipped up by the rallying cry of south Shropshire hunting horns up Pall Mall and Whitehall. (story in archive)

Welwyn & Hatfield Times 25.9.02 'We just disagree with Tony Blair Ð our upbringing is so different' - A 52-seat coach was filled with passengers from Tewin Hill and Moat Farm stables, Tewinbury and Warrengate farms and Bramfield and Dawleywood shoots. The same number again went by train, joining the 400,000-strong demonstration. Tewin’s Countryside Alliance group member and organiser Richard Izzard, said some of the group didn’t even hunt, shoot or fish… Liz Mort, East Anglia’s Countryside Alliance co-ordinator was amazed with the turnout. (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 25.9.02 Protesters offer united front by Liz Todd - SCHOOLCHILDREN marched alongside gamekeepers, rural shopkeepers stood with farmers, as countryside campaigners from across the UK and beyond descended upon the nation's capital… Andrew Osborne, joint master of the Sinnington Hunt, said the number of people at the march showed the strength of feeling running through the rural communities that the countryside was in crisis… (story in archive)

Bucks Free Press 25.9.02 Rural Bucks protests By Margaret Smith - THOUSANDS of people from rural Bucks flocked to London to join the countryside march at the weekend… The Vale of Aylesbury Hunt put on 20 coaches and its banner was carried aloft during the march… (story)

Torquay Herald Express 25.9.02 'DANCE' AGAINST MARCH - Hunters who danced in Newton Abbot were anything but. The dancers were members of the Mid Devon support group of the League Against Cruel Sports. And they were performing to the strains of the Monty Python theme tune to demonstrate against Sunday's Livelihood and Liberty March. Co-ordinator Ivor Annetts said the performers wanted to inform the public that the march was originally planned for hunters by hunters…. (story)

Western Morning News 25.9.02 RIDERS NEAR CLIMAX OF THEIR GREAT ADVENTURE … Simon Kerslake, from Broadclyst near Exeter, and Michael Bickell, from Lifton near Launceston, set off on horseback from John O'Groats in Scotland on August 25…. They have only taken one day off - last Sunday, when they attended the Liberty and Livelihood march in London… The pair undertook the marathon journey to raise money for Cancer Research UK, the Meningitis Trust and Riding for the Disabled. (story)

Northern Echo 25.9.02 The real meaning of liberty - Harry Mead - Liberty and Livelihood. Let's look at some of the issues that the 407,791 people who marched under that banner last weekend said they were marching for. Rural garages: Their closures are the outcome of 'freedom' - the removal of price controls by Mrs Thatcher. How many of the marchers still filled up at their local garage once petrol was cheaper at the supermarket?... Fox hunting: Ah yes, the real reason for the march. Well, social attitudes change, and the perception of our duty to animals that has already swept away the 'freedom' to bait bears, bulls and badgers, stage cockfights and dogfights, hunt otters and shoot eagles, has caught up with hunting…. (story in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 25.9.02 FREEDOM OF THE SILENT MAJORITY ON THE MARCH - PRINCE Charles says he might as well leave the country if fox-hunting is banned. But I don't think we should take his words literally. What he is really saying is that he would not feel so passionate about being British if this becomes a country where freedom is curtailed and intolerance is fuelled…. Only a minority of the 400,000 who marched through London on Sunday spend their weekends riding to hounds and wearing pink. No, the reason so many people took to the streets - and so many millions more supported them - was the cry of liberty… The throngs of people who went to London last weekend had much in common with the masses who assembled in the streets for the Queen Mother's funeral. They belong to the great silent majority whose voices are currently silenced in the corridors of power. Politicians, dismiss them at their peril… (story)

Mirror 25.9.02 A BARBARIC BEGINNING - I FOUND the picture of Sophie Large very disturbing (Daily Mirror, September 23)… The sooner these bloodthirsty barbarians are banned the better. Tammy O'Malley, King's Lynn, Norfolk (letter)

Mirror 25.9.02 Rural folk should shun hunt bullies - I TRAVELLED up from Cornwall with nine friends for the march and we could not be further from the Sloane Ranger set or turnip-heads you portray. Three of us were farmers, two fishermen and the rest blue-collar workers, all united by a sense of alienation from the decision-making process… Matthew Dale, Falmouth, Cornwall (letter)

Western Telegraph 25.9.02 Country campaigners march for rural rights - The people living and working in Pembrokeshire's countryside took to the streets of London on Sunday as part of the Liberty and Livelihood March. A fleet of eight coaches ferried people of all ages and from many backgrounds to join the march with the aim of raising awareness of rural issues… More than three coachloads of South Pembrokeshire Hunt supporters left Kilgetty at 6.30 am on Sunday morning to join the 400,000 who marched on Westminster, not arriving home until 2 am on Monday…. (story in archive)

Hunts Post 25.9.02 Huntingdon's MP joins the Countryside protest march - HUNTINGDON MP Jonathan Djanogly joined 400,000 people in London for Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood March, organised by the Countryside Alliance and afterwards declared his support for hunting…. (story)

Knutsford Guardian 25.9.02 - Fox-hunting ban is motivated by spite and class hatred - MP - THE old man in Trafalgar Square stood alone and proud with his banner. His message was clear: Ban fox-hunting. But he was a lone voice among thousands as Knutsford farmers and Over Peover-based huntsmen joined the Liberty and Livelihood march in London on Sunday. "He believed what he was doing was right," said farmer Chris Shaw. But not one person who I saw catcalled him and I think that's the proof of the good nature of the people."… Members of the Cheshire Forest Hunt, Knutsford farmers and others involved in the agricultural industry were demonstrating peacefully over the way the countryside has been treated… (story in archive)

Yorkshire Post 25.9.02 From: Simon Winpenny, Brow End Farm, Goose Eye, Oakworth - am quoted incorrectly on page five of the Yorkshire Post of September 23. I was interviewed on the countryside march by a member of the Press Association. I made it quite clear that I was on the march to defend hunting. I said that the countryside was enjoyed by millions because it looked the way it did and that was because of field sports. No mention of hunting was made in the reporting of the interview….

Yorkshire Post 25.9.02 Working class were there too From: E Watson, Grantley, Ripon - Sir, – Thank you very much for your coverage of the enormous strength of feeling, which was exhibited by almost half a million people who travelled to the capital in support of the Liberty and Livelihood march…. These were like-minded people from whatever income bracket, they all have a common interest, that is to preserve the liberty of the law-abiding citizens…. I hope you will publish this letter, which I send on behalf of a coach-load of working-class people….

Yorkshire Post 25.9.02 Farmers angry at lack of concern - From: Mrs J M Burnett, The Elms, East Cottingwith, York - I was privileged to take part in the Countryside March in London, and I would like to put my point of view, to counter the assertions of Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael and his colleagues about the aims of the demonstration….The Government claims to listen to farmers. Rhizomania is a devastating disease in sugarbeet. Until this year, the UK, with a tiny incidence of the disease, was allowed to restrict imports of certain vegetable matter to prevent its spread. DEFRA decided, against the advice of the entire sugar industry, to scrap this arrangement. A "consultation" document was sent to all growers, which did not include the option of maintaining the status quo, which was the industry's advice to the minister. Many growers wrote "status quo" as their preferred option, so their replies were simply discarded, and the scheme scrapped. That is the level of so-called consultation. Unacceptable alternatives, and no real choice… (story)

Yorkshire Post 25.9.02 March's aims missed the point - From: GF Bryant, Barton-on-Humber. Did any other of the readers of your Comment page on September 21 notice the difference between your utterly unrealistic editorial ("Liberty's March") and George McManus's eminently sensible letter ("Time to address key rural issues")?... I find the much-advertised purposes of the march pathetic and utterly missing the point. I would never march under such banners….
From: Sean Connor, Aurelia House, Cunliffe Road, Bradford. Once again your newspaper stands on the side of internal and external reaction. Your support of the fox-killer and subsidised farmers' march ignores the fact that the great majority of the British people are against the barbaric practice of hunting with hounds… what about the Palestinians… (letter)

Northern Echo 25.9.02 SUNDAY'S march by the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance organised by Tory activists and landowners is a big con… It does not matter how many marches the tally-ho brigade organises, it will never get the support of decent-minded people of this country. - JL Thompson, Crook.
… The Countryside Alliance deals with all countryside issues but it initiated the march mainly to try and prevent a ban on hunting. Farming leaders are too concerned about upsetting public opinion to make any worthwhile protest, leaving the ordinary farmer with the march as his only means to try and demonstrate his disgust at Government policies which directly penalise him…. Being a lifetime sports enthusiast, but neither hunting, shooting nor fisherman, I support others' freedom to follow the pursuits they wish to… J Heslop, Gainford.
RICHARD Dodd (Echo, Sept 17) puts forward what he perceives as justification for fox hunting and other good old-fashioned rural values… You are backing a loser. - John Young, Crook
THE Government should be doing more for the future of the countryside with cheap housing for people on low incomes who work on the land but cannot afford to buy… N Tate, Darlington. (letters in archive)

Western Morning News 25.9.02 REPORTING OF MARCH WAS MAGNIFICENT - Let me be among the first to congratulate the Western Morning News on a job well done; the brilliant reporting of the Countryside Alliance London March…. Roy Williams, Callington (letter)

Western Morning News 25.9.02 IS IT any wonder so many of us went to London to show how we abhorred the way the Government is handling virtually everything in the countryside? The latest snub is the announcement that a £200m fund for affordable housing is to be focused entirely on London and the South East… Michael Ashton, Torrington (letter)

Western Morning News 25.9.02 BUY DIRECT FROM FARMERS The plight of the farmers who receive low prices for their products (WMN, September 10) could be solved, in part, by persuading the consumer to buy direct, rather than continue to boost the huge profits of the supermarkets. To achieve this they will need genuine public support and sympathy. Becoming involved in the activities of the Countryside Alliance and taking part in the so called Liberty and Livelihood protest will have had the opposite effect… Kevin Caveney Newton Abbot (letter)

Gloucestershire Echo 25.9.02 HOW WRONG TO SAY WE ARE CRUEL - Madam - After returning from the countryside march, my husband and I read with dismay the latest news reports on the BBC's Ceefax service…. The march was not hijacked by hunt supporters. Admittedly, they are a crucial factor…. Most of the supporters were ordinary people, the rural backbone, who work on the land and in rural industries. As for denying the government truly understands the problems facing rural areas, look at its handling of the foot and mouth crisis…. GH Coleman, Cheltenham. (letter)

Gloucestershire Echo 25.9.02 HERE'S FOOD FOR THOUGHT - Madam - I read the Opinion Column regarding Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood march in London with great interest (Echo, September 23)… I remember a map of England published in the Daily Telegraph after the last elections. Nearly the whole of the page was blue… The blue areas illustrated the vast rural countryside and, ironically, those making up the largest proportion of Sunday's march. I wondered how such an enormous area could have become virtually disenfranchised by the solid red areas made up of cities and other large conurbations… Ron Brotherhood, Charlton Kings. (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.9.02 ROW ON HUNTING HAS BLURRED OTHER ISSUES - The real issues for farmers and rural communities have been obscured by the Liberty and Livelihood march, with many possible supporters being distanced by the focus on the right to hunt… Philip Booth, Gloucestershire Green Party, Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Scotsman 25.9.02 Considerate - Having attended the Countryside Alliance march on Sunday, how I agree with Kate Hoey, MP, who has been quoted as saying: "These country people are the salt of the earth". They were kind, considerate, well-behaved, patient, restrained, sincere and cheerful. Are they to become criminals? Shirley Page DUMFRIES (story)

.I read Alun Michael's comments on the Liberty And Livelihood March with some amusement. How can he claim he doesn't know what the march was about? I was under the impression he had been given a list of ten issues that explained exactly why the march was taking place… Oliver Barker, Trafalgar St, York (letter in archive)

Derby Evening Telegraph 25.9.02 MARCH WAS ALL ABOUT LIBERTY - I have never hunted the fox. My fishing rods and guns have been unused these 30 years. I lost the taste for it. Yet I was on the Countryside March because I will never accept that some jack-in-office should have the power to tell me that I must not follow these pursuits… Some of the people can be spun all of the time and all of the people can be spun some of the time. But can all of the people be spun all of the time? Edward Spalton, Sutton Lane, Etwall (letter)

Northampton Evening Telegraph 24.9.02 March was not just about fox hunting - NEARLY half-a-million people spoke and they spoke for millions more… This march was not just about fox hunting. There are fears of a ban on shooting and fishing, all country pursuits. It was also about the unfair burden of tax on rural areas, about village shops and pubs, about rural transport, about fly-tipping and burnt and abandoned vehicles, about crime, assault, robbery and about not protecting or mollycoddling but allowing our farmers to work, unhindered, in the job they do so well…. Fox hunting offers excitement, a love of the countryside and a challenge of riding to hounds over the country. It is healthy and invigorating in fine weather and foul. KENNETH JACK, Kettering borough councilor, Welland ward (letter)


Times 24.9.02 82% of countryside marchers vote Tory BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - THE overwhelming majority of the 407,791 protesters on the countryside march were Conservative voters, a poll by anti-hunt campaigners found. The survey, commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said that 82 per cent of marchers voted Tory and just 4 per cent Labour…. A poll of 628 marchers by MORI also found that a quarter of the marchers were from towns and cities; 27 per cent lived on the edge of the countryside and 47 per cent were rural dwellers. (story)

Evening Standard 24.9.02 The farmers who betray our countryside by Brian Sewell - The elite came in their Range-Rovers and lunched in Pall Mall clubs; the toiling farmers came in slurry-sodden Land Rovers and made do with Pret A Manger and McDonald's; and the rag, tag and bobtail came in hired charabancs with cheese-and-pickle butties in their pockets… f hunting the fox is still to be seen as a tolerable pursuit, why not revive the baiting of the muzzled bear and the bull tethered by its ringed nose?... My own view of foxhunting is that, left to its own devices, it will within a decade or two die away to nothing, and farriers, blacksmiths, saddlers and hunt servants will find other occupations without the threatened infliction of mass unemployment on the rural population if Parliament forbids the pink pursuit - natural wastage is the term for it in industry and commerce… Ban foxhunting and every one of those dogs will be shot, for they are impossible to domesticate. We shall have to slaughter horses too, perhaps some 60,000 of them sold to Belgian butchers for a pittance to be turned into steaks, stews and piquant sausages. That is hardly an estimable achievement for the animal lovers of the League against Cruel Sports…. From Aberdeen to Zennor, we have seen planners, speculative builders and farmers conspire to smirch the countryside with suburbs and they will go on doing so…. Did the farmers who marched through London last Sunday in defence of the countryside deplore these crude developments? No, of course not… The survival of the countryside is not in their hands, but in the hands of the thinking townie (story)

Guardian 24.9.02 Will it change anything? - The countryside march on Sunday may have been the biggest protest London has ever seen. But aside from being a momentous occasion, what did it really achieve? We asked politicians, historians, activists and commentators what they made of it - Interviews by Libby Brooks, Emma Brockes and Sally Weale - Ian Jack Editor of Granta… Tommy Sheridan Scottish Socialist MSP, organiser of the anti-poll-tax movement… Francis Wheen Writer and commentator… Geordie Greig editor of Tatler magazine… Tristram Hunt historian… Richard Benson writer and journalist, who is working on a book about the modern British countryside… Bruce Kent vice-president of CND… Douglas Hurd former foreign secretary… Professor Roger Scruton philosopher and historian… Amanda Platell writer, broadcaster and William Hague's former head of media… Michael Foot former leader of the Labour party… Sir Max Hastings former editor of the Daily Telegraph and Evening Standard, president of the Council for the Protection of Rural England… Stella Tillyard historian… (story)
Guardian 24.9.02 Minister accuses alliance of dishonesty - Peter Hetherington , regional affairs editor - Ministers moved yesterday to recapture the rural ground from pro-hunting campaigners by accusing organisers of Sunday's liberty and livelihood march of dishonesty in attempting to hijack the government's own countryside agenda. The rural affairs minister, Alun Michael, came close to accusing the Countryside Alliance, which attracted an estimated 400,000 to London on Sunday, of deceiving its supporters by calling for a national rural conference when the government had already organised one for November… Assessing the success of Sunday's march, Richard Burge, chief executive of the alliance, said it had organised "easily the largest demonstration in London in modern history (story)
Guardian 24.9.02 Signs of the times - Brian Logan - Apathy is ... whoever gets from last Sunday to next Saturday without the need of a good banner. Two days ago, the landed gentry paraded thousands of them to proclaim their bloodlust for rural vermin. Next weekend, those keen to save lives rather than end them will wave their bedsheets above their heads in the name of stopping war on Iraq. There's no doubt, then, that the banner, or placard, is this season's accessory of choice. But how do you set about acquiring one? And what should it say?... (story)
Guardian 24.9.02 Another country - The march and its meanings - Leader - Size may not be everything, but when it comes to public protests, it certainly helps. Until Sunday, most historians of these things seem to agree, no cause had ever brought as many as 400,000 people on to the streets of London. On Sunday, however, the Countryside Alliance did what the Chartists, the Hunger Marchers and CND had all failed to do. The turnout was, by any standards, exceptional, the more so since it came at a time when contemporary society is routinely dismissed as too idle, selfish or affluent to stir from its sofa. Now, as in the past, numbers alone do not make a wrong cause right. But now, also as in the past, their peaceful presence in such numbers on the streets entitles the protesters to respect, both for their cause and for their engagement… (story)

Telegraph 24.9.02 Labour defies country march - By George Jones, Political Editor - The Government was accused yesterday of adopting a "complacent and arrogant" approach to the countryside after a minister described the Liberty and Livelihood marchers as "muddled". Iain Duncan Smith, who took part in Sunday, said the comment by Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister, showed that Labour did not understand the concerns of the countryside. "It was a pathetic response which characterises this Government," the Tory leader said. "It is the Government that is muddled."… (story)
Telegraph 24.9.02 Notebook - By Vicki Woods - You have to do a lot of exercising in the name of liberty - There's something about subsuming your own identity into a vast crowd of like-minded humanity that makes you feel like Alice - tiny and insignificant one moment - and A Nation Once Again the next…. (story)
Telegraph 24.9.02 Country marchers accuse BBC of pro-Government bias - By Tom Leonard, Matt Born and Charles Clover - The BBC faced renewed charges of pro-Government bias yesterday when it was accused of underplaying the Liberty and Livelihood March. The corporation's handling of the event attracted criticism from organisers and marchers who were upset by both the amount of coverage and its tone. The lyricist Tim Rice, who went on Sunday's march, summed up the anger of many, telling The Telegraph that the BBC had proved itself to be the "Government's PR machine"… Predictions that the BBC would go to any length to achieve "balance" between opposing views on hunting were borne out as some bulletins gave an inordinate amount of coverage to a small group of anti-hunt protesters. There was also anger at the speed with which the story slipped from the BBC news agenda…. Thousands of marchers were not counted among the total of 407,791 although they travelled to the start. Queues of up to three hours to start the Liberty route, beginning in Hyde Park, deterred some marchers who had brought young children…. (story)
Telegraph 24.9.02 A day for 815,582 sensible shoes - It was to be a march to vent rural wrath. But W.F. Deedes found good humour and politeness along the way as he joined the countryside protesters - It exceeded hopes, was well-organised, so good-humoured, dignified; but at times it conveyed a depth of feeling I found solemn. There were men and women on that march who were not carrying banners or blowing horns, small farmers and their wives from the hills, country craftsmen, blacksmiths and their kind who sense that a way of life is slipping away from them. It was the life of their fathers and their grandfathers, but it will not be the life of their children and grandchildren. They're for the towns, not for rural penury. A parting of ways is taking place, a severance of family ties, and if you studied some of the sad faces on that account you glimpsed despair…. (story)
Telegraph 24.9.02 'The countryside is being run down' - interviews with marchers (story)
Telegraph 24.9.02 Banners that bite - No demonstration is complete without placards spelling out the protesters' demands. The Liberty and Livelihood March was no exception, as rural England showed off its native wit. Here are some examples:… (story)
Telegraph 24.9.02 What will make them listen? Almost more extraordinary than the colossal scale of Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood March has been the Government's reaction to it. Here was a cause about which 407,791 Britons felt strongly enough to travel from every town and county in the land to march for many hours through the streets of the capital. Yet so far the Government has behaved as if nothing happened, as if nothing really needs changing. All that ministers need do, the official line seems to be, is to explain patiently to the poor, dim-witted marchers that they were duped by the Countryside Alliance. The march was "hijacked" by the pro-hunting lobby, said Alun Michael, the minister for rural affairs. What country people failed to realise was: "Yes, we [the Government] are with you."… (story)

Mirror 24.9.02 HUNTING BAN 'WITHIN WEEKS' - No10 ignores countryside demo - By Bob Roberts, Political Correspondent MINISTERS vowed yesterday to press ahead with plans to ban hunting despite the weekend's massive countryside march. Sources close to Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett said the determination to sort out the issue was "firmer than ever"…. (story)

Uttoxeter Advertiser 24.9.02 Farmers join in country march By Claire Shanahan - More than 1,000 farmers, huntsmen and countryside supporters from East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire travelled to London to join the Liberty and Livelihood March at the weekend. Members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt organised transport to the march on Sunday… (story)

Daily Record 24.9.02 HUNT KO STILL ON - MINISTERS yesterday vowed to kill off hunting - despite Sunday's huge countryside march… (story)

Lakeland Echo 24.9.02 MP forms alliance with countryside marchers - WESTMORLAND and Lonsdale MP Tim Collins was amongst hundreds of Cumbrian protestors who took part in the Countryside Alliance's Liberty & Livelihood March on Sunday…. (story)

Western Daily Press 24.9.02 IGNORE US AT YOUR PERIL, SAY MARCHERS Tony Blair was last night accused of ignoring the 400,000-strong Countryside March after he refused to speak out on the issue… (story)

Scotsman 24.9.02 Why did Tony Blair walk so blindly into this trap? - Joyce McMillan - WELL, that was one big demonstration; almost half a million people seem to have converged on London for Sunday’s Liberty and Livelihood march, and a fearsome sight they made…. To draw attention to the vast range of conflicting groups who came together on Sunday’s march is only to emphasise the salient political fact about the whole phenomenon; which is that only a government quite astonishingly inept in its handling of rural issues could ever have driven them into the same camp at all…. And although Tony Blair’s focus groups may tell him that these issues don’t matter to the vast majority of British voters, that does not mean that they are intrinsically unimportant. They are as central to our wellbeing, in the long term, as the issues of global justice and environmental sustainability raised by the anti-globalisation movement; and they will almost certainly come back to haunt those politicians who fail to give them serious attention now… (story)

Western Morning News 24.9.02 'WE'RE TAKING A LEAD OVER RURAL CONCERNS' - JASON GROVES - The Government came out fighting on its rural record yesterday as Downing Street insisted that Tony Blair "is listening" to the concerns of the countryside. In its first response to Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood march, a Downing Street spokesman said that Mr Blair - who was at his country retreat Chequers on Sunday - was aware of the concerns of rural campaigners…. (story)
Western Morning News 24.9.02 CIVIL RIGHTS AND FARMING TO FORE - The Popham family embodies the spirit of the Liberty and Livelihood march. Three generations of Pophams gave up their Sunday to fight for their rights and join the march on London - including grandmother Isabella Finlay, 77, who had to be pushed around the capital in a wheelchair by her husband Geoffrey, 83…. Her grandson Spencer, 19, hunts with the Taunton Vale Harriers and feels the same way. He said Sunday's march was "really peaceful and really loud"…(story)
Western Morning News 24.9.02 HEARTFELT PLEA TO TONY BLAIR - My WIFE Janet was marching for her part-bred Arab three-year-old, Jim, and the future of equestrianism throughout rural Britain; my 20 year-old-son Gareth was marching for liberty, feeling a growing concern about the way that traditional freedoms are being eroded. Me? I was marching because of the long list of real problems besetting farming, countryside pursuits and the rural economy in my constituency…. (story)
Western Morning News 24.9.02 FROM THE SERENE COUNTRYSIDE, A STARK MESSAGE - The Westcountry's rural communities were getting back to normal yesterday after the most extraordinary day of action in which more than 400,000 men, women and children marched on London in the biggest protest demonstration the capital has seen…. The smirking, smart-Alec, snide asides from rurally ignorant urban MPs who think, stupidly, that every farmer is a rich whingeing subsidy junkie, that every country dweller is a double-barrelled Tory toff, have now got to stop immediately…. The Western Morning News will be keeping up that pressure on behalf of the Westcountry's rural communities no matter how unpopular it makes us in the corridors of power. (story)
Western Morning News 24.9.02 HELICOPTER LOOKOUT WATCHED THE FARMS - Farmers from the Westcountry who travelled to London on Sunday could march at ease, knowing that their farms were being guarded from the air. A Bodmin-based helicopter charity called Heli-Aid volunteered to keep an eye on farms and country estates while the farmers did their bit in the capital…. Heli-Aid was formed to react quickly to emergency situations, liaising with other emergency services like Rapid UK…. (story)
Western Morning News 24.9.02 TIME TO GET TUNED TO A DIFFERENT WAY OF LIFE … I WATCHED the TV news with interest on Sunday night to see if I could spot my good wife, who was out marching to preserve her rarely exercised right to chase foxes and amuse everyone concerned with our Shetland mounted "rugrats" (I suspect our eldest only goes for the mini-sausage rolls at the meet). Having failed to pick Alison out in the melee I was delighted to then watch a government minister try to claim he wasn't sure why 400,000 people had been marching, what they wanted or, in fact, whether they were really there at all…. (story)
Western Morning News 24.9.02 ALMA FLIES THE FLAG FOR FARMERS AND BRITAIN … Supporting the countryside, which she believes is the "backbone of our economy," Alma Russell, from Berry Pomeroy, near Totnes, has decided to take up a personal campaign to tell people "not to be ashamed of being British."… Alma's comments came 24 hours after an estimated 70,000 people from the Westcountry travelled to London to take part in the Liberty and Livelihood march, organised by the Countryside Alliance. It was the biggest ever exodus of people from the region and more than 400,000 took part. (story)
Western Morning News 24.9.02 MP URGES RURAL FOLK TO STICK TOGETHER - Following the unprecedented success of the Liberty and Livelihood march through the streets of London on Sunday, a Westcountry MP has urged rural communities to keep up the momentum. Paul Tyler, Lib-Dem MP for North Cornwall, last night said rural campaigners must work together "to reverse the urban bias of the last 20 years"…. (story)

Newcastle Journal 24.9.02 Direct action warning to Blair unless problems are solved By Liz Hands, The Journal - Rural campaigners warned the Government yesterday that the peaceful Liberty and Livelihood march attended by 400,000 people on Sunday could be followed by a campaign of civil disobedience. More protests are planned for the next few weeks if demonstrators do not like the hunting announcement due to be made by Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael…. (story)
Newcastle Journal 24.9.02 'Work with us to build a better future' - Farmers returning from the Liberty and Livelihood March last night called on the Government to work with country people to build a better future for rural Britain… NFU North East chief executive Richard Ellison said: "I was number 284,246 to take part in the march, and I'd already had to queue for an hour and a half to take part in what could only be described as a shuffle through London…" (story)

Kenilworth Weekly News 24.9.02 LOCAL FARMERS JOIN LONDON PROTEST - Kenilworth farmers joined hundreds of thousands of protesters at the Countryside Alliance march on Sunday… (story in archive)

Lynn News 25.9.02 Thousands join 'Britain's finest' - Hundreds of West Norfolk countryside supporters joined a 400,000-strong rural army which descended on London on Sunday… The Alliance's Norfolk chairman, David Hunter, said 87 of its coaches filled with protesters travelled from the county and scheduled train services were full… (story in archive)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 24.9.02 Man fined after rally protest - A homeless man originally from Walsall was the only person out of 400,000 countryside marchers to end up in court following Sunday's mass protest in London. Steven Boffey, aged 37, appeared before magistrates yesterday after he threw a half-filled plastic water bottle into the crowd outside the Houses of Parliament…. Boffey, whom is unemployed and homeless, was fined £50… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 24.9.02 MARCHING TO WHERE - This year's Countryside Alliance march saw a record 407,000 people let off steam through the streets of London. But will the pent up frustration of these rural dwellers be answered by a new urgency from the Government to help the countryside community? Paul Matthews talked to some of the marchers who set out from Devon and others who witnessed the event to assess its real impact… Michael Moore, joint leader of the East Devon Hunt, also went to the countryside march. And with no-one arrested on the day, he was encouraged by the scale of the peaceful protests… (story)

Northern Echo 24.9.02 The march of the alternative society by Peter Mullen - There were officially 407,791 on last Sunday's Countryside March. It was exciting. As Winston Churchill said: "There is nothing quite so exhilarating as being shot at without result."… Peter Mullen is Rector of St Michael's, Cornhill, in the City of London, and Chaplain to the Stock Exchange. (story in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 24.9.02 RORY BREMNER BACKS CUMBRIANS - IMPRESSIONIST Rory Bremner spoke up for Cumbria last night when he told BBC viewers why he had supported the weekend's Countryside Alliance march in London. Appearing on the Johnny Vaughan Tonight chat show, the comedian and satirist poked fun at Prime Minister Tony Blair for his failure to support Cumbria during the foot and mouth crisis. "With Afghanistan, it took him a minute-and-a-half to get to Kabul but it took him six weeks to get to Carlisle," said Bremner. "Doesn't he know there are trains?..." (story)

Hull Daily Mail 24.9.02 FARMERS VOW TO CARRY ON FIGHTING FOR RIGHTS - East RIDING: Farmers across the East Riding today pledged: "The fight will go on". They are busy plotting the next step in their fight for rural Britain after taking part in the huge Liberty and Livelihood march in London… (story)

Western Mail 24.9.02 Ministers warned of militant action - Sheila Coleman Farming Editor Sheila.Coleman@Wme.Co.Uk, The Western Mail - IF the Government does not act to tackle rural problems then militant action could ensue, the Cabinet was warned again last night. The president of the Farmers' Union of Wales, Bob Parry, warned at Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood march that farmers might embark on French-style militancy, and yesterday he stressed that direct action could not be ruled out…. (story)
Western Mail 24.9.02 Record numbers join protest - James Pritchard James.Pritchard@Wme.Co.Uk, The Western Mail - IF the estimates are correct then nearly 40,000 demonstrators from Wales joined the crowds in London on Sunday to take part in the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood march…. One demonstrator I spoke to, Dai Jones, from the Carmarthenshire hunt, said he had been tremendously heartened by the number of people who had made the effort to turn up…. (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 24.9.02 COUNTRYSIDE: On the march to save countryside … Joint master of the Fitzwilliam Hunt, George Bowyer, was a steward at the march…. (story in archive)

North Yorkshire Advertiser 24.9.02 Marchers take message to town - AN estimated 25,000 protesters from North Yorkshire and the North-East marched the streets of London on Sunday to fight for their countryside… Ben Barker, of Manor House Farm, Whitwell, Northallerton, is one of the thousands of countrymen who feel the widening gap between town and country… (story in archive)

24.9.02 - letters

Guardian 24.9.02 Back to the real countryside issues
… I am not into fox hunting, but what does upset me is a government that has enough problems sorting out health, schooling and transport issues - issues that effect everyone - but seems to waste a lot of time to ban a country sport, just because it wants to save some foxes, or rather, have them killed in a more "humane" way…. Silke Lohmann, London
This government has done more than any in my memory to support families, whether farmers, the rural poor or the urban poor through its working families tax credits. If average farm incomes really are around £3,600 then the average farmer must be enjoying tax credits. This farm alone accounts for around £900 a month in what is effectively an employment subsidy…. Mike Fisher, Northdown Orchard, Hants
Can we now concentrate on the real issues affecting the countryside? Low farm-gate prices, loss of services and other problems facing rural Britain can be traced back to the concentration of market share in food retailing, ie the power of the supermarkets… Richard Boden, Wye, Kent
I'd guess that 90% of the marchers yesterday vote Tory and read the Daily Telegraph… Thomas Harrington, Norwich, Norfolk
How many of the lovers of our rural way of life: 1) always shop in the village store; 2) make sure they buy British produce; 3) take their holidays solely within the British Isles; 4) buy only British-made clothes, cameras, electronic goods etc; 5) check that their stocks and shares are invested to benefit these islands; and 6) pay their fair share of the taxes which subsidise the farmer, resisting the allure of offshore trusts? Elizabeth Brandow, Leicester
Emma Brockes's highly selective profile of the marchers reinforced the prejudices of those who would like to believe that it's all about the toffs hating to have the fun spoilt… It takes a lot to get that many people to express themselves, and not all are hunters or Tories. To ignore, patronise or vilify us all will do little to deal with the real sense of being not worth listening to. David Pardey, Wells, Somerset
Having marched through the capital for the miners and the minimum wage, I noted that the Liberty and Livelihood marchers were allowed, not only to drink alcohol on their coaches, but also to march past Downing Street - something denied to working-class people whose livelihoods were stolen by the Tories. Anne McCormack, Billinge, Lancs
So Prince Charles is reported as saying: "If the Labour government ever gets round to banning fox hunting, I might as well leave this country and spend the rest of my life skiing." An unexpected plus. Martin Shore, Leatherhead, Kent (letters)

Telegraph 24.9.02 Spelling it out - Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister, found himself puzzled about the point of the Liberty and Livelihood March. He may find the following helpful: Countrymen do not want a ban on foxhunting or any other lawful rural pursuit. Countrymen do want a thriving, profitable and sustainable rural economy… James Servaes and James Vestey, Carlton House Farm, Mettingham, Suffolk (letter)

Times 24.9.02 Hunting is not the only country issue - FROM MR NICK PALMER, MP FOR BROXTOWE (LABOUR) - No government or party can afford to ignore rural voters, even if they wanted to — and I have a suburban seat with several rural areas (letters, September 21, etc). But lots of Labour MPs like me are certainly ignoring the Countryside Alliance (CA), since it has proved impossible to have a dialogue with them on any subject other than hunting…. NICK PALMER, House of Commons.
The arrogance of Mr Alun Michael, Rural Affairs Minister, in suggesting (report, September 23) that yesterday’s 400,000-people march would have no effect on plans to ban hunting is appalling… CAROLINE CLAYDEN, The Old School, Holcombe, Somerset BA3 5EW.
The march of the Countryside Alliance on London seems to indicate that problems are piling up for Alun Michael… What is now needed is another pair of competent hands at the helm, a person whom people can relate to more easily and whom they can respect. Yours truly, COLIN CLEGG, Stone Lodge, Spook Hill, Dorking, Surrey
perhaps I should not be so appalled that the Bishop of Hereford (letter, September 20) approves of today’s blindspot — the horrendous cruelty we inflict on animals…. MALCOLM JOHNSON, Mill Eyot, Chertsey Road, Shepperton, Middlesex TW17 9LA.
… Alcuin of York was most concerned that well-off young men were reverting to pagan habits by growing beards, riding horses and hunting foxes rather than attending church. He apparently wished to have it banned. Possibly members of the Church should remember Alcuin’s concerns before being too vociferous in their support of hunting, given these doubtful influences… TIM SCHADLA-HALL, 2 Main Street, Houghton on the Hill, Leicestershire LE7 9GD. (letters)

Gloucester Citizen 24.9.02 REAL RURAL ISSUES ARE OBSCURED - As your article in The Citizen (September 21) noted, for many the Liberty and Livelihood march was not just about fox-hunting. The problem is that the real issues for farmers and rural communities are being obscured by the focus on the right to hunt. Many potential supporters feel a ban on hunting is long overdue and that they couldn't join the march because of this… PHILIP BOOTH, Gloucestershire Green Party Middle Street, Stroud (letter)

Western Daily Press 24.9.02 MARCH IS REALLY ANTI-LABOUR Whilst fully supporting pro-hunters, the march on Sunday must not be seen as a single-issue event. This would play right into the hands of Tony Blair, his Government and all anti-hunt groups. In reality, it is an anti-Government campaign to show the public how little they know or care about the countryside and everyone whose jobs and lives revolve around it…. Ron Tanner Nesley Tetbury Gloucestershire (letter)

Cambridge News 24.9.02 Thanks for joining demo - From Robert Sturdy MEP, Conservative (Eastern) Spokesman for Rural Affairs in Europe, St Neots Road, Hardwick … I joined thousands of marchers from my constituency in the eastern region, including 10,000 alone from Norfolk, and found it a very moving experience. I would like to thank my constituents for joining in the protest against the Government's neglect of the countryside (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 24.9.02 LIBERTY, LIVELIHOOD AND BARBARISM - So, the country folk have taken their protests to the big smog. Good on 'em, I say. I went up on the fells instead, gathered together about 100 foxes and chased around the one farmer who decided to stay behind. Well, he asked for it - he sends sheep to slaughter…. let's acknowledge that many of the protesters have genuine concerns - the price farmers get for their produce compared with that charged in supermarkets, for example, is grossly unfair - on consumers, too… But it's the hunting farce that gets my goat… This is the 21st century - an age where cruelty simply isn't tolerated. So make your choice - is hunting cruel or not? If yes, ban it. If no, retain it and slap yourself with a government health warning… MC, Carlisle (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 24.9.02 LET'S HOPE SENSE GETS BETTER OF SENTIMENTALITY - My brother and I, like many thousands of people who have never demonstrated in their lives before, gave up our Sunday and joined the many more thousands from all over the UK marching to protect their livelihood…. MIKE FORMAN East Leake (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 24.9.02 Taken over by hunters - In relation to the so-called countryside protest demonstration, who is conning who? Who are the rural people who are demonstrating for their livelihoods and liberty?... My fervent hope is that Parliament keeps its resolve and we join with our Scottish Parliament and vote to end this vile, degrading activity once and for all. Bill Melia, Cornwall Close, Wednesbury. (letter)

Bath Chronicle 24.9.02 HUNTING FOXES, HARES AND DEER IS OUTDATED CRUELTY - I would like to ask your readers not to be swayed by the prohunting lobby march on Sunday…. Hunting with dogs remains our cruellest most barbaric, outdated 'custom'…. Hunting with dogs has no place in our 21st century democracy. It is as outdated and backward as the people who champion it. SARAH BROADWITH Kewstoke Road Bath (letter)


Evening Standard 23.9.02 Moves to outlaw hunting in weeks by Patrick Hennessy, George Wright and Nigel Rosser, Evening Standard - Ministers today sent a defiant message to the countryside campa`igners who marched on London by making it clear they were keener than ever to ban hunting with dogs. Senior sources vowed to press ahead with proposals to outlaw the sport and made it clear they had not been swayed by the 407,000 protesters who converged on Whitehall yesterday… After months of preparation, the Liberty and Livelihood march saw villagers, farmers and hunters from every corner of Britain descend on the capital to protest against a fox-hunting ban and the Government's perceived indifference to rural issues. There were approximately 100,000 more people than expected by organizers… (story)
Evening Standard 23.9.02 Marchers politely air message by Philip Norman, Evening Standard - Their placards must be the politest ever carried at a mass rally fuelled by overwhelming bitterness and grievance… Even when the sentiments are stronger, they draw back from outright crudity. "We'll keep our sheep sh*t in the country if you'll keep your bullsh*t in the city," (their asterisks)…. I scan the assembled faces, expecting to see the bulbous, portcomplexioned Jorrockses and hooray-Henries whom Will Self excoriated last week for daring to invade his capital with their bloodlust and arrogance. What I see are healthy-looking and in general rather handsome people, whose whole being proclaims selfeffacement and moderation except on this one festering issue; people who, by instinct, build and nurture rather than undermining or tearing down… If Tony Blair ever wished to find Middle England, itis here… I fall into conversation with a man wearing a plastic horse's head. He turns out to be Richard Iddon, who breeds hunt horses in Tetbury, Gloucester, and goes out with the Beaufort…. Beside Nelson's column appears the first sign of counter-protest, a white balloon inscribed "Ban Foxhunting" and bearing the logo of the RSPCA. Even if you like the RSPCA, as I do, the only word that springs to mind is "pathetic"… (story)
Evening Standard 23.9.02 A very English protest by A.N. Wilson, Evening Standard. - The march through central London yesterday was one of the strangest spectacles the capital has ever witnessed. Of course, as a small-c conservative I sympathised with all the farriers and saddlers and stableboys and blacksmiths who will be out of a job when the ban on hunting is passed by Parliament. But when one comes to unravel the arguments on either side, only muddle is discovered…. (story)
Evening Standard 23.9.02 Intolerance and prejudice that made me march by Kate Hoey, Labour MP for Vauxhall. - Some decisions come more easily to a politician than others. I didn't have the slightest hesitation in being part of the Liberty and Livelihood March in London yesterday. And I don't have the slightest hesitation in saying how proud I was to see 407,000 people from every social and political background thronging the streets - the biggest peaceful protest this capital has ever seen. Despite what many people might have assumed beforehand, this was not a march of tweed-wearing conservatives. That might be a convenient caricature, but it hardly suits me - or many others who marched yesterday… (story)
Evening Standard 23.9.02 I cannot stand the sight of tweed by Victoria Coren - I mean, just what do they think they look like? They march up here, all ruddy-faced and decked out in tweed, expecting us to take them seriously? Tweed is a ludicrous fabric for an urban march. It is rural camouflage. It helps the wearer resemble a gorse bush. This is not an impressive look on the streets of Whitehall…. (story)
Evening Standard 23.9.02 Countryside fury - Evening Standard editorial comment - Yesterday's Countryside march was the biggest political demonstration there has ever been in London. The organisers were eager to downplay the political nature of the rally - yet it was clear among all who took part. It was the revolt of the middle classes in largely - but not entirely - rural areas, who are fed up with being treated as a minority by New Labour…. The Government will be making a serious mistake if it continues to ignore the pleas of the countryside - it could prove to be Labour's poll tax. (story)
Evening Standard 23.9.02 Anti-hunting protest staged - Countryside Alliance marchers have been met by about 150 anti-hunting supporters staging a protest in a cordoned-off area in London's Parliament Square. Police said two men, believed to be anti-hunt demonstrators, were arrested - one of whom was later released. Anti-hunt protester Paul McNally, from Westminster, said: "They (the marchers) are wealthy people trying to defend a cruel sport." (story)

Guardian 23.9.02 The day cross country came to town - Emma Brockes … This was a demonstration by people not accustomed to demonstrating. Throughout the march the only aggression shown by a crowd of 400,000 people was marital bickering between couples unsure of where they were supposed to be going…. If the political, social and racial diversity of the marchers was limited, then the causes they lead were eccentrically diverse: the Equine Grass Sickness Fund, the movement to reinstate target pistol shooting, the Merseyside Terrier and Lurcher Club, the Keep Gibraltar British campaign, and Graham Barker, an engineer from the Channel Islands, protesting against "the erosion of sovereignty in this country" by Brussels…. one lonely counter-demonstrator greeted marchers with a placard reading "Countryman against killing for pleasure". Robin Richards, a retired rural surveyor from the New Forest, cast an eye over the marchers, many of them his neighbours… (story)
Guardian 23.9.02 400,000 bring rural protest to London - Tania Branigan - Four hundred thousand protesters descended on central London yesterday for the Liberty and Livelihood march, claimed to be the largest demonstration in Britain since the 19th century… (story)
Guardian 23.9.02 Club's hunting cry shames racing's leaders - They are very fond of Rule 220 (iii) at Jockey Club headquarters. It is the "catch-all" clause in the Rules of Racing, the one that deals with bringing the sport into disrepute, and it is always ready for action when no other charge quite fits. It should be just the ticket, then, when Christopher Spence and Christopher Foster, the Club's senior steward and executive director respectively, arrive for work this morning, since the pair of them quite shamelessly spent yesterday acting, as Rule 220 (iii) puts it, "in a manner . . . prejudicial to the good reputation of horseracing in Great Britain." What they were doing, along with Tristram Ricketts, the secretary-general of the British Horseracing Board, was adding their support to the Countryside March. They did so not as individuals, doing as they pleased on their day of rest, but as official representatives of the racing industry. Their message was clear: racing supports fox-hunting… Racing needs hunting all right - like it needs a dose of the pox. (story)
Guardian 23.9.02 For club and country, the day the rules were bent - City's swankiest institutions open doors for special occasion - Sarah Hall - If the Countryside Alliance had sought to claim that yesterday's march represented the fears of the entire rural community, there were no such pretensions at inclusivity in London's unashamedly elitist clubland… (story)
Guardian 23.9.02 BBC country stinks - Monkey wandered down to the Liberty & Livelihood march yesterday and played spot the Daily Mail reader. It didn't take long. Right by Trafalgar Square there was a big placard bellowing "The BBC is England's number one enemy." John Craven had better watch out for the wicker man when he's filming Country File this week (story)

Independent 23.9.02 Government brushes aside the 'muddled' marchers By Nigel Morris, Political Correspondent - The government has announced that it will press ahead without delay with plans to outlaw hunting in a direct rebuff to the Countryside Alliance marchers. Alun Michael, the Rural Affairs minister, said he would not be influenced by the strength of feeling shown by the demonstration and accused its organisers of being in a "muddle."… Downing Street refused to comment yesterday on claims in Sunday newspapers that the Prince of Wales had relayed rural concerns directly in a letter to Mr Blair…. Iain Duncan Smith, the Conservative leader, was among several members of the Shadow Cabinet who attended the protest. He said: "It is wrong, with all the problems that exist in the countryside at the moment… (story)
Independent 23.9.02 Brogue mail looms large as a minority are mobilised, all the way from Sloane Street - Brian Viner … Jim, in the ice-cream van opposite Knightsbridge Barracks, was a little more clued-up. "It's about the right to hunt, innit," he said, handing a 99 to a girl in jodhpurs. "Which as I see it is no different to my right to sell ice creams." His face darkened at the very idea that someone might threaten to confiscate his Hundreds and Thousands. As for the hundreds and thousands marching from Hyde Park – a multitude so great that those at the back took more than three hours to start moving, and remained standing in the shadow of the Albert Memorial long after the vanguard had reached the end of Piccadilly, some two miles east – their placards and banners declared a bewildering range of grievances, way beyond the proposed ban on fox hunting…. The Prime Minister, indeed, has surely never been more demonised than he was yesterday. Anti-Blair slogans ranged from the cruel – "TB, Nasty Little Bug, Stamp Him Out" – to the cute – "I'm Tony Blair, Get Me Out Of Here" – to the curious – "Toe Knee Blur, Get Your Priorities Right" – to the clumsy – "Tony Blair Your [sic] Not Fair If You Won't Let Us Coarse [sic] a Hare" – to the considerably more direct – "Bollocks to Blair"…. (story)
Independent 23.9.02 The Liberty March: Placards reveal depth of anger in countryside ? and tout for business - "Bullying Labour Axes Individual Rights", said one of the banners, held aloft proudly over the heads of the thousands, competing for attention with "Piss Off Tony" and "Buy Your Sheep Dip at Relph's of Cumbria"…. As the banners of the Waveney Harriers and South Pembrokeshire Hunt bobbed past, Cameron Middleton, 19, a gamekeeper from Perth, Tayside, explained why he had felt obliged to travel to London… Paul Connolly, 38, a bus driver of Harrow, London, said: "I'm supporting all these people because I know how they feel. I was a pistol shooter and they are going to get treated the same way as we were. My hobby's gone and it's never been quite the same." (story)
Independent 23.9.02 The Livelihood March: Pipes and horns drown out the chants against their hated quarry By Arifa Akbar - It began modestly, with clusters of ruddy-cheeked country folk ambling their way to Blackfriers in tweeds and Barbours. By midday, the livelihood leg of the countryside march reached epic proportions, with deafening chants, a cacophony of carnival whistles and a sea of banners across central London… Pam Pattinson, a farmers' wife and general secretary of Northumberland Haydon Hunt, spoke of the Government's lack of support for the rural economy…. Forbes Reback, 67, the vice chairman of America's National Beagles Club, said: "I love to hunt in England and Wales and I would hate to see the tradition destroyed, I think it is wholly uncivilised to ban it in a democracy."… (story)
Independent 23.9.02 'People who have gone to London to save fox-hunting need shooting themselves' By Robert Verkaik and Simon Crisp - The normally bustling village of Hanbury, deep in the Worcestershire countryside, was eerily empty yesterday as 400 farmers, labourers and shopkeepers joined the Liberty and Livelihood march. The village is often cited as the inspiration for Ambridge, the village in Radio 4's farming soap The Archers… (story)
Independent 23.9.02 Country invades town in a show of force (and ferrets) By Paul Peachey - Campaigners claim to have sent a defiant message to the Government yesterday when an estimated 400,000 farmers, hunters and rural workers joined one of the biggest protests held in London… (story)
Independent 23.9.02 The countryside is a no-go area for black Britons - Does Prince Charles really not wonder that there might be a coded message behind all these 'way of life' complaints? - Yasmin Alibhai-Brown … Has he given the slightest thought to why it is that the countryside remains such a no-go area for most people of colour? Hundreds of thousands of black and Asian Britons have farming in their blood, and are the descendants of tillers, but have you ever seen a black or Asian farmer or farm worker? Does Charles really not wonder that there might be a coded message is behind all these "way of life" complaints? You don't see any black or Asian people on these marches (if anyone did spot the Devon Council for Racial Equality banner or the Jamaican Fox-Hunting Society do correct me), and often extreme nationalist groups are in there with their repulsive ambitions to claim back Britain for whites…. However, people of all backgrounds, including the English, must have the freedom to be who they are and to take pride in this without being labelled barbaric or racist. I say this in an essay in Reclaiming Britishness, the book that also features Blunkett's controversial arguments for learning English. But that is very different from demanding that the British public must pay for and forever put up with the disagreeable demands and dubious values that so many country people feel wedded to. Down with you I say, and stay out of our mixed cities. (story)

Telegraph 21.9.02 407,791 voices cry freedom - The Liberty and Livelihood March through London was the biggest civil liberty protest in British history. Stephen Robinson reports…. There were no speeches, no rally, no concert to raise the spirits before the long journey home. Once they had passed the counting station, the marchers were asked simply to disperse to allow those behind to complete the route. The very spareness of the march somehow added to its power. Some 400,000 people came to London from all over the country to tramp along the streets, and simply be counted… One of the last banners read: "Mr Blair, see what a minority looks like." This was a pretty good joke when 200,000 were expected, but became better still when more than double that figure turned up…. (story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 Were you listening, Tony Blair? By Charles Moore, Editor of the Daily Telegraph - Above all, it was the numbers. As soon as we reached our village railway station (yes, it is one of the few that still has one), we joined a crowd… (story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 Countryside will 'erupt in fury' if it is not heard, warns alliance - By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - The countryside will erupt in fury if the Government does not listen to the Liberty and Livelihood march's concern about a possible ban on hunting, John Jackson, chairman of the Countryside Alliance, warned yesterday… Mr Michael accused the Countryside Alliance of trying to hijack the many genuine rural concerns of people on the march with its message about hunting. However, Iain Duncan Smith, the Tory leader, said that was like saying a "jumbo jet had been hijacked by British Airways"…. (story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 Heart of the capital beats with undying spirit of the country - The length of the march was matched only by the depth of its feeling. Robert Uhlig is swept along by the tide of humanity… (story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 Tolpuddle and Aldermaston are outpaced - As the 407,791st and final demonstrator was counted home at 5.38pm yesterday, the Liberty and Livelihood March officially became the largest single protest staged in Britain…. (story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 Voices of the countryside baffle minister - Duchess of Devonshire… Richard Johnson, 25, jockey… Malcolm Wigley, 56, a greenkeeper, from Chepstow, south Wales… Edward Fox, actor… Caroline McKay, 38, a publisher from Parsons Green, west London… Howard Webb, 39, a police constable from North Yorkshire: "From a police officer's point of view the ban against hunting is totally unenforceable. We have got drugs, burglaries and muggings. The idea that a policeman is going to go out on the North York Moors looking for riders in pinks is absolutely ridiculous. Like all these things there should be a compromise."… (& others) (story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 The demonstrators who had to watch themselves - Prince Charles may have forbidden his companion Camilla Parker Bowles from attending yesterday's march, but no such restrictions were to be placed on her 84-year-old father, Major Bruce Shand MC. Major Bruce, who could not be dissuaded from walking the entire way, chose an unlikely companion to steady himself along the route - a 20-stone American rap artist who goes by the name of Ade… Vanity is a terrible thing - and the primary reason why many of yesterday's protesters found themselves facing such a long wait even to reach the start line in Hyde Park. The allure of watching oneself on television proved irresistible for most protesters, who stopped to admire themselves on the giant screens which were erected at the end of Whitehall "to provide a sense of occasion". Despite the best efforts of stewards to move people on the problem was only solved by a rustic message to the man up on the camera platform. "Pan out! Pan out! Don't let the buggers see the whites of their eyes."… (story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 On this very genteel un-American demo, I found the England that I'd read about in Trollope By Julia Maynett - How disappointing. No red coats in sight, only green and tweed. I went on the countryside march to satisfy my anglophilia. As a New Yorker who moved to England because of a love affair with Dickens, I expected full foxhunting regalia… I'd expect such a crowd to be uppity. But no, British order prevailed. In this massive crowd, I got bumped twice. On each occasion I was shocked when the bumper apologised profusely… Despite the crisis in crime, the countryside and education brought about by cool Britannia, England can still reclaim its age-old position as the country of civility, deeply-held beliefs and order. Despite the lack of redcoats, I found the England I'd read about (story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 The long march - Never before have so many people taken to the streets in protest. To a government that, more than any of its predecessors, reveres popularity, this ought to matter. It is true, of course, that opinion polls continue to show a majority (though a diminishing one) against country sports. Yet polls are a blunt psephological instrument. It may well be that two thirds of people, when pushed for an opinion, say that they are against hunting; but this does not mean that they see the issue as terribly important, let alone the determinant of how they vote. For the hundreds of thousands who took part in yesterday's Liberty and Livelihood March, however, the issue could not have been more vital: they were marching to defend a way of life… (story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 Notebook By W F Deedes It struck me as only courteous to greet my local hunt as they arrived in London yesterday. So to London Bridge soon after noon, where marchers were still streaming off the platforms. The East Kent Hunt, all smiles, came off a train into which 500 people had been packed. If you can come off an hour's journey in such a train looking cheerful, I reflected, you're special. Your country needs you…. (story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 Political correctness of the very worst kind By Richard Evans - If anything is more pernicious than the abuse of power, it is the abuse of freedom by those in power, and racing has been an unwitting victim of such a monstrous assault in recent weeks - from within… A self-imposed ban by Channel 4 Racing on any mention of the march or hunting was introduced after the publicity stunt carried out by Peter Walwyn at Sandown, on July 5, when he held up a banner in front of their cameras advertising the march…. To my mind, Channel 4's draconian action owes more to the tender feelings of media luvvies rather than a stand on a point of principle. Be that as it may, at least they have an excuse, albeit a very flimsy one. I can find none for the Racing Post our sport's daily trade paper, which has been silent on the march and the issues involved, save for eight anodyne paragraphs buried on page 19 of Saturday's edition under the awe-inspiring headline of 'Racing to be represented at Countryside Alliance march.' This deafening silence has not happened by chance. I am reliably informed the newspaper's galaxy of star columnists has been actively discouraged from writing a single syllable about the march, in favour or against…. (story)

Times 23.9.02 It's Livestock and Two Smoking Barrels as country goes to town BY BEN MACINTYRE … Some 400,000 people — farmers and fox-hunters, dog lovers, gun enthusiasts, farriers, harriers, ferret-fanciers, ramblers, bagpipers, Lords and labourers, Sloane Rangers and silage makers, urbanites with country leanings, countryfolk who happen to live in cities, and fans of Emmerdale. If, as many loudly proclaimed, the countryside is dying, then it can still boast an astonishing variety of human fauna…. “Forget Umbria, Think Cumbria,” read the placards. “Back off Blair”… (story)
Times 23.9.02

BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE biggest peaceful street protest in British history ended yesterday with a warning to Tony Blair that a ban on foxhunting could lead to civil unrest… Michael Clayton, chairman of the Alliance in the East Midlands and former chairman of the Cottesmore Hunt, also predicted a backlash in the countryside with “more aggressive” protests if a fair decision was not reached… Yesterday’s turnout, however, failed to impress Mr Michael, the Minister responsible for hunting, who made clear it would have no effect on the proposals he will finalise within weeks. He doubted that there would be mass civil unrest in rural areas and the real concerns of the countryside had been “hijacked” by the hunting lobby. (story)
Times 23.9.02

'Money matters but freedom brought us here' BY PATRICK BARKHAM AND GABRIEL ROZENBERG - THOUSANDS of protesters cut swaths of green and brown through the grey streets of Central London yesterday as lords, ratcatchers, gamekeepers, merchant bankers, babies and dogs joined the countryside march… For some the issue was freedom. Ashraf Issak, born in Kenya, bred in Bolton and living in the Middle East, walked with his wife and daughter. “I’m working in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and we wouldn’t dare do anything like this,” he said. “We would be killed. This is a symbol of democracy.”… “You’ve got everyone from the country set in their twinsets and pearls to the local ratcatcher,” said Keith Simpson, Conservative MP for Mid Norfolk. “I’ve seen most of Norfolk go past.” (story)
Times 23.9.02

Locals take the marchers in their stride BY PATRICK BARKHAM AND GABRIEL ROZENBERG … Those who ventured out were unconcerned by the streams of marchers. Simon Myers, a brand consultant from Queen’s Park, said: “Part of me is quite pleased that British people are taking to the streets to demonstrate against something that they feel strongly about, because we probably do not do that enough in this country…. (story)
Times 23.9.02 London leaves first-timer cold BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - UNTIL yesterday the furthest that Neil Oselen had travelled from home was a day trip to Blackpool. The countryside march brought him to the capital for the first time, for his debut as a protester. Mr Oselen, 53, a shepherd from Colwall, near Hereford, was not too impressed, and could not wait to get home. “I’m glad I came and was part of that fantastic turnout, it was unbelievable, but I would not like too live here. There was a lot of large, ugly and dirty buildings,” he said…. Mr Oselen no longer hunts, but he has followed the Ledbury Hunt in the past and still goes to meets on Boxing Day to catch up with old friends (story)
Times 23.9.02 < Awayday trippers blessed by bishop - A SILVER band and Scottish pipers welcomed the hundreds waiting at Basingstoke station to board the “Rural Rocket”, a chartered 12-carriage train that took them to Waterloo for the march. The Right Rev Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Basingstoke, gave them his blessing in a short service outside the station before they left at 9am. One of the hymns was “We plough the fields and scatter”… (story)
Times 23.9.02 Private protest for Parker Bowles - CAMILLA PARKER BOWLES, banned from the rally by Prince Charles, staged her own protest when she joined a society pro-hunting party. Mrs Parker Bowles was the surprise star turn at a party thrown by Sir John Mortimer, creator of Rumpole of the Bailey, and his wife Penny, in west London… (story)
Times 23.9.02 Ghost village that hopes to survive - THE tiny village of Exford, population 399, got a lot smaller yesterday. Almost every resident in the picturesque Exmoor community hopped into Range Rovers or boarded coaches and trains bound for the countryside march. Pat Jeffery, 46, a kennelman for the Devon and Somerset stag hounds, was one villager who stayed behind. “All the other staff have gone to London but someone had to stay behind and look after the dogs — and that’s me,” he said…. (story)
Times 23.9.02 Yesterday, our nation spoke from the heart - WILLIAM REES-MOGG - I am overlooking Pall Mall as I write this article. For the past five hours the street has been full of the countryside marchers, who stretch from St James’s Palace at one end, past the Athenaeum Club and the statue of the Grand Old Duke of York, down to Trafalgar Square…. The bitterness against Tony Blair comes out in the economic placards. “The Blairs earn £7,500 a week — farmers earn £7,500 a year” is alleged by one placard. The statement may possibly exaggerate the Blairs’ family income, but the huge disparity between urban and farm incomes is a fact…. It is an achievement of a kind to have brought these people to the boil, an achievement of bad government. Once brought to the boil, as I think they have been, they will not easily be turned aside from their objectives.

Mirror 23.9.02 CHARLES IN HUNT STORM By James Whitaker and Oonagh Blackman … Yesterday's "liberty and livelihood" march was claimed by organisers to be the biggest demo in 150 years. A Liberty march starting from Hyde Park Corner and a Livelihood march starting from Blackfriars merged in Whitehall for a final rally in Parliament Square…. A group of fewer than 50 anti-hunt protesters gathered in Parliament Square. But their efforts to drown the noise of marchers with a 22- member band were fruitless. Police arrested four anti-hunt protesters over the day… (story)
Mirror 23.9.02 A MARCH FOR BLOOD THIRSTY ANARCHISTS - BRIAN READE on how the fox hunters hijacked the countryside protest - WHEN it was all over and the Barbours and bumpkins retreated to their villages for a quick snifter in the Firkin Fox, the chinless wonders behind it all were positively orgasmic. The flawlessness of their operation, the polite exuberance of their marchers, the carefully managed media images of "decent British citizens making a stand for their civil rights" and the sheer scale of their numbers had exceeded their wildest expectations… IN truth it was simply a desperate demonstration against the imminent ban on murdering animals with dogs, backed by rural pressure groups after even more hand-outs, and right-wing political forces who want to see this Labour government removed… Let it erupt, I say. Let pro-hunting fanatics pollute our water supplies and block our roads. Let us pull back the veil of deception and see the smiling country bumpkins as the bloodthirsty anarchists they truly are.. (story)
Mirror 23.9.02 WILLS' PROTEST PARTY (story)

Sun 23.9.02 Capital swamped as 400,000 stage biggest protest in history - By CHARLES RAE, DIANA BLAMIRES, and SALLY BROOK - THE countryside came to London yesterday as more than 400,000 lovers of the rural way of life demanded to be seen and heard…
Tony turns deaf ear to blare of the hunting horns - Commentary by Trevor Kavanagh, Political Editor … was anyone in deserted Downing Street or Whitehall listening?... for the Labour Left and the animal rights movement, the demo will only fuel their rage over the killing of foxes. They will ignore the regional accents, working men’s clothes and the threat to thousands of hunt-related jobs in areas of high unemployment. For such hardliners, the idea that this is also a working class sport is incomprehensible. For them, foxhunting is the domain of a plummy-toned squire-archy… Mr Blair cannot shrug off this huge protest by a traditionally placid sector. But since they are not and never will be Labour voters, he will offer little more than soothing words… (stories)
Sun 23.9.02 I'm here for freedom By CHARLES RAE and DIANA BLAMIRES - A LANDOWNER spoke for the 400,000 countryside marchers yesterday as he declared: “The reason I’m here can be summed up in one word — freedom.”… (story)
Sun 23.9.02 Bloody nose for Labour - NEW Labour’s Achilles heel is arrogance. It is what has turned so many against Tony Blair. And it helps explain why hundreds of thousands turned out to protest on the streets of London yesterday… There were millions in towns and cities who watched the march on TV last night. Many of them will have thought the same thing: Good on you for giving Blair a bloody nose! (story)

23.9.02 Local & regional stories

Western Daily Press 23.9.02 CAMPAIGNERS DELIVER THEIR WISH LIST TO DOWNING ST - Countryside leaders will today deliver a tough list of demands to Downing Street in a bid to save rural Britain. Less than 24 hours after the UK's biggest-ever demonstration saw more than 400,000 people march on London, campaigners will hand over a tough 10-point message to Tony Blair…. (story)
Western Daily Press 23.9.02 AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER - The Countryside Alliance today sends this open letter to Tony Blair: Dear Prime Minister, Yesterday a massive number of decent, law-abiding people, men, women and children came to London from all quarters of the country to demonstrate peaceably in support of the principles of liberty and livelihood in the countryside…. Yours sincerely, John Jackson, chairman Countryside Alliance (story)
Western Daily Press 23.9.02 TEN DEMANDS FOR JUSTICE IN THE COUNTRYSIDE - 1 - Ensure any hunting legislation is based on the evidence, is just and respects the rights of rural communities as set out in the Rio Declar ation…2 - Put the needs and aspirations of country people at the forefront of rural change, and make their consent of paramount importance…. (story)
Western Daily Press 23.9.02 MASS RANKS OF THE COUNTRYSIDE SHUFFLE - They came from across Britain to bring London to a standstill. But for the majority of the day, it was the 400,000plus marchers who were doing the standing still. Snakes of humanity came from all over the UK, converging at a crawling pace towards Whitehall… (story)
Western Daily Press 23.9.02 - CELEBS TURN OUT IN FORCE . . . AND THIS IS WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY - Dozens of celebrities joined the Liberty and Livelihood March yesterday while others pledged their support from afar…. (story)
Western Daily Press 23.9.02 ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE - About 50 anti-bloodsports campaigners confronted hunting supporters marching through London yesterday… Among them was Carla Lane… Another, Mary McMillen from London, carried a toy fox wearing a crown, which she said symbolised the fact hunting was a Royal sport…. protester Jane Wright, 63, from Kent said: "This is the 21st century and bloodsports have no place in a modern nation… (story)

Scotsman 23.9.02 Countryside Alliance takes protest to PM - THE Countryside Alliance today sent an open letter to the Prime Minister calling on him to govern "for all people" after 400,000 marchers took to the streets of London…. (story)
Scotsman 23.9.02 Charles row as London turns rural - Andrew Denholm and Alison Hardie - HUNDREDS of thousands of countryside protesters yesterday gathered in London for one of the largest demonstrations seen in the UK as the Prince of Wales became embroiled in the escalating row over the future of rural Britain. HUNDREDS of thousands of countryside protesters yesterday gathered in London for one of the largest demonstrations seen in the UK as the Prince of Wales became embroiled in the escalating row over the future of rural Britain. Prince Charles reportedly wrote to Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, castigating him for "ruining" the countryside and claiming that rural communities who supported fox hunting were being persecuted…. Following the protest, the alliance sent an open letter to the Prime Minister calling on him to govern "for all people" and with a list of demands, headed What The Countryside Needs, including calls for hunting legislation to respect the rights of rural communities… (story)
Scotsman 23.9.02 Cheers as saltires join the voices of protest - Edward Black in London - THEY came in their hundreds of thousands, flying flags from all corners of the United Kingdom, but as the makeshift countryside army converged on Hyde Park it was a sea of saltires that drew the loudest cheers…. It took the Duke of Buccleuch’s Hunt supporters, who braved a 3am start from the Borders, two hours just to reach the starting gate at Hyde Park as they joined the liberty march…. (story)
Scotsman 23.9.02 Facing the real issues about the countryside - BY ANY measure, the turnout at the Liberty and Livelihood march was impressive… Yet the fox-hunting issue cannot be avoided. Making a ban on fox-hunting a political priority has indicated a serious myopia among politicians regarding the real agenda - farm reform and population movement. Equally, it has served as a diversion for the rural lobby, making its plight seem to many urban eyes merely the cry of the green welly-boot brigade. If yesterday was only about foxes, then the humans have lost out all round. (story)
Scotsman 23.9.02 COMMENT: Is Blair listening? … The March for Liberty and Livelihood, which was organised by the Countryside Alliance, cannot be simply dismissed as a protest by the pro-hunt lobby. People had travelled from all over the country to voice a range of concerns, from milk prices and farm subsidies to the Government’s handling of last year’s foot-and-mouth crisis. However, the overall message that came through loud and clear was a simple one: that people living in rural areas are just not happy with this Government’s performance…. While many of those living in rural areas may not be natural Labour supporters, Mr Blair must realise that he cannot afford to ignore a protest of this magnitude. Should he fail to listen, he will simply hand over a ready-made platform for the opposition. (story)

Manchester Evening News 23.9.02 8,000 join demo over countryside jobs - MORE than 8,000 people from the north west joined the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood march through the capital… Among the campaigners was Wythenshawe man Vinnie Faal, who said his hobby of hunting rabbits with his three lurcher dogs will be under threat if the government bans hunting with hounds… (story)

Worcester Evening News 23.9.02 The big march: County takes over the capital - THE streets of London were awash with protesters from the two counties yesterday, joining the largest protest parade the capital had seen since the Middle Ages… (story in archive)

Cambridge News 23.9.02 Taking country issues to the city - THOUSANDS of people from Mid-Anglia joined yesterday's Countryside Alliance march in London… MEP Robert Sturdy said: “They made their presence felt and the Government must take action on the issues raised.”… Liz Mort, eastern regional director of the Countryside Scheme Alliance, said she had expected a large turnout but was amazed that more than 400,000 people had turned up, including 200 coach loads from Cambridgeshire and Suffolk…. But Tony Gatter, anti-hunt campaigner, was less impressed… 'NEWS' OPINION: If ever the Government needed proof that those living in the countryside are not happy with their lot then yesterday’s protest march in London provided it… Contrary to much of the pre-march publicity, the question of fox-hunting was a minor player compared with the other protestations… The masses who filled the streets of London yesterday left Mr Blair in no uncertain terms as to how they feel about the current situation. He and his Government would be wrong to ignore the voices of the 400,000 (story)

Western Morning News 23.9.02 WEST'S 'MAGNIFICENT' SHOW OF STRENGTH - The Countryside Alliance last night estimated that up to 70,000 people from the Westcountry travelled to London to take part in yesterday's march - making it the biggest ever exodus of people from the region… (story)
Western Morning News 23.9.02 'ALL AROUND WAS A HEARTFELT SENSE OF INJUSTICE' - It was probably the country sports lobby's finest hour, with even the pigeons in Trafalgar Square making themselves scarce… A six-figure number flickered above Whitehall in the gloaming, then the LED read-out went blank. Before it disappeared last night, the mere size of the number must have been enough to send alarm bells through the corridors of power. The figure was 407,791. That's how many country folk filed up to the Big Smoke… it was a heartfelt sense of injustice that lay smouldering somewhere under the wax jacketed and corduroyed crowd.You could detect it in no uncertain terms by the way marchers shouted the moment they saw Defra's headquarters next door to Old Scotland Yard. "It's quite funny really," said a jolly policeman who'd been stationed opposite. "Many of them don't seem to know whose headquarters it is until they come past. And then they go mad."… There were two placards that seemed to sum up this mood of gentle, well-behaved threat. One said: "The Green Giant Awakes, Handle With Care". Another warned: "Next Time It Gets Nasty". (story)
Western Morning News 23.9.02 HISTORIC DAY OF DIGNITY, DUTY AND DETERMINATION - It started on Saturday night when, after many weeks of preparation, I went up to work at Countryside Alliance headquarters in London and to help out during the march…. (story)
Western Morning News 23.9.02 STRATEGY ENSURED SMOOTH OUTCOME - The Countryside Alliance and the Metropolitan Police agree the official number of 407,741 marchers at yesterday's rally - more than 50 per cent more than the 280,000 who attended 1998's rally… 1,600 police officers ensured the event passed smoothly. This is significantly fewer than the 10,000 officers who policed this year's Notting Hill Carnival…. The police made four arrests, all anti-hunt protesters who were detained for minor public order offences…. (story)
Western Morning News 23.9.02 'FASCINATING' DAY FOR TV STAR NOEL - Celebrity Noel Edmonds, pictured above, queued for three hours yesterday just to start the Liberty and Livelihood March with his wife Helen. She hunts, he doesn't - but that hasn't stopped him from championing country issues, or travelling to London from his Devon home…. (story)
Western Morning News 23.9.02 LABOUR BLAMED BY HESELTINE - Prominent among the early marchers was the tall figure of Michael Heseltine, one-time contender for the Conservative Party leadership… "We all know that the farming situation is very serious and that agriculture is at a considerable disadvantage, with people being unable to make profitable returns on their businesses," he said… (story)

Newcastle Evening Chronicle 23.9.02 North demonstrators join in rural protest … North Tyne Hunt Master Edward Thorburn said: "The atmosphere has been electric and all the marchers have demonstrated with dignity…. A MORI poll carried out for the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the League Against Cruel Sports found less than half marchers were true rural dwellers. Phyllis Campbell-McRae, UK director of IFAW, said: "A quarter of rural dwellers work in unskilled manual jobs, the very people whose livelihoods are claimed to be under threat, and yet only four per cent of marchers were from these social groups."(story)

Newcastle Journal 23.9.02 The day the countryside went to town …North-West regional organiser Tom Bell dismissed rural affairs minister Alan Michael's announcement yesterday that hunting legislation could be introduced within weeks rather than months. "I am now convinced that the Government has to listen to us," he said… North Tyne Hunt master Edward Thorburn said: "The atmosphere has been electric and all marchers have demonstrated with dignity… (story)
Newcastle Journal 23.9.02 Hunters 'hijacked' real issues - minister … Hannah Ferry, 21, an art student from Camberwell, London, was among a group of anti- hunt protesters who were also in the capital yesterday…. Also among the group of anti-hunt protesters at yesterday's march was Ms Lawrie Lown, 44, from Portland, Oregon… Peter Bonham Christie, 21, a businessman from Blandford, Dorset, rides with the Portmann Hunt and rode up to London with a contingent from the West Wiltshire Hunt… John Richardson, retired Bishop of Bedfordshire, said: "I am here to support the people I have lived and worked with from the countryside."… (story)
Newcastle Journal 24.9.02 Bill Telfer column - By the time you read this the "march" will be over. I'm sure there will be enough commentators to give you their points of view before next week, so I'll leave it apart from one comment. It surprised me that Mr Blair is apparently quite happy to "spill blood" as he puts it, whether British or anyone elses, yet he draws the line at killing foxes…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 23.9.02 400,000 on streets as rural revolt stepped up (story)
Yorkshire Post 23.9.02 'Try locking this lot up, Mr Blair' - For hours, they marched in their hundreds of thousands to urge Parliament to think again. Political Editor Brendan Carlin looked on as the countryside came to London… But if it was class war that the anti-hunt campaigners were looking for, they'd have been disappointed. Working-class lads like 32-year-old Lee Upstone from the Rother Valley Working Terriers Club were not out of place…. Paul Sherwood… travelled down to join members of the Hurworth Hunt in North Yorkshire to give them his support… in an age when apathy rules and voters are an endangered species, yesterday's march – notwithstanding the "we'll defy the law" message of some – went a long way to restoring faith in democracy. (story)
Yorkshire Post 23.9.02 Alliance leader sets out demands - The Countryside Alliance sent an open letter to the Prime Minister yesterday, calling on him to govern "for all people", after 400,000 marchers took to the streets of London… (story)
Yorkshire Post 23.9.02 Arrests as marchers clash with anti-hunt protest … An art student from Camberwell, London, Hannah Ferry, 21, was among a group of anti-hunt protesters… Also among the anti-hunt protesters was Ms Lawrie Lown, 44, from Portland, Oregon… (story)
Yorkshire Post 23.9.02 'They will have to listen to us now' - PROTESTERS on the Liberty and Livelihood rural rights march came from all walks of life – from town and country – and from 26 other countries…(story)
Yorkshire Post 23.9.02 Members of 'most targeted' hunt join the fight - More than 1,000 members of a hunt dubbed the "most targeted in the country" were among the crowds who marched yesterday. The Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt has suffered car bombs, attacks, threats of violence and arson at the hands of anti-hunt campaigners in recent years… (story)
Yorkshire Post 23.9.02 Protest among the biggest (story)
Yorkshire Post 23.9.02 September's march - THEY came from the four corners of the country – from towns and cities, villages and hamlets – not in noisy or angry protest, but with a quiet and dignified solemnity… (story)
Yorkshire Post 23.9.02 A marching we will go… Gisburn auction mart at 4.30am yesterday was a lively place, one of hundreds of coach departure points in Yorkshire. Pitch black all the same. At 5.15am, the four coaches chartered by the Pendle Forest and Craven Hunt set off for the M6 and the capital…. Ramsden Ferret Power went past, plus lots of rural wit. "Keep the cow s**t in the country and the bull s**t in the town" seemed to hit the mark, and "If you ain't never caught a rabbit you ain't no friend of mine" was a beauty. The Wildlife Manor Hunt from Tennessee got a holler, and there was a hurrah and verse of It's a Long Way to Tipperary for the Hunting Association of Ireland…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 23.9.02 400,000 MAKE THE POINT BUT MINISTER SAYS HE'S PUZZLED … Around 140 coaches and a specially chartered train left the county to join the campaigners… Angela Browning, Tiverton and Honiton MP, joined the march with the Silverton Foxhounds…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 23.9.02 'ARE YOU LISTENING, TONY BLAIR?' - BY MIKE ROBERTS - For me, the Liberty and Livelihood March started at Stansted service station. As a passenger on one of the Quorn Hunt's 20 coaches I was heading for London and the demonstration…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 23.9.02 COUNTY PROTESTERS JOIN RURAL MARCH BY AMRIN KHAN - Thousands of Leicestershire protesters helped bring London to a standstill when they took part in the March for Liberty and Livelihood… Belvoir Hunt chairman Tor Owen said: "There is a cross-section of the population here and everybody is here with an interest in freedom of choice…" (story)

Shropshire Star 23.9.02 Countryside marches on London was reduced to a standstill as more than 400,000 countryside campaigners took to the streets in the largest political protest in recent British history…(story)
Shropshire Star 23.9.02 Campaigners take to the streets Words - James Whittaker, Pictures - Peter Flemmich Pat Trewin, secretary of the Wyre Forest Beagles near Clun, south Shropshire, said: "We attend most of the marches…." Lucy Belcher, 11, from Bridge Farm, Edgmond, said: "I go hunting with the North Shropshire Hunt. They should listen to people from Shropshire and not ban it."… (story)
Shropshire Star 23.9.02 Dignity on the march - With its quiet British dignity, the countryside march which brought London to a standstill had similarities with the way the nation reacted to the death of the Queen Mother… By taking to the city streets country people have demonstrated that they have had enough and want to be listened to for a change. (story)
Shropshire Star 23.9.02 The message goes to town Shropshire Star reporter JAMES WHITTAKER joined a group of Shropshire protesters on the journey to London for yesterday's "liberty and livelihood" march … The one slogan that kept appearing among the banners bobbing up and down in the sea of protesters said: "I love my country, but I fear my Government." For 64-year-old Peter Trewin, huntmaster of the Wyre Forest Beagles at Odbury near Clun, it could not be more apt. "I have never felt such utter loathing for a Government as I feel for this one in all my working life," he says… will these peaceful people, who yesterday staged one of the biggest demonstrations this country has ever seen without even a whisper of trouble, be forced into a life of crime?... (story)

Torquay Herald Express 23.9.02 MARCHING TO SAVE THEIR WAY OF LIFE BY TIM PLATT … Hundreds of protesters joined thousands from around Britain to walk through London for the national Liberty and Livelihood March… Among those travelling from South Devon to complete the march ending in Parliament Square was hunt member Caroline Lewis of the South Hams-based Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers… (story)
Torquay Herald Express 23.9.02 THOUSANDS ON MARCH BY TIM PLATT - Rural rights campaigners from South Devon have issued their own ultimatum to Prime Minister Tony Blair to play fair with the countryside… (story)

Glasgow Herald 23.9.02 400,000 on march as countryside fights back - HELEN PUTTICK- RURAL Britain took over central London yesterday as 400,000 demonstrators took part in the biggest single protest the UK has seen…. Prohibition is proposed south of the border. Joe Scott Plummer, joint master of the Buccleuch hunt and a member of the steering committee for the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said: "There is an element of solidarity in us (the Scots) coming here today…" (story in archive)
Glasgow Herald 23.9.02 Saltire brandished in new alliance - HELEN PUTTICK - IT was almost as if the Scots had arrived in London victorious - not defeated. At the sight of the Saltires the shuffling queue outside Hyde Park erupted into a roar… (story in archive)
Glasgow Herald 23.9.02 Stealing a march - Hunting ban is not the only cause of rural anger … whether it be the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 or the Revolt of the Pheasant Set of 2002, the message is clear - the countryside is angry. What, precisely, the countryside is angry about is less clear…. (story in archive)

(story) 23.9.02 CAN YOU HEAR US TONY BLAIR? - The Countryside Alliance today followed up a record-breaking protest by sending an open letter to the Prime Minister… John Green, joint master of the Burton Hunt, said the next two weeks would show how committed the Government was to the countryside…(story)
(story) 23.9.02 WHY IS THE GOVERNMENT OUT TO DESTROY OUR LIVES? … Reporter Jason Hippisley and photographer Anna Draper joined an estimated 6,500 people from Lincolnshire…. After 35 years as the professional huntsman to the Burton Hounds - the country's oldest pack - Jim Lang is painfully aware of what impending legislation could do to his livelihood…. Roger Finney (49) , a member of the South Wold Hunt and a company director from Baumber, said: "It's definitely one in the eye for the Government…." (story)

York Evening Press 23.9.02 Rural marchers in plea to Blair … The Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope, called for the Government to listen to the demands of campaigners in yesterday's Liberty & Livelihood march…. Jeremy Timm, joint master of York and Ainsty South Hunt, said it was crucial the Government sat up and took notice…. (story in archive)

Grimsby Telegraph 23.9.02 TAKING BULL BY HORNS - HANNAH KENNARD - Organisers behind Lincolnshire's 2,000 voices that joined the massed ranks in London for Britain's biggest ever demonstration, believe their efforts will have had a massive impact within Parliament's corridors of power… Mr Juckes co-ordinated the march for the Brocklesby Hunt, from which 440 members travelled to the capital on nine coaches. Another 10 left from South Wold, near Louth, and hundreds travelled from farms and villages in northern Lincolnshire to show their mettle…(story)
Grimsby Telegraph 23.9.02 PROTEST VENTS FURY BUT 'MESSAGE IS MUDDLED' … the message seemed lost on Countryside Minister Alun Michael - the man tasked with resolving the fox hunting issue which has dogged Labour since it came to power. He said: "I don't want to dismiss the scale or the feelings of those on the march, but I do have to ask what is it all about? There has been a muddle at the heart of today's march."… (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 23.9.02 GAMEKEEPING IS THE ONLY WAY OF LIFE WE KNOW HERE - It is not just the farmers and the hunters who feel they are suffering at the hands of New Labour. There are many others who are worried, from blacksmiths to gamekeepers. Perry Brumby is head gamekeeper at Brocklesby…. (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 23.9.02 FUTURE IS NOT ALL BLEAK FOR THOSE AT START OF CAREER … Brocklesby kennel hand Ted Hudson is just starting out life as a huntsman, and is confident he will be able to carry on his career… (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 23.9.02 'WE ARE TREATED AS MINORITY' …may save the foxes - but it will kill the countryside. John Goode, Brocklesby huntsman, was on one of nine coaches, which left from the kennels at the crack of dawn. He, like everyone on the march, is concerned for his future, and believes country people are being treated like a minority… (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 23.9.02 'MAKING A STAND FOR OUR FUTURE' … One hundred people from the village of Radbourne joined thousands from across Derbyshire on the march, helping to bring the centre of London to a standstill. Reporter David Clensy and photographer Simon Bolton tagged along on one of the biggest protests the capital has ever seen…. Inside her farmhouse, Radbourne organiser Louise Chaffey was preparing a cup of coffee in a mug decorated with the figure of a huntsman. "We are big Meynell Hunt people and we feel strongly about the possibility of fox hunting being banned," said Mrs Chaffey, who is a gaming farmer…. (story)

Northern Echo 23.9.02 400,000 march for the countryside (story in archive)
Northern Echo 23.9.02 Countryside raises its voice … Gary Watchman, from Sedgefield, a member of the South Durham Hunt, based in Wingate, close to Prime Minister Tony Blair's constituency home, said: "It's gone tremendously well and the support has just been overwhelming."… June Dent, from Great Burdon, near Darlington, who follows the Zetland Hunt, said: "We know just about everybody who has travelled down on our train because we are a community and we look after each other. The Government is destroying our whole way of life."… (story in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 23.9.02 CUMBRIA SHOWS MARCHERS THE WAY - TEN THOUSAND Cumbrians flooded London yesterday with a message for the Prime Minister: "You cannot ignore us"… Mass protest: Peter Wybergh, right, huntsman with the Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds (story)

Daily Record 23.9.02 DOWN WITH THE TOWNIES - Countryside takes to the streets in `fight for survival' (story)
Daily Record 23.9.02 WILLS JOINS HUNT FANS - PRINCE William partied with the pro-hunt lobby on the eve of yesterday's march… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 23.9.02 COUNTY ASKS 'NOW WILL YOU LISTEN MR.BLAIR ? … Representatives of the Berkeley Hunt, Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt, North Cotswold Hunt Cotswold Hunt and Prince Charles' Beaufort Hunt all attended the march… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 23.9.02 RURAL INVADERS CLAIM A RECORD TURNOUT AT DEMO (story)

North West Evening Mail 23.9.02 CUMBRIANS JOIN PROTEST … Master of the North Lonsdale Hunt Alan Bolt said: "It was absolutely terrific. If you can imagine 400,000 people walking through London, it was just a sea of people…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 23.9.02 MICHAEL PLEDGE ON HUNT DECISION - Wales's former First Minister has promised a Bill within weeks on fox-hunting as more than 400,000 rural protesters brought central London to a standstill… (story)

Yorkshire Evening Post 23.9.02 Prince in Yorkshire action call By Tony Harney - PRINCE Charles today stepped on to centre stage in the fight for rural Britain. The Prince of Wales joined the Countryside Alliance at Stainforth in North Yorkshire 24 hours after 400,000 rural activists took over central London. Backing a campaign to save country pubs the Prince said of the plight of the countryside: "Practical action, not just fine words is what is needed." Yesterday's Countryside Alliance Liberty and Livelihood rural rights march was described as the biggest protest of any kind in the UK after at least 300,000 demonstrators converged on the capital…. (story)
Yorkshire Evening Post 23.9.02 COMMENT SPECIAL - 23 SEPTEMBER 2002 BY ANNE PICKLES … At least 400,000 people who marched on London yesterday knew that much but they were worryingly shouted down by their friends and adversaries alike. A significantly vociferous and painfully ignorant minority turned up the volume in determined attempts to hijack a crisis and rewrite it as an ode to Basil Brush. Yes, that's a trite and flagrantly flippant summary of the anti-hunting lobby. But compare the welfare of the fox with the frightened lives of ordinary people who are blatantly and shamefully neglected and it begins to fall into perspective…. (story)

Bristol Evening Post 23.9.02 COUNTRY FOLK FLOCK TO MASSIVE MARCH …John Riddiford, chairman of the Berkeley Hunt Supporters Club, said: "People feel really strongly about making the Government sit up and take notice of us…." Jo Aldridge, spokeswoman for the Beaufort Hunt, said: "If the Government does not take notice of this then there is something seriously wrong. People won't take it lying down if it does not listen to our message." (story)

Hull Daily Mail 23.9.02 RALLYING CRY FOR COUNTRY - East YORKSHIRE: Passionate countryside campaigners today vowed to continue their fight for a better deal for rural areas… Among them were members of the Holderness Hunt, based in Etton…(story)
Hull Daily Mail 23.9.02 MARCH OF UNIT - The Livelihood and Liberty protest was more than a march, it was a show of rural unity by thousands of countryfolk. Andrew Morton reports… Among the thousands of people across Britain who got up at the crack of dawn on Sunday to head to London and defend the future of rural Britain were members of the Holderness Hunt, farmers, and residents of the tiny agricultural village of Etton, Cherry Burton and South Dalton… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 23.9.02 NOT JUST COUNTRYFOLK AT LIBERTY PROTEST - Kevin Jackson's presence at the march was proof that it is not only country people who care passionately about rural issues. The 50-year-old lorry driver from Bransholme turned out with his wife, Josie, because they believe Britain's rural areas are getting a raw deal…. (story)

Daily Post 23.9.02 Protests from the region by coachload By Mike Hornby Reporting From London - FIFTY coachloads of people from the rural communities of Wirral and Cheshire yesterday joined one of Britain's biggest- ever civil rights protests…. Alan Bruffell, 27, travelled to London with 150 members of the Merseyside Terrier and Lurcher Club…. (story)
Daily Post 23.9.02 We'll fight for our way of life By Mike Hornby Reporting From London .. The Duke of Westminster, Gerald Grosvenor, joined 50 coachloads of people from Wirral and Cheshire's rural communities on one of Britain's biggest ever civil rights protests…. (story)
Daily Post 23.9.02 'Biggest demonstration of modern times' YESTERDAY'S countryside march has been described as the biggest British demonstration in modern history…. (story)
Daily Post 23.9.02 Thousands shout with one voice Why must we lose the way of life we love By Mike Hornby Daily Post Staff … A specially-chartered coach left Holmes Chapel in Cheshire at 6.30am yesterday. Organised by the Cheshire Foresters Hunt and co-ordinated by the Countryside Alliance, the coach included both die-hard hunters and those opposed to blood sports…. Protester Paul McNally, 40, of Westminster, said he was disgusted by the march… (story)
Daily Post 23.9.02 Vicar holds bus service - A RURAL vicar joined yesterday's countryside march and ensured that fellow marchers didn't miss Sunday worship by holding a religious service on the bus heading to London. The Reverend Christopher Mulholland, who serves seven small villages near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, said: " Everybody said they were going, so we thought we would have the service on the bus."… Mr Mulholland took part in a meeting of the Beaufort Hunt on Saturday and then married a couple who have postponed their honeymoon in order to join yesterday's march. (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 23.9.02 Listen to rural folk or lose, Blair is told - Special report by Steve Marshall …Sue Jordan, secretary of the Albrighton Woodland Hunt, based in Kidderminster, said 400 supporters had travelled down in seven coaches from Clent to have their say… (story)

Belfast Telegraph 23.9.02 Ulster sends 1,000 to spread message - By Michael Drake - OVER 1,000 people from Northern Ireland took part in the Liberty and Livelihood marchs in London. Among them was a contingent from the Ulster Farmers Union carrying their CARE - Campaign Against Rural Exodus - message to a wider audience… (story)

Irish Independent 23.9.02 Countryside protesters take over London - Stephen Robinson in London (story)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo/Evening Telegraph 23.9.02 County’s thousands join big rural march … More than 350 people from the Pytchley and Grafton hunts travelled to London on specially chartered coaches for the Liberty and Livelihood march, which was organised by the Countryside Alliance… (story)
Northampton Chronicle & Echo/Evening Telegraph 23.9.02 Earl Spencer joins protest (story in archive)

Bath Chronicle 23.9.02 PROTESTERS RETURN FROM CAPITAL MARCH … Peter Bonham Christie, 21, a businessman, had riden to London with a group from the West Wiltshire Hunt… (story)

Blackpool Gazette 23.9.02 Rural residents join rights call - THE Fylde farming community added its voice to calls to safeguard rural Britain as around 300,000 people converged on London for the Liberty and Livelihood rural rights march… (story)

Western Mail 23.9.02 London invaded - with Prince's blessing James Pritchard, The Western Mail (story)
Western Mail 23.9.02 FUW leader warns of militancy ahead … Farmers' Union of Wales president Bob Parry said roads could be barricaded and ports blocked if more action is not taken to help the countryside…."The march is not just about retaining hunting. It is very much about expressing our growing frustration at Westminster-based politicians' refusal to recognise the many and various rural issues that need to be addressed urgently…" (story)

Southern Daily Echo 23.9.02 Protesters angry at demonstration - WHILE tens of thousands flocked to London for the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood March, a mini demonstration was taking place in rural Hampshire. The Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport Animal Aid group was making its protest against the London march felt in Droxford, outside the Hursley Hambledon hunt kennels…. quote from Spokeswoman for the demonstrators Jeanette McClunan… (story in archive)
Southern Daily Echo 23.9.02 WE WANT TO BE HEARD An estimated 3,000 people - 1,500 of them were taken by New Forest Foxhounds - made the trip for the Countryside Alliance Liberty and Livelihood march which drew more than 400,000 people to the capital…. Ken James, of the New Forest Animal Protection Group, said: "Post offices keep closing down, it's very difficult to get anywhere if you haven't got a car and a lot of villages have lost their schools, but the over-riding messages were about hunting and hounds…"

Dorset Daily Echo 23.9.02 Marchers send a message to town by Rachael Garnett in London (story in archive)

Oxford Mail 23.9.0 400,000 march for countryside … One of the marchers, Patrick Martin, kennel huntsman with the Bicester and Whaddon Chase, said: "The march showed the resolve of people in rural areas. It is about their livelihoods and their liberty to decide what they want to do with their lives.".. (story in archive)

Dundee Courier 23.9.02 400,000 TAKE PART IN COUNTRYSIDE MARCH By Andrew Arbuckle, farming editor - CENTRAL LONDON ground to a halt yesterday with more than 400,000 people marching in support of their views that the Government are ignoring the countryside…. Mr Stewart’s wife, Mhairi, is a member of Fife Hunt and he added that this was one of the few opportunities to express his view against the recent law….(story may only be available from paper)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 23.9.02 Invasion of the capital … Five coachloads from Holmfirth and several from Colne Valley Beagles and Denby Dale's Rockwood Hunt attended. Frank Beaumont, of Wooldale, a past joint master of Holme Valley Beagles, said the march was "very impressive"… (story)

South Wales Argus 23.9.02 Thousands join protest by Mike Buckingham … Two buses and a minibus hired by the Gelligaer Farmers' Hunt left Croespenmaen and a couple of other locations around Blackwood as light was breaking….(story in archive)

Ipswich Evening Star 23.9.02 London sees biggest civil rights protest (story)

Reading Evening Post 23.9.02 …Jack Bucknell, master of the Garth and South Berks Hunt, joined protesters in Hyde Park. He was part of a 600-strong party, including his grandchildren, fishermen and hunters, who formed a 12-coach long convoy to London…. (story)

Guardian 23.9.02 In at the kill as the hunt rides into town - Stephen Moss makes it to London after four days on horseback - Andrew German, who led the four-day South and West Wilts hunt's ride into London, had injured himself. Not on the ride, but by walking into a taxi door at 5am after a night of pre-march partying. The gash on the crown of his head seemed to confirm his suspicion about London…. (story)
Guardian 21.9.02 Thumbs up, a death threat and a five-mile tailback on the A31 - Thrill of being chased as the hunters ride into town - Stephen Moss …As we trot through Guildford, reactions are muted. Some support, some hostility - "Sorry, I just don't believe in killing," says a middle-aged man with a beard - and lots of puzzlement. "About the same as the public at large," says Patrick Drummond, who is doing the ride on polo ponies. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the vehicle, the more supportive they are likely to be. Lorry drivers almost all give a thumbs-up. White-van-man is careful not to cut us up. People in four-wheel drives shout: "See you on Sunday." Drivers of small cars look sour or shout abuse… On a stopover, I meet the joint master of the Hampshire hunt, Mark Andreae, a farmer, who has spent the day being pursued by CNN, the US cable television station… (story)
Guardian 20.9.0 Saddle weary but cheered along the way - Stephen Moss joins the South and West Wilts hunt on its four day protest ride to London… Ivan Massow has turned up with two horses eager to ride the rest of the route… Massow has an unlikely CV: gay millionaire businessman, former chairman of the ICA, former member of the Tory party, former master of the Cokeham bloodhounds in Sussex… We head for Sutton Scotney, where we are to change horses at Calcutts, which makes saddles and is Britain's only manufacturer of hunting horns. The end of hunting, says managing director Ian Compton… who hunts with the Quantock staghounds… (story)
Guardian 19.9.02 Don't spare the horses - riders set off for hunt rally - Stephen Moss joins the South and West Wilts hunt on a four-day protest ride to London - It was just after dawn and the hounds at Motcombe were barking. So was Colonel Corbin, secretary of the South and West Wilts hunt. "Good grief! The Guardian. Are you sure you want to do this?" Frankly, no. It had seemed like a good idea at the time: to join the hunt's four-day ride from Dorset to London for Sunday's Countryside Alliance (or, as the hunt prefers, Liberty and Livelihood) march. Now, having just met my horse, Solo (vast, brooding and well over 17 hands high), I'm getting cold feet. Though feet may not be the problem. Andrew German, the professional huntsman with the South and West Wilts, announces we will be riding 150 miles… (story)
Telegraph 19.9.02 Massow saddles up - Supporters of hunting will descend on London from every corner of the land for Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood March, but few will have a less comfortable journey than former ICA chairman Ivan Massow. The charismatic gay businessman, a keen rider to hounds himself, is planning to ride to the capital from Salisbury, about 100 miles… "A group of six of us from the West Wiltshire and Blackmoor Vale hunts are doing it to raise money for the alliance…" (story)

23.9.02 - letters
Guardian 23.9.02 Remember how our valiant custodians of the countryside protested in the 70s against the subsidies that encouraged them to tear up ancient hedgerows… The farming community has systematically destroyed much of our countryside over the past century. We should have no sympathy for them now. Liam Graham, London (letter)
Telegraph 23.9.02 Anti-hunt brigade must show itself So, now we can put a figure on it. More than 400,000 people felt strongly enough to come to London from the four corners of the United Kingdom to protest their support for rural culture in general, and foxhunting in particular… Labour must now find some way of demonstrating that popular opposition to foxhunting is real, widespread and passionate, and not just the creation of its talent for opinion polling and media manipulation. Tom Lewis, Tenterden, Kent (letter in archive)
Telegraph 23.9.02 Prince of where? If, as reported at the weekend, the Prince of Wales really believes that farmers are treated worse than gays and blacks, then he must be living in a different United Kingdom from the rest of us. As a gay man, I do not expect the state to subsidise my life or support my uneconomic business…. Mark Cooke, Cirencester, Glos (letter in archive)

Cambridge News 23.9.02 'News' Talking Point - Was Alliance right to march on capital? THOUSANDS of people from our region joined the Countryside Alliance’s Liberty and Livelihood March in London yesterday… What do you think? Was the march worthwhile? (story)
Argus (Mid Sussex) 23.9.02 MP in Charles letter row - Mid Sussex MP Nicholas Soames today denied he had helped Prince Charles to write an emotional pro-hunt letter to Tony Blair….(story in archive)

Ananova 22.9.02 400,000 rural protesters take over London - Around 400,000 demonstrators converged on central London for the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood rural rights march… (story)
Sunday Express website 22.9.02 400,000 protesters hit London - Up to 400,000 demonstrators have converged on the capital as rural Britain staged the biggest invasion of its kind… © Copyright Press Association Ltd 2002, All Rights Reserved. (story)
BBC News Online Sunday, 22 September, 2002, 19:11 GMT 20:11 UK - Huge turnout for countryside march - Around 400,000 people from across the country have marched through central London to highlight the needs of rural communities… while many protesters carried banners proclaiming: "Buy British food", "Save our farms" or "Town and country not town over country", these were far out-numbered by pro-hunt slogans… (story)
BBC News Online Sunday, 22 September, 2002, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK Blockade warning at rural march - French-style militant tactics could be used in the UK if ministers do not react to a mass display of rural frustration, a farming leader has warned…. Farmers' Union of Wales (FUW) president Bob Parry warned farmers may barricade roads and ports if activists' plea is not taken on board… League Against Cruel Sports chief executive David Batchelor told BBC News Online he was "shocked" at Mr Parry's comments… (story)
Ananova 22.9.02 Three hundred thousand expected for countryside rally - Tens of thousands of campaigners for rural rights are expected to gather in the capital for the Liberty and Livelihood march… (story)
Sunday Telegraph 22.9.02 I am marching today in defence of our freedom By Iain Duncan Smith (story)
Sunday Telegraph 22.9.02 Liberty has caused the problems By Simon Heffer - However many hundreds of thousands of us march through London today, and whatever we think we are marching for, we should not forget one thing. There is only one reason why the so-called "Liberty and Livelihood" protest is happening now. It is not because rural post offices are closing, or because bus services are bad in the North Riding of Yorkshire, or because Tesco's allegedly exploits farmers. It is because the Government intends shortly to make time available in the House of Commons to ban hunting…. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 22.9.02 After five hard years, there is not much light at the end of the tunnel By David Harrison - The proposed ban on foxhunting is just one of the issues that marchers will protest about in London today. For many non-hunters the declining fortunes of Britain's farmers and the growing isolation of rural communities are causing just as much anxiety…. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 22.9.02 The views of the big names at today's march IAN BOTHAM, England cricketing hero… VINNIE JONES, actor and former footballer… TRACY EDWARDS, yachtswoman… FRANKIE DETTORI, jockey… JEANETTE WINTERSON, novelist… (story)
Sunday Telegraph 22.9.02 Thanks to Hitler, hunting with hounds is still verboten - The Fuhrer, a vegetarian, was the pioneer of hunting bans. His draconian laws were announced in Germany on July 3, 1934, on the grounds that hunting with hounds was 'unsporting'. His odd legacy lives on, report David Harrison and Tony Paterson… (story)
Independent on Sunday 22.9.02 Thousands march to "reclaim countryside" By Pat Hurst, PA News - Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world converged on London today to take part in a march for rural rights… (story)
Independent on Sunday 22.9.02 The revolt of the countryside - The Leicestershire village of Hallaton is in the heart of hunting country. But while many locals will be joining the protest that will take to the streets of London today, others are less enthusiastic. So what exactly are the arguments on the ground? And what do they tell us about the reality of rural life today? Simon O'Hagan went to find out… (story)
Independent on Sunday 22.9.02 Camilla 'to join march' - By Severin Carrell and Andrew Johnson - Camilla Parker Bowles, the companion of the Prince of Wales, is expected to ignore the pleas of his advisers and take part in today's march in central London. A host of celebrity hunt supporters will also swell the ranks of the protest, which is expected to bring the capital to a halt… (story)
Independent on Sunday 22.9.02 Hunt radicals make Cherie Blair a target - By Jo Dillon, Political Correspondent - Renegade fox hunting supporters yesterday vowed to target the Prime Minister's wife, Cherie Blair, in a continued campaign of threats, lawlessness and violence against those in favour of a blood sports ban…. The threats to disrupt the Labou r conference came as the delicate truce between the Government and the Countryside Alliance collapsed yesterday, in a row over Labour MPs' right to attend the march. Senior Alliance officials rounded on the Margaret Beckett, Secretary of State for the Environment, and Mr Michael, after they suggested Labour MPs had been told to stay away, effectively making the event an attack on the Government…. (story)
Independent on Sunday 22.9.02 Rose Prince: Poverty at the farm gate goes hand in hand with profit in the till …Today, thousands of farmers will be among those gathering in London for the Liberty and Livelihood march. Some of those involved will be driven by the threat to hunting; others by a concern about the state of the countryside. But the farmers will above all be driven by anger at what is happening to their incomes… (story)
Independent on Sunday 22.9.02 Editor-At-Large: Wrecked cars. Rubbish. Rats. Townies have their moans, too - Janet Street Porter - Today central London will be brought to a halt by thousands of people from rural areas protesting that they are being "ignored"…. Let's deal with hunting first. I do believe in the freedom of the individual, and if that extends to wearing funny pink coats and women donning hair nets on horse-back, that's fine. Statistics proving that hunting doesn't have much to do with curbing the number of foxes will always be hotly contested. And if working-class men want to spend their evenings lurking about the countryside getting rid of vermin with dogs, they can carry on – I don't think I'll be losing any sleep. Hunting ought to be encouraged because it arouses such strong passions… So the next time you have a chance to change who's mayor of London, and who runs Harrogate council, you can either stand yourself, or vote out the people currently performing so badly. Marching will achieve nothing. (story)
Independent on Sunday 22.9.02 Town and countryside need to stand together - As estimated 275,000 people are expected to gather in London this morning for the Liberty and Livelihood march…. For all the sincerity of these protests, they lack coherence. The march has become a catch-all for discontent, inspired by a belief that the Government is dominated by townies with no sympathy for rural life…. (story)
Sunday Mirror 22.9.02 FORGET THE GREEN WELLY BRIGADE HIJACKING THE COUNTRYSIDE DEMO TODAY..HERE ARE THE 20 REAL REASONS THEY'RE UP IN ARMS - TO SAFEGUARD THE FUTURE OF FARMING Despite £257million compensation from the Government, farmers have been the worst hit by the foot-and-mouth epidemic… SAVE RURAL JOBS… REJECT A BAN ON HUNTING The Government plans to give MPs a free vote on the issue but the Countryside Alliance claims 90 per cent of farmers are opposed to a ban. They argue farmers rely on hunts for pest control and up to 8,000 full-time jobs depend on it….
Sunday Mirror 22.9.02 Sunday Mirror 22.9.02 HUNT THE MARCHERS - COUNTRYSIDE campaigners have vowed to continue their planned march through London today despite threats from animal extremists… (story)
Sunday Times 22.9.02 Ferdinand Mount: My little plot to save the countryside - Going for a walk is supposed to clear the head. Going on a march usually doesn’t. Large public demonstrations tend to muddy the issue in order to make a splash — and today’s Liberty and Livelihood march looks like being no exception…. Nimrod and Nimby hunt side by side. To put it brutally, what most of the marchers want is that the countryside should remain exactly as it is and that, one way or another through higher taxes or higher food prices, the urban masses should pay for them to go on looking after it. his seems to me an unappealing bargain…. (story)
Sunday Times 22.9.02 Ministers get out of town as the country marchers scent blood - ROLAND WHITE - On the trail of the Prescott and other bashful beasts - JUST in case they lose the fight to save foxhunting, supporters of the Countryside Alliance will today be testing a sport that they believe will be enormously popular throughout the country: hunting for government ministers…. Isn’t it cruel to hunt government ministers? Shouldn’t they be left to graze happily among the in-trays of Whitehall, their natural habitat? No, say the protesters, who insist that if ministers are left to roam unchecked then, like the fox, they could do severe harm to the countryside. Unfortunately, there will probably be little in the way of sport today. Perhaps alerted by the scent of 300,000 people converging on London from the countryside, the quarry has long ago fled. You are more likely to spot a panther on Exmoor than a countryside minister anywhere near Whitehall….(story)
Sunday Times 22.9.02 Marching for the countryside - NICHOLAS HELLEN AND JONATHAN LEAKE - HUNTERS without hounds, an army of rural protesters will be drawing the unfamiliar coverts of central London today, sniffing the air for political blood. The green welly brigade are to pound through Westminster in protest at depredations to the country way of life and to campaign against a proposed ban on foxhunting…. Members of the Devon and Somerset, Tiverton and Quantock hunts kept their departure points for London quiet for fear that activists might target their parked cars. Tom Yandle, chairman of Devon and Somserset Staghounds, said farmers had drawn up rotas to look after livestock on the day… Young farmers flocked last night to the Liberty Night party at The Bridge, a nightclub near London Bridge, on the promise of “wild entertainment”. According to Lucy Stoddard, 31, a member of the Bicester with Whaddon Chase and co-organiser of the event, the highlight was a dating game for the affections of Charlotte Prentice, 24, a model and professional event rider. The prize is a “dirty weekend” — mucking out the stables. (story)
Sunday Times 22.9.02 What's their beef? - For many countryside communities the campaign to save hunting has become a rallying point for a host of other issues… (story)
Sunday Times 22.9.02 On the run from the hunting classes Alun Michael, minister for rural affairs, will be notable only for his absence during today’s country march, finds Cosmo Landesman… Everyone thinks that Michael is going to opt for a muddled compromise between outright banning and total protection, which will please nobody. He denies this… Michael insists: “The majority of the Labour party are reasonable people. I know them.” “On this issue they’re not reasonable — they’re utterly passionate and in no mood to compromise. Try telling Tony Banks or Gerald Kaufman to be reasonable.”… “So are you going to ban foxhunting or not?” I ask. At this the minister’s whole manner changes. His smile drops. Suddenly he scolds me like I’m a naughty schoolboy: “I shall not tell you what my conclusions are until I reach them.”… (story)
Observer 22.9.02 Pro-hunting groups 'hijack' country march - Mark Townsend - Damaging rifts within the rural lobby are threatening to overshadow today's country-side march, billed as the biggest civil liberties protest in history. On the eve of the march, which is forecast to draw more than 300,000 protesters into London, a coalition of high-profile countryside groups claimed the event had been hijacked by the pro-hunting fraternity. Conservation groups, rural poverty organisations and countryside workers - representing almost 1.4m members, including the Council for the Protection of Rural England and the National Federation of Women's Institutes - voiced their frustration…. The National Federation of Women's Institutes - which have 240,000 members - refused to endorse a march that supported blood sports and said they were more pressing issues at stake. 'There are bigger issues such as farm-gate prices, house prices and loss of services such as the post office,' said spokeswoman Melanie Taylor…. (story)
Observer 22.9.02 Countryside sounds call to arms - Paul Harris and Stephen Khan - Judy Carless hung her apron on the back of the kitchen door. Instead of serving customers at her Exmoor tearooms, she was shutting up shop early and preparing for a long trip to London. Carless is angry. She says the countryside is in crisis and has no doubt whom she blames. 'We will be heard, we won't give up, we won't go away. Be warned, Mr Blair, be warned,' she said… Scottish borders were in Leicester yesterday, breaking their long car journey. Trevor Adams had set out with his wife and son on Friday to protest against a government which he says is wrecking their lives. Adams is employed by the Buccleuch Hunt. The family house is tied to the job and, given the Scottish Parliament's decision to outlaw hunting, it is a job and home now in jeopardy…. (story)
Observer 22.9.02 Gung ho for tally-ho - If you want to hunt, go to the US where they think it's pure sport - Cristina Odone -… The fuss over fox-hunting has afforded Americans - and the rest of the world - a glimpse of this tension. Americans, sentimental about the 'special relationship', and nostalgic for Ye Olde England, feel as uneasy as a child who overhears his parents' quarrel. They may continue to do business with this new-fangled, fox-loving Britain - but the country they loved is the one where red coats on horses charge up the hill and the hunting horn echoes through the woods. (story)
Observer 22.9.02 Rural Britain on the march - As the marchers gather, rifts are appearing - Damaging rifts within the rural lobby threaten to overshadow today's countryside march, which has been billed as the biggest civil liberties protest ever seen in Britain. On the eve of the march, which is forecast to draw more than 300,000 protesters into London, a coalition of high-profile countryside groups claimed the event had been hijacked by the pro-hunting fraternity…. (story)
Observer 22.9.02 Beware bumpkin power - Richard Ingrams -… All the march will do is fuel the hostility towards the countryside that has traditionally been felt on the Left and that was predictably voiced by the New Statesman last week when it called the demonstration 'a final rally for a tribe that has lorded it over us for centuries and is now doomed'… Not only left-wing journalists, but dictators both Right and Left have always hated the people in the countryside, partly because they are, generally speaking, less easy to manipulate than town dwellers…. And if Mr Blair persists in his plan to abolish hunting, he can anticipate a whole lot more trouble from these bolshie bumpkins than he will ever get from the militant members of Unison or Amicus. (story)
People 22.9.02 HUNT BACKERS DEFY THREATS - COUNTRYSIDE campaigners are determined to march in London today despite threats of terror attacks on their homes… (story)
People 22.9.02 VINNIE SHOOTS A FOX ON TELLY - A SHOCKED camera crew watched in horror as movie hardman Vinnie Jones blasted a fox to death in the grounds of his luxury home… A Countryside Alliance spokesman said: "A panicky girl from the BBC called us to ask if it was legal to shoot foxes. We said it most certainly was." Vinnie, 37, will today join 300,000 people marching through London to protest over the Government's treatment of the countryside (story)
Glasgow Herald 22.9.02 Country goes to town - The Countryside Alliance is rallying 250,000 supporters in London today. But Torcuil Crichton, in the Borders, wonders if the issue of fox hunting could hijack the plight of our farmers… The Elliots are also surviving the ban on fox hunting, which became law in Scotland at the beginning of August. They and their neighbours still go hunting as they have for four generations. In a year of going out, on average three times a week, the Liddisdale Hunt can kill up to 800 foxes… The people in Ewes Glen feel they are being sold short by a parliament that doesn't know Scotland and a Westminster government that doesn't feel for them. The danger is that they will also be sold short by an organisation dedicated to stopping the ban on hunting with dogs… Last week several Scottish weekly news papers published an identical letter decrying the cruelty of angling. The correspondent, a Theresa Thorn, who by some kind of magic had been visiting all of the circulation areas of all the papers she wrote to, described angling as a hideous practice and promised to return 'to your area at the end of the month looking for people who will support a ban on fishing'. The letter was clearly a fraud designed to cause alarm among people who already feel pressurised. As black propaganda it is effective…
Irish Sunday Independent 22.9.02 Red meat to the townies, a way of life in the country - Today's 'Don't ban Foxhunting' march in London has repercussions in this country, says Mary Finnegan - AN EXPECTED 300,000 supporters of the British Countryside Alliance and myriad rural groups will march to Parliament Square this morning to oppose the British government's proposed Bill to ban foxhunting in England and Wales… Kate Horgan, chairman of the Irish Master of Foxhounds Association (IMFA), said in London yesterday: "As with the British lobby, the concerns of the Irish supporters are also about liberty and livelihood; liberty for people to do what they want regarding country pursuits, hunting, shooting and fishing. Where livelihood is concerned it puts so many people in Ireland at risk because we are a major horse-exporting nation and most of our horses, thousands annually, are sold to the UK for hunting purposes. It will hit us hard economically if hunting is banned in the UK, as that's our biggest market for hunters."… She insists: "IMFA has made it clear to the British that should hunting be banned, Ireland cannot take any more hunting visitors. Our hunts are already oversubscribed, we haven't the room… Willie Leahy… has been hunting with the Blazers for 50 years and has been their Field Master (looking after the riders during the hunt) for the past 15 years…. He is worried that we will be swamped with British hunting visitors if hunting is banned in the UK…. His son-in-law, Liam McAlinden, former huntsman with the Sligo Harriers, is on today's march with the Percy Hunt. Farmer John O'Neill, originally from Tipperary, is Master of the Bicester Whaddon Chase in Oxfordshire. He is leading supporters from his hunt on the London march. (story)
Sunday Sun 22.9.02 Land army hits town - Tens of thousands of country folk were yesterday setting off from home to take part in today's Liberty and Livelihood march… (story)
Wales on Sunday 22.9.02 Countryside campaigners threaten to 'block roads and ports' - Farmers' Union of Wales President Bob Parry said roads could be barricaded and ports blocked if more action is not taken to help the countryside… (story)

22.9.02 - letters
Sunday Times 22.9.02 Foxhunters just wanna have fun
UNLIKE Otis Ferry, I was born and brought up in North Yorkshire… The “cruelty” of nature is structured for survival and to keep an ecological balance. Foxhunting is for pleasure pure and simple. It always has been. Eileen Elstrop, York
LAST STAND: Otis Ferry’s vain defence of the indefensible convinces nobody. A crumbling rural economy with fox-hunting’s demise? The remedy lies squarely in the hands of its supporters. Hunts have had ample time to convert to drag-hunting, thus retaining jobs, hound packs and the sporting element… Karen Whitchurch, Hornsea, East Yorkshire (letters)
Sunday Times 15.9.02 - I’m willing to risk jail for foxhunting - Otis Ferry, son of rock star Bryan, reveals why his passion for the countryside has made him reject Caribbean holidays for hunting … Three years ago I left home permanently and joined the Middleton Hunt in Yorkshire as an amateur whipper-in…. It is sad and dangerous that while we wage war on terrorism — with discussions every day about the “root causes of terrorism” — respectable, peaceful people are being victimised, marginalised and ignored…. My co-workers and I will be marching with the Countryside Alliance in London next Sunday. And having been on these marches before, we know already that the whole affair will be thoroughly boring and a complete waste of our day. What’s more, we can’t help but wonder whether even a mass protest will make the slightest bit of difference. But if you passionately believe in something, you have to stand up to be counted — and my family fully supports that. My mother and brothers will be joining the march on Sunday to help fight a corner worth defending. Sadly, my father won’t be able to make it. He is on tour… (story)

Meridian TV 22.9.02 New Forest families join countryside march - More than two thousand peoplee from the New Forest journeyed to London to take part in the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood march... George Biddle organised the trip to London from the New Forest... (story)

The Sun 21.9.02 Up the Berkeley hunt - Richard Littlejohn - I WON’T be going on the Countryside March on Sunday. I don’t do marches. But I’ll be with them in spirit. Not because I have the slightest interest in going fox-hunting, but because I believe in freedom. Labour’s obsession with foxy-woxy has little to do with animal welfare and everything to do with fascism… All sorts of practices we may not personally like are tolerated in the name of diversity, multi-culturalism and “human rights”. That same spirit of tolerance and human rights should be extended to the traditional culture of rural British citizens. (story)
Ananova 21.9.02 Rev to hold church worship on bus - A rector is planning to hold a church service on a bus full of countryside demonstrators. The Reverand Christopher Mulholland is taking 53 parisioners to London to protest against the proposed hunting ban… The bus is one of 45 organised by Gloucestershire's Beaufort Hunt. (story)
Express 21.9.02 Capital set for countryside marchers (story)
Guardian 21.9.02 Hunters accused of hijacking protest - Rural groups say alliance ignores wider and more pressing issues - John Vidal … last night there were widespread accusations that the alliance had hijacked the rural agenda to promote foxhunting and that many of its leaders were contributors to the rural decline that they were encouraging people to protest about…. "I hope we can make the hunters realise that they are only a very small cog and that we must become more accountable and support others with legitimate concerns," said Francis Hobbs, deputy march director…. The director of the protest, James Stanford, yesterday said that the march to Parliament Square from Blackfriars and Hyde Park was about the state of rural Britain as much as hunting…. No major rural poverty, conservation, environment or social group will be represented… "This march is fundamentally about hunting," said Neil Sinden, policy director of the Council for the Protection of Rural England… "The countryside agenda has been hijacked by the alliance," said Simon Lister, director of the wildlife trusts. "They say that the march is about wider rural issues, but it is a thin veil for fox hunting, which is peripheral to the future of the countryside"…. (story)
Guardian 21.9.02 From landowners to pony clubs - Hunting - Country sports - Estates/landowners/racing - Villages - Libertarians - Agriculture/business - Splinter groups (story)
Guardian 21.9.02 Anti-hunt farmers face local hostility - Those willing to speak out against bloodsports and the mayhem they can cause often find themselves ostracized - Peter Hetherington - For Chris Skinner, it was one hunt too many. When the horses and hounds came tearing across his Norfolk farm, threatening livestock and wildlife, he says he politely approached the red-coated master and reminded him they were trespassing…. On the Cotswold ridge, between Stroud and Gloucester, Paul Griffiths tells a similar story of hunts riding roughshod over land and, in some cases, public opinion… Near Bourton-on-the Water, Gill and Dave Purser can point to seven hunts within a 25-mile radius of the Cotswolds. But since coming out against the blood sport, they have twice had dead foxes draped on their gates and other hostility… When Michael Thomas spoke out in favour of drag hunting, he found he was ostracised by others in the hunting lobby. A former chairman of the disbanded New Forest Buck Hounds, he is now organising an alternative pursuit, in which hounds follow a scent of aniseed and ferret droppings… (story)
Guardian 21.9.02 The real country issue - What do the marchers actually want? - Leader - The country comes to town tomorrow, or at least the tweed-jacketed parts of it. The organisers of the Liberty and Livelihood march expect 275,000 people from across Britain to gather in central London against what they see as the government's destructive approach to rural life. With the crowds comes a word that had seemingly been vanishing from political discussion: class. The 18th, 19th and 20th centuries are making an unexpected raid on the 21st… This is a shame. For a start, at a time when political apathy has become a national concern, a demonstration on the scale predicted - possibly larger than any in London since the Tolpuddle martyrs in 1834 - ought at least to be seen as a welcome revival of democratic rights. And while it has become smart to remark that the Countryside Alliance is not about the countryside but about fox hunting, and there is truth in this, marchers certainly believe they represent wider and genuine concerns…. Tomorrow's demonstration will be large, heartfelt and (with luck) peaceful and should be respected for that. But marchers would best serve their cause by admitting what the banner Liberty and Livelihood really means (story)
Guardian 21.9.02 Pountney packs his bags for a protest - Northampton's menacing flanker is ready to fight for the countryside - Edging through the maze of streets just off Kettering Road, half a mile from Northampton city centre, first-time visitors to Budge Pountney's terraced house have to perform a rapid mental U-turn. The mind's eye demands blackberry-laden hedgerows and a keeper's cottage; the reality is two Chinese restaurants and a fish-and-chip takeaway within 500 yards…. Hunting may not be his scene but halting the steady erosion of rural life and jobs - his father, who was a farm manager in Hampshire, has been among those to suffer redundancy - matters big-time. He has already donated rugby-coaching days to the cause, which he feels revolves primarily around civil liberties… (story)
Independent 21.9.02 London polishes the silver ready for an invasion of well-heeled protesters By Matthew Beard - London is bracing itself for the arrival of an angry horde. Yet rather than battening down the hatches and boarding up the shopfronts, it is more a case of polishing the silver and pulling out the corks. The arrival of up to 300,000 protesters, many of them well-heeled, in support of the second Countryside Alliance march on Sunday has led to full bookings at the Michelin-starred restaurants along the route…. (story)
Independent 21.9.02 Countryside March: The rural revolt that began with dinner at a top London restaurant - Among many groups on Sunday's protest is a shadowy organisation threatening a campaign of civil disobedience By Ian Herbert North of England Correspondent … few more curious – and influential – groups will espouse the countryside's cause in the Liberty & Livelihood march than the Oxo Tower Dozen…. their spokesman, the table included lawyers, business people and two public relations executives. Binding them together was a concern for rural Britain and disillusionment with the Countryside Alliance's aversion to direct action in the fight to preserve hunting…. At the new group's heart is a group of like-minded acquaintances who would meet regularly and "beef about the CA", according to Mr Duke. At one of these gatherings, the idea germinated of an alternative conduit for rural exasperation – a loosely defined group of leaders, inspired by the 1980s anti-Thatcherite poll tax movement, who would deliver a focus for hundreds of people at the grass roots craving action against a hunting ban….
WHY ARE THEY MARCHING? - THE HUNTSMAN: CLIVE RICHARDSON - "Old dad" is 52-year-old Clive Richardson, who works with the Vale of Lune hunt and has a tied cottage… THE TOWNIE: SAMANTHA FLETCHER… THE VICAR: THE REV CHRISTOPHER MULHOLLAND… The vicar, a member of the Beaufort Hunt, does not conceal irritation with what he describes as the "vegetarian brigade who grow their own clothes and have… THE RURAL BUSINESSWOMAN: TONI JONES (story)
Independent 21.9.02 Taxpayers have pumped money into the countryside. So is there really a crisis? - Hamish McRae … Communities are more dependent on public services – and more affected by ill-considered regulation. The marchers this weekend clearly feel that the public sector should raise its game. (story)
Independent 21.9.02 A long march away from liberty and livelihood - Tomorrow's march for Bloodsports and Subsidies is easy to mock. The incoherence of its demands, the hunting horns, the fancy dress, the block bookings of some of London's finest hotels and the balls (not parties) to round off a day of waving placards against rural poverty. Yet the strength of feeling cannot be dismissed so easily. It is a test of the tolerance essential to democracy that any society should respect the views of minorities, however unlikeable, privileged or apparently misguided they seem to the majority. Most people in this country both live in cities and disapprove of fox-hunting, but that does not give them the automatic right to dictate to those who do not…. (story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 Record crowd expected as the country marches on London By Robert Uhlig, Farming Correspondent (story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 Take to the streets tomorrow - Some critics of tomorrow's Liberty and Livelihood March like to say with a crafty look, "Ah, but it's really about hunting", as if this were being concealed from the public and hundreds of thousands of credulous marchers. Of course it is about hunting…. Tomorrow's crowds have plenty of reason for bitterness and exasperation, but we hope and expect that the march will be good-humoured. The people walking in their hundreds of thousands love their country in both senses of that word - the nation and the land. They are the sort of people who, in worse times, have been quite ready to die for it and its liberty. Join them. (story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 Give farmers back their futures - His dairy herd has gone. Now, Matthew Dale wants to fight for what remains of his livelihood… We are not members of a hunt, nor are we interested in hunting issues, but we are demoralised by the way we country-dwellers are treated as second-class citizens…. (story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 Country diary: Liberty & Livelihood - Jonny Beardsall on people who are losing their way of life in the countryside … Peter, a dry-stone waller in his 50s… has never been to London, but he will be travelling those 227 miles tomorrow to join the protest… Two years ago, he buried his ancient mother. She was in her 90s. Hunting was their shared passion. They were a familiar sight with the Bedale and West of Yore, and even high on the fells with the Wensleydale Foxhounds…(story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 Hunting debate 'is masking crucial rural issues' By Peter Foster - Foxhunting is an "unimportant" and divisive issue that is hindering genuine attempts to improve the lot of ordinary people in the countryside, the chairman of the Government's rural watchdog, the Countryside Agency, said yesterday. Ewen Cameron, appointed as "rural advocate" by Tony Blair in November 2000, said the hunting debate had increasingly become an obstacle to dialogue on crucial issues such as rural housing, transport and health provision…. Mr Cameron, who allows hunting across his own farm in Somerset and believes it should continue on libertarian grounds, will be attending the march but not - as one newspaper report suggested to his irritation earlier this week - as the "eyes and ears" of the Government…. (story
Telegraph 21.9.02 Senior bishop defends hunting and debunks 'toffs' stereotype By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent - The Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, yesterday became the most senior bishop to speak in defence of foxhunting. Voicing his support for the countryside march in London tomorrow, Bishop Chartres said that people who hunted had been falsely stereotyped as "toffs" when in reality they came from a wide range of social backgrounds… (story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 Your shout By Andrew Gimson - Hunting is such a dangerous subject that the manager of the Castle Hotel in the town of Neath, South Wales, where the Banwen Miners' Hunt holds its traditional Boxing Day meet, would not even allow his customers to be asked for their opinions about it… (story)
Telegraph 21.9.02 PETERBOROUGH - Guy Adams - Tiggy expects to be wheeled along the route … Tiggy - who remains close to her former charges, Princes William and Harry - is nine months pregnant, and due to give birth to her second child today. But she and her husband, Charlie Pettifer, have pledged to complete the march, come what may…. Vinnie Jones - a keen fisherman and shot - will be accompanied on the march by a television crew from BBC Choice, which is making a documentary about his domestic life… Vinnie's old chum Guy Ritchie will not be marching, however. "Shireen and I will be there," says Ritchie's father, John. "But not Guy or Madonna. They support the cause, but are in LA and won't be back until October. I even registered Guy. Such is life."… restaurateur Rowley Leigh is opening West Street, his achingly trendy Theatreland joint, for cut-price lunches… Actor John Hurt - alias Hazel the Rabbit in Watership Down - is upset to be linked to the "fluffy bunny" brigade. "Do you really think that, because I played a ------- rabbit in Watership Down, I should be sentimental?"… I know town people who have moved to the country and complained that there are fields full of pigs too close to their garden. "As far as I'm concerned, such idiots should just ---- off back to the city."… Will the Prince of Wales be made entirely welcome next time he goes hunting? I ask only because the Duke of Beaufort's - Charles's favourite - has banned non-marchers next season…. Scotland rugby star Kenny Logan - and glamorous wife, Gaby - are also unable to attend. "I have a match at Saracens, but I'll be there in spirit,"… From a banner being prepared by supporters of the Axe Vale Harriers: "Tony Blair/ Be a dearie/ Listen to us/ not to Cherie. (story)
Times 21.9.02 Townies prepare to host country cousins BY VALERIE GROVE (story)
Times 21.9.02 We are listening to you, wary ministers assure protesters BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - TONY BLAIR and other senior ministers have decided to say nothing about hunting before the countryside march through London tomorrow, to avoid goading the protesters. “We are in listening mode,” a government source said yesterday. “The Prime Minister wants to hear what is said at the march, to learn about their grievances, and will take stock in the coming weeks.”… (story)
Times 21.9.02 The real Ambridge is suffering as rural roots are severed BY OLIVER WRIGHT AND VALERIE ELLIOTT - THE BBC’s everyday story of country folk takes to the urban streets tomorrow, with a crew from The Archers recording the sounds of the countryside march as the backdrop for a special episode of the long-running serial. Meanwhile, busloads of people from the Worcestershire village on which the fictitious Ambridge is based will be in London for the protest… (story)
Times 21.9.02 How townies turned me into a trouble-maker BY SIMON BARNES - WE KNOW the sort who go to demos, man. Commies and lefties and pinkos and Marxists and Maoists and Trotskyites and anarchists and hippies and yippies and anarcho-syndicalists and idealists and students and trouble-makers… But tomorrow’s demo will be short on the usual sort of demo people. No cries of “Ho Ho, Ho Chi Minh” or “Thatcher Thatcher Thatcher, Out Out Out”. If there is a massed chant, it will be something like: “Excuse me, and I’m sorry to butt in, but we all think it’s terribly unfair and we’re really very upset and cross.” Not much rhythm, but it gets the point over, I think…. So to get a correct indicator of the upset-and-crossness, let us say that every marcher has travelled 100 miles. My neighbours will all be travelling more than that. So this gives us a people-miles indicator of 30 million. That’s an awful lot of rebelliousness…. Hunting is not the core issue. Hunting is the symbolic issue. Hunting has centre stage and this is a very helpful distraction to those who wish to stir up feeling against country people. But it is not the matter of hunting that has struck deep. It is the fact that town people are telling country people what is good and bad, what is moral and immoral, about the way they live their lives…. (story)
Times 21.9.02 'I don't want to go to but we have got to make them listen' BY ANDREW NORFOLK - A SMALL village on the edge of Exmoor will join the rural invasion of London tomorrow, led by the lady of the manor and her butler. Clare McLaren-Throckmorton owns most of the property and the land around Molland… At the London Inn, the village’s only pub, Paul Beazley, a gamekeeper, was celebrating a successful day’s shooting yesterday… Mr Beazley is the organiser of the coach trip. He could have sold every seat, at £15 a head, twice over…. (story)
Times 21.9.02 Veteran plans for day of military precision, with a lively beat BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR JAMES STANFORD is adamant that this is his last march as organiser. A veteran of the 1998 march and last year’s cancelled event, he has been lured out of retirement. He is driven by a passion for hunting and a desire to ensure that the sport is saved for the enjoyment of his grandchildren…. He even hunted with the Portman and South Dorset… (story)
Times 21.9.02 Thousands of Scots to join - THOUSANDS of demonstrators from Scotland are expected to join tomorrow’s countryside march in London. A spokesman for the Scottish Countryside Alliance said: “We would estimate about 10,000 people will join the protest…. (story)
Times 21.9.02 The wrong pursuit - The difficulty with hunting - An activist Government, possessed of a large parliamentary majority and a reasonably robust economy, could deploy its political and economic capital in any number of ways to help rural Britain. It might invest in public transport, reduce the regulatory burden on landowners to promote diversification, reverse the post office closure programme or tackle the distortions inherent in the current system of farm subsidy. This Government, however, has allowed the future of foxhunting to become the pre-eminent rural issue. And that is why hundreds of thousands of rural Britons will be taking to the streets of the capital this Sunday…. (story)
Times 21.9.02 A history of British protest, one step at a time - BEN MACINTYRE - An age-old institution, a hallowed English tradition, will be righteously defended tomorrow when thousands march through London. I refer not to the rite of fox-hunting, but the right to march through the metropolis shouting at policemen, a British custom that goes back far further, and means far more…. (story)
BBC News Online Saturday, 21 September, 2002, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK - Marchers gather for London protest - Hundreds of thousands of countryside supporters are heading to London to take part in what is predicted to be the biggest British civil rights protest in living memory… (story)

21.9.02 - local & regional stories
Western Daily Press 21.9.02 Thousands of protesters were today preparing to take the voice of the countryside to the capital…(story)
Scotsman 21.9.02 Country ready to take on the city - Ten thousand Scots set to join Liberty and Livelihood march in protest at anti-hunting legislation - EDWARD BLACK AND WILLIAM LYONS - SCOTLAND might be the only part of the United Kingdom where politicians have successfully passed anti-hunting legislation, but they have failed to quell anger among rural communities who will form a sizeable invasion force for tomorrow’s Liberty and Livelihood march… (story)
Scotsman 21.9.02 Hunting: a false trail? - Fordyce Maxwell - The battle for farming, the countryside and a rural way of life has become inextricably linked with fox-hunting. Aileen Orr, a farmer’s wife who will be one of the hundreds of thousands marching for "liberty and livelihood" in London tomorrow, says there is a good reason for that: "It’s about fox-hunting because they are not trying to ban anything else yet - but it’s only a matter of time." Closely involved in a family farming partnership in the Borders, for the past six years she has also been political director of the Countryside Alliance Scotland… he disappearance of fox-hunting would have less of an effect on the countryside than the thousands of farm workers’ jobs which have gone in the past decade, or the steady decline in the number of farmers, in spite of more than £3 billion a year in subsidies. But if, as the organisers hope, more than 300,000 people march tomorrow, the urban public will see it as being in defence of fox-hunting. It is certain the majority of marchers see it that way, too. (story)
Scotsman 21.9.02 Word of the week - GEORGE KEREVAN - countryside: noun. 1: a rural area. 2: the inhabitants of a countryside. (Etymology: Middle English contree, from Old French contree, from Latin contra against, on the opposite side. Date: 1727) - Webster’s… it also transpired this week that the law passed by Holyrood to ban the hunting of the beasts with dogs is being easily circumvented. The hunters can still chase the fox on horseback and flush it out with a pack of yapping dogs provided they then shoot the beast before the dogs get tucked-in. Chasing is legal and shooting is legal, but no doggie must get in the first bite. Result: more dead foxes than before. This is a classic case of what happens when do-gooders use the law to impose their morality on others… (story)
Worcester Evening News 21.9.02 LIBERTY & LIVELIHOOD: Marchers ready for their big day in London - A PROMINENT dairy farmer says the public should be aware of the problems faced by the milk industry. John Bennett, whose Worcester farm will be represented on the Liberty & Livelihood March in London tomorrow, says farmers are facing ruin… (story in archive)
Cambridge News 21.9.02 - Marchers sign up by thousand - THOUSANDS of people from Mid-Anglia will take to the streets of London tomorrow to protest at the Government's lack of support for the countryside. Cambridgeshire will send 30 coaches of protesters to the capital and hundreds more are expected to travel by train… Anti-hunt campaigner Tony Gatter, 45, from Isleham, and 20 others will take their protest to London…. (story)
Western Morning News 21.9.02 RURAL ARMY ON THE MARCH - Parish Britain is on the move. The Westcountry's farmers, foresters, shopkeepers, innkeepers, grannies, granddads and kids - people from all walks of country life - have booked their places to attend the Liberty and Livelihood March tomorrow… (story)
Newcastle Journal 21.9.02 Marchers geared up for their big day By Liz Hands, The Journal - Campaigners across the region were making final preparations for the journey to London tomorrow to lend their voices to calls for a better deal for the countryside. Thousands of people from the North will be taking part in the Liberty and Livelihood March through the streets of London on Sunday… James Perett, information officer for the North-East branch of the Countryside Alliance, said interest in the march had been stepped up over the past few days, with many inquiries coming in… (story)
Yorkshire Post 21.9.02 Rural lobby readies for descent on capital - YORKSHIRE'S countryside campaigners are today making final preparations before descending on London to join more than a quarter of a million people who are expected to join a march for rural rights… Lady Best, honorary regional director of the Countryside Alliance, said: "I hope it will make Tony Blair think twice before he bans hunting… (story)
Yorkshire Post 21.9.02 Liberty's march - THE landscape of Britain and the people who inhabit it may have changed much over the last century, but much remains the same… Mr Blair, a most calculating politician, has played to these poisonous prejudices to whip up a passionate class hatred among his own backbenchers. What should have been a sober and serious debate about the future of the British countryside has instead been turned by Mr Blair into a stark confrontation between farming and tourism, rambling and landowning, foxes and hunters. That is why rural Britain is on the march this weekend. Not because every inhabitant of the countryside is in favour of hunting with hounds, but because they all know the present assault on fox-hunting is only the beginning of a wider attack on the traditional liberties, freedoms, customs and habits of the countryside… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 21.9.02 DEVON ON THE MARCH - Up to 15,000 people from Devon are expected to head to London tomorrow for what has been dubbed the biggest civil rights demonstration ever seen in the UK.. Alison Hawes, South West director of the Countryside Alliance, said the event had escalated beyond all expectations in the last few days…. Gamekeeper Graham Durrant said he was proud to add his voice to the thousands from Devon who will take to the streets to register a protest at Government policies… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 21.9.02 CHALLENGE IS ON TO PROTECT THE RURAL WAY OF LIFE - On the march to fight against a ban on fox hunting is the master of the East Devon hunt Michael Moore. Michael, 64, who lives at Ottery St Mary, believes a ban would destroy a way of life for many countryside people… Pennywell Farm and Wildlife Centre at Buckfastleigh was forced to close its doors last year during the foot-and-mouth crisis. Although it has enjoyed an excellent season this year, it has still not managed to claw back the money it lost during the crisis. To make matters worse it recently discovered it would have to pay back up to £4,500 of the £15,000 grant its received to help it recover from foot-and-mouth in tax… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 21.9.02 COUNTRYSIDE ICON PHOENIX BACKS MARCH - One well-known Devon celebrity who will not be on the demonstration is Phoenix - the Devon calf that survived the foot-and-mouth cull… Although the couple's commitments mean they won't be travelling to London themselves, they said they were happy to support the aims of the demonstration. Michaela said: "Although we won't be going I do support what they are trying to do and wish the march well." … (story)
Leicester Mercury 21.9.02 COUNTY PROTESTERS TO JOIN COUNTRYSIDE DEMO BY TOM PEGDEN - Countryside campaigners today told how they must take their fight to preserve their livelihood to London. Thousands of people from Leicestershire are expected to join up to 280,000 demonstrators on the mass Liberty and Livelihood march tomorrow… Whatoff Lodge farmer Rad Thomas, a National Farmers' Union county delegate and Quorn Hunt spokesman, said his concerns about the future of country life were shared by many of his neighbours… (story)
Bolton Evening News 21.9.02 Why hunt followers are hounding MPs - THE Countryside March in London on Sunday will once again bring the debate of hunting with dogs to the fore… Richard Dodd, Countryside Alliance regional director for the North-east, says: "No wonder rural people feel beleaguered and disenfranchised. "While economic failure must be one of the major causes of the high rate of rural suicides, the social isolation felt by farmers and others is undoubtedly a contributory factor." His counterpart in Lancashire, Andrew Pilkington, who lives in north Bolton, agrees… (story in archive)
Lincolnshire Echo 21.9.02 THOUSANDS HEAD FOR COUNTRYSIDE PROTEST - Thousands of county people are today gearing up to play their part in the largest peacetime protest ever held in England. Nearly 4,000 are travelling on one of 73 organised coaches from Lincolnshire and as many again are expected to make their own way to tomorrow's Liberty and Livelihood March in London… John Green, joint master of the Burton Hunt, has organised 10 coaches for 500 people and knows of four more organised privately and 100 people going alone… Daniel Crane, joint master with his wife Alison of the South Wold Hunt covering the east of the county, said: "We are all involved in this. It's a serious uprising."… The Blankney Hunt, which covers an area south of Lincoln, has got up seven coaches for 354 people and a further six have been organised locally by farmers…. The other mounted fox hunt in the county, the Brocklesby, has filled nine coaches and joint master Mary Sanderson said there were at least six others she knew about, including two from Market Rasen… (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 21.9.02 Thousands prepare to defend countryside THOUSANDS of campaigners from across East Anglia are preparing to descend on London in a mass show of support for the countryside… Deputy Assistant Commissioner Andy Trotter, of the Metropolitan police, said 1,600 officers would be on duty, a relatively small amount because he stressed police were not expecting any trouble… One group, headed by Carla Lane, the animal rights activist and writer, is expected to demonstrate against the march in Parliament Square… (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 21.9.02 Anti-hunting lobby condemns march By Jonathan Barnes COUNTRYSIDE supporters are being "duped" into joining tomorrow's Livelihood and Liberty March by the pro-hunting lobby, it has been claimed… Diana Marshall, of Ipswich Animal Rights, said: "I think the Countryside Alliance is just a front for the hunting lobby…" Lawrie Payne, regional representative of the League Against Cruel Sports, said the issues affecting the countryside had been confused… (story)
York Evening Press 21.9.02 N Yorks residents on the march to London - RESIDENTS from North Yorkshire were today putting the finishing touches to banners and placards ahead of the Liberty & Livelihood march planned in London… Jeremy Timm, from the York and Ainsty South hunt, said he was planning to travel south today. "I know quite a few people who are driving down separately, as well as the people on the train and on coaches.".. (story in archive)
Northern Echo 21.9.02 A last stand for the countryside - THE nation's capital is expected to come to a standstill tomorrow in what could be the biggest ever demonstration witnessed on the streets of London… Among the marchers will be 16 members of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, who will have run to London from John O'Groats… (story in archive)
Northern Echo 21.9.02 Comment: Masking the real issues - HUNTING is the major problem with tomorrow's countryside rally. Hunting is drowning out all the other, vital issues and it is going to prevent many millions of people expressing sympathy with the marchers' plight… (story in archive)
Gloucester Citizen 21.9.02 'THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT HUNTING, IT IS ABOUT RURAL LIFE' Thousands of Gloucestershire rural residents from all walks of life are all set to march on the City of London in one of the biggest countryside protests in history… Henry Berkeley, joint master of Gloucestershire's Berkeley Hunt and key supporter of the march, urged all countryside residents to back the march… Four hunts operate in Gloucestershire, almost entirely in the Cotswolds. They are the Berkeley Hunt, Cotswold Vale Hunt, Cotswold Hunt and the Beaufort Hunt. All will attend the march… (story)
Gloucestershire Citizen 21.9.02 COUNTY SET FOR MARCH - Thousands of Gloucestershire people are gearing up for tomorrow's Liberty and Livelihood march in London… The Cotswold Hunt has laid on 28 coaches for the event… More than 1,000 people from the Vale of the White Horse Hunt will be travelling by train from Swindon to London… But Jill Purser and Pat Hemming are two Gloucestershire residents who will not be supporting the march. The women started The Cotswold Support Group for the Abolition of Hunting in 1997 because they were so troubled by hunting in their local area. They have organised an anti-hunt day on Sunday to make a stand against the march. People are asked to meet at the Waterhall bridge in Ashton Keynes near Cirencester at 11am to spend a day litter-picking in the local area (story)
North West Evening Mail 21.9.02 MP JOINS MARCH ON LONDON - SOUTH Lakeland MP Tim Collins will join hundreds of other Cumbrian protesters in the March for Liberty and Livelihood in London tomorrow… (story)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 21.9.02 District farmers join countryside march by Christine Leung Scores of Bradford farmers and countryside campaigners are to join a national mass protest in London tomorrow… Brian Hickling, 64, of Silsden - a keen country sportsman who is taking 40 people to the march - said people from all walks of life would be there to support rural life as a whole… (story in archive)
Yorkshire Evening Post 21.9.02 COMMENT - 21 SEPTEMBER 02 - It's people not foxes that matter - As many as 280,000 demonstrators are expected to invade London tomorrow to voice their worries for country life. They are in danger of their point being sadly missed… The massive protest will demonstrate to the Government the grievances felt by people living and working in the country… And what worries them? Neglect of the needs of country people, the closure of post offices, bank branches, shops, village pubs and community centres… What will they get? Another heated, going-nowhere argument about fox-hunting. They deserve better and they need more than a politically-motivated furore over the few who demand to hold onto their rights to dress up and chase foxes through fields on horses. The Yorkshire Evening Post has never pretended that the hunting with hounds issue didn't concern some who hold passionate views on the welfare of wild animals. But we, in common with most people who live in the countryside and those who recognise the importance of rural activity to the wider prosperity of the UK, would always put people first…. t is cynical and crudely diversive to polarise their problems into a single, over-dramatised row over fox-hunting. We in Yorkshire, where the countryside still matters, know these communities are more worthy of protection than the odd fox on the run. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 21.9.02 'PRESERVE OUR WAY OF LIFE' The angry voice of East Yorkshire's countryside will ring out loud and clear when thousands of protesters invade London tomorrow. An army of more than 5,000 farmers and country sports fans from the region will take the capital by storm to defend the country way of life… One of the leaders, John Duggleby has a foot in both the farming and hunting camps. But the farmer and chairman of the Holderness Hunt is also concerned about the demise of many of East Yorkshire's villages…. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 21.9.02 MARCHING FOR THE COUNTRYSIDE - East YORKSHIRE: Standing defiantly in the grounds of the Holderness Hunt kennels, these four countryfolk represent a scene that will be repeated across Britain today… MARCHING ON: From left, Colin Holtby, Paul Hammond, William Bethell and Robert Howarth, who will all be attending the Liberty & Livelihood march in London PICTURE: Susie Bateman (story)
Western Mail 21.9.02 Farmers vow action if protest fails - FARMERS are ready to use militant tactics if the Government fails to respond to the crisis facing rural communities. Farmers' Union of Wales president Bob Parry is expected to issue a warning when he takes part in tomorrow's Liberty and Livelihood march in London… (story)
Western Mail 21.9.02 Marchers seeking to save communities … The countryside march in London tomorrow may have started as a protest about fox hunting, and that may still be the focus for many thousands of people taking part. But it has become more than that. It has become a catalyst for those who believe they are seeing their way of life eroded by a disinterested government dominated by the needs of the urban majority… For the members of the Vale of Clettwr Hunt, near Llandysul, a protest that started off as a battle over fox hunting has become the focus of everything that's gone wrong in rural Wales since the BSE crisis of the late 1990s… (story)
Daily Post 21.9.02 Protesters' warning ahead of pro-hunting march - THOUSANDS of North Wales hunt supporters are due to march through London tomorrow - amid warnings their homes could be targeted by opponents… The measures follow threats from a group calling itself the Urban Alliance, which is linked to Class War and anticapitalist demonstrators… The list also has names and addresses of members of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, including leaders of the Wynnstay, Eryri, Tanatside and Flint and Denbigh Hunts… (story)
Eastern Daily Press 21.9.02 Holkham Country Fair attracts thousands - GILL JENKINS - Countryside enthusiasts were out in force today to celebrate life in rural England ahead of the Countryside Alliance Liberty and Livelihood March this Sunday… (story)
Oxford Mail 21.9.02 Marchers to defend rural way of life - THOUSANDS of people from Oxfordshire will be taking part in the massive Liberty and Livelihood March in London on Sunday, September 22… Liz Wills, a joint master of the Chipping Norton-based Heythrop Hunt, said: "We've got 20 coaches going and another 100 seats booked on a train from Moreton- in-Marsh… Barry Fews, the kennel huntsman of the Christ Church and Farley Hill Beagles at Stanton St John, will be taking part in the march… (story in archive)

21.9.02 BEACONS
Chester le Street Advertiser 21.9.02 Sky lit up in protest - PRO-HUNT supporters turned up the heat on the Government on Monday when a series of beacons lit up the skyline… Crowds gathered at Maureen Mace's farm in Esh for the simultaneous lighting of one of 80 bonfires in County Durham… (story in archive)

21.9.02 - letters
Guardian 21.9.02 Whose land is it anyway?
How refreshing to discover that farmers are the new defenders of liberty. I assume that means the next time I go to exercise my right to walk in the countryside all the deliberately blocked footpaths will be free of barbed wire and other obstructions… Nick Burton, Bolton, Lancs
My favourite Chelsea restaurant will be unable to accept my booking tomorrow as a result of being taken over by countryside alliance supporters. I never had that problem when the miners marched. Mark Glanville, London
From all London inhabitants to the marchers on Sunday: "Oi! Get off my land!" Richard WetherallLondon
Polly Toynbee's aside about the "illiberal and unfair" nature of a ban on foxhunting (Tories on the march, September 20) involves sleight of hand. She accords animal suffering no importance whatsoever… Mark Doran, Madingley, Cambs (letters)
Times 21.9.02 'Cruelty' of the hunt
Sir, The Countryside Alliance is a vociferous minority which has gained more publicity than it deserves (letters, September 20, etc)…. T. P. WALTERS, 566 Kenton Lane, Harrow Weald, Middlesex HA3 7LJ.
Sir, David Wood (letter, September 19) claims that foxhunting is justified as pest control and that the hunted fox can escape. As a former hunter, I know perfectly well that people go hunting for the fun it provides. The pest control argument is a myth that has legitimised the chasing and killing of an animal for pleasure… LIS KEY, 28 Park Street, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 4SP. (letters)
Scotsman 21.9.02 Real rural issues …I have read the propaganda leaf-lets and manifesto statements by the "saviours of country life" and believe they are no more than a bunch of upper class twits whose traditional weekend leisure activities (badger-baiting and fox-hunting) are under threat by civilised people… GEORGE CORBETT, New Alyth Road, Alyth, Perthshire (letter)
Newcastle Journal 21.9.02 Talkback
Jean Russell, Hexham:… The Government should be bringing back the old values and leave hunting alone. We don't come into towns and tell people how to run their lives…
Gwen Powell, Morpeth, Northumberland: "I am sure there are a lot of issues about the countryside which need tackling and I am in favour of the march if it is looking at these issues. But I do not support it if it is simply going to be about people's right to hunt."..
Eileen Robinson, North Northumberland: "Not all rural people agree with hunting…"
Myra Blakey, Rothbury: "It is a privilege to live in the countryside. The thing that needs to be done is to sort out the farming problems and encourage family farms…"
Duncan Robson, Gateshead: "I believe we must move on in the name of progress whether we like it or not." (letters)
Yorkshire Post 21.9.02 Time to address key rural issues From: George McManus, Meadowfield Close, Pocklington - In advance of tomorrow's Countryside Alliance march in London, I am extremely concerned that the real issues affecting agriculture and the rural economy are not being discussed… The rural economy needs support to diversify. However, instead of emphasising the need to preserve fox-hunting, which creates few jobs and plays a minimal part in the rural economy, we should be campaigning for an early entry into the euro which, at a sensible level, could boost farm incomes by up to a quarter…. (letter)


Kentish Express 20.9.02 Hunt backers kindle flame of resistance - HIGH on the Downs above Brabourne, members of Wye Beagles and the East Kent Hunt gathered on Monday night to signal the start of a week of protest… Ashford Valley Hunt supporters lit their beacon and fireworks at the Little Chart Farm of joint master Gilly Rogers. It all culminates with the Liberty and Livelihood March through the streets of London on Sunday in a mass protest… (story may be in archive)

Meridian TV 20.9.02 Hunting in the spotlight as thousands prepare for London march By Ian Maclaren (story)

Guardian 20.9.02 Rural protest threatens London gridlock - Sarah Hall and Dino Mahtani - Scotland Yard is advising people to stay away from central London this weekend as it grapples with policing what could be the largest demonstration seen in Britain for 170 years… (story)
Guardian 20.9.02 Tories on the march - Don't believe the stories of rural collapse. The Countryside Alliance is about politics, not preservation - Polly Toynbee - Class war breaks out on Sunday when toffs in pink with hunting horns ride into town in their hundreds of thousands and the gentlemen's clubs of Pall Mall throw open their doors - just as they once barricaded them against the Jarrow marchers. Boys of Harrow and the Eton College Beagles will be let out for the day. A wild bunch of rightwingers of various demeanours will join the affray, from Jim Davidson, Vinnie Jones and Frederick Forsyth to Roger Scruton and Simon Heffer. Even the white farmers of Zimbabwe yesterday said they would join their kith and kin. Townies besieged by the braying class enemy have only their window-box trowels to do battle with these marauding aristos… They are right about their right to hunt, wrong about their right to more subsidy. Townies are their customers, yet they bar them from their land and hold them in contempt. They may own the country, but it's just as well they no longer run it. (story)
Guardian 20.9.02 'As long as it takes' - On June 2 last year, Brian Haw travelled to Westminster to protest against the west's treatment of Iraq. Last night, 477 days later, the former merchant seaman and father of seven was still there. What fuels his quixotic vigil? Craig Taylor joined him - and the mice - for 24 hours to find out… Up the pavement, past Brian's banners, are protesters from the Countryside Alliance. They've had representatives here for more than 100 days and the coexistence has been peaceful. The sign they've propped up reads HOOT 4 HUNTING, and the occasional car is duly hooting back…. (story)
Independent 20.9.02 London to be cut in half by 300,000 pro-countryside demonstrators By Jason Bennetto Crime Correspondent - Central London will be "split in half" on Sunday when up to 300,000 demonstrators take part in a pro-countryside march through the capital, Scotland Yard warned yesterday… (story)
Independent 20.9.02 Some guidelines for all those rural visitors to London - Nothing will please Londoners more than 300,000 people in Barbours marching through their streets - Terence Blacker …of course, there is a serious side to all this activity. Many people from the country had never visited London before and found themselves caught up in various misunderstanding with the locals, having failed to grasp that people behave differently in great cities to they way they might back in the village. So, before this weekend's great Party for Liberty and Livelihood, it may be worth putting down a few simple guidelines to city life for the more unworldly visitor. It should be remembered, first of all, that Londoners are essentially warm-hearted people although, being rather shy, they may not like to show it… (story)
Independent 20.9.02 Cold comfort farm Is country life really under threat? On the eve of the Liberty & Livelihood march, David Aaronovitch, an inveterate town-dweller, goes back to Shropshire to meet his childhood friend, Farmer Phil … Phil doesn't like crowds, and he won't be on the Liberty & Livelihood march, he told me before I left. But he doesn't like being told what to do, either, so he'll be cheering them on…. (story)
Telegraph 20.9.02 Urban animals say why dictate to countryside? By Robert Uhlig, Farming Correspondent The truly urban countryside protester - born, bred and still living in town or city - is an elusive species. But despite its relative rarity, several examples will be on display at Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood March…. (story)
Telegraph 20.9.02 1,600 police to keep protesters on the move - More than 1,600 police officers will be on duty this Sunday for what is likely to be the largest civil rights march held in London… (story)
Telegraph 20.9.02 Two into one will go, says alliance By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - The Liberty and Livelihood march on Sunday is one march, not two, the Countryside Alliance said yesterday in an attempt to dispel growing confusion over two differently-named converging routes its supporters will be following through London… All marchers would be expected to support the same five-point credo, including demands that the Government protects hunting and other field sports and defends the rights of rural people to live as they choose… (story)
Telegraph 20.9.02 Birthday boy prefers to march By Richard Savill - Tom Bellamy should be looking forward to his eighth birthday party on Sunday. But this year his birthday will go virtually unrecognised. The keen young horseman has cancelled his party so he can take part in Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood march… (story)
Times 20.9.02 Hunt marchers to post guards on their homes BY VALERIE ELLIOTT AND STEWART TENDLER - HUNT kennels and the rural homes of prominent supporters will be protected by private security firms and local volunteers amid fears that hunt saboteurs will strike during the countryside march on Sunday… (story)
Times 20.9.02 Zimbabwe farmers join in BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - A LARGE party of white farmers from Zimbabwe will attempt to embarrass Tony Blair by joining the countryside march and comparing Labour’s treatment of rural Britain with Robert Mugabe’s land snatch… (story)
Times 20.9.02 Rural clergy give the protesters their blessing BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - RURAL clergy have given their blessing for the countryside march on Sunday. The Bishop of Basingstoke, the Right Rev Trevor Wilmott, is to bless the chartered train carrying 906 hunt supporters in a service of hymns and prayers on Sunday. The Rev Christopher Mulholland, a vicar in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, has organised a church bus to travel to London. Mr Mulholland, a hunt member, said that about 45 buses would be going from the area and the church bus would carry about 53… (story)
Argus 20.9.02 Think Of It This Way, by John Parry It is astonishing that Tony Blair has allowed his government to be browbeaten into involvement in the foxhunting debate. Set against education, immigration, health, drugs, crime and all the rest of it, foxhunting is an utterly trivial pursuit involving a tiny minority of people who should be allowed to run their lives the way they see fit…. without question, many of those who oppose hunting are motivated by class hatred, spite, vindictiveness and a dreadful ignorance… Like the majority of those who support the rights of country people to live their lives as they see fit, I do not ride or hunt and rarely even walk in the countryside. I am happy to be a seaside towny. But I grow more and more alarmed at the way bigotry and aggression can make themselves heard so easily. Freedom and civil rights are far too important to us all to be threatened by class hatred or political expedience. (story)
Kent Messenger 20.9.02 Thousands joining green wellies protest march - MEMBERS of Kent's rural community are all set for a huge protest march through London this Sunday. The Countryside Alliance is confidently predicting numbers well in excess of the 285,000 people who police estimated attended the last Countryside March in 1998… (story)
Times 20.9.02 The hunting lobby must now shut up to survive - SIMON JENKINS - Sunday’s so-called countryside march must be the most ill-judged campaign ever staged to win public sympathy. All city-dwellers will be branded Dryden’s foreigners. The one true lover of the British countryside will sit astride a horse and yell for blood. The identification of countryside with blood sports will taint the popularity of the former with the unpopularity of the latter. It will pollute a vital debate on the future of rural Britain…. What I do not accept is that a ban on hunting with hounds is a burning national priority. Nor is a ban defensible merely on the ground that I and others find it distasteful…. Disapproval is not a sufficient condition for disallowal. Between these citadels of certainty is a vale called tolerance, growing narrower with every new law and regulation…. If I were advising this lobby, I would tell it to shut up and keep its head down. It represents a tiny minority which will never win public sympathy by shouting. It should stay behind the scenes and cobble together a new licensing scheme and code of practice, enough to satisfy Parliament’s “middle-grounders”. Then pray for a Middle East war to take the topic off the boil… (story)
Western Daily Press 20.9.02 STRENGTH OF FEELING - On Sunday 300,000 ordinary people will march on London to save rural Britain. PADDY SMITH visits one community to test the strength of feeling – THE tranquil Somerset village of Moorlinch nestles on the side of the Polden Hills… The giveaway signs are all around. Little notices calling for people to support this Sunday's Liberty And Livelihood march pepper the verges and front gardens of Moorlinch… The protest promises to be the biggest peacetime demonstration the nation has ever seen. Opponents claim the organisers are only interested in one topic - Labour's plans to outlaw hunting. But thousands of countryside dwellers are marching on the capital to make their voices heard about rising house prices, businesses being forced to closed and the continuing crisis which is holding farming in its grip… (story)
Western Daily Press 20.9.02 LOCAL PEOPLE ARE BEING SQUEEZED OUT - Since moving her family to Moorlinch five years ago, mum Julie Hartley has watched the village slowly die… "On Sunday a lot of people are going to the march from here." (story)
Western Daily Press 20.9.02 RUNNING ON EMPTY - Michael Howe has owned and run Moorlinch village garage for three decades. Thirty years ago, his business was one of 10similar operations between Bridgwater and Street, but over the past few years he has watched as they have folded one by one. Now he fears other local services are facing the same fate… (story)
Western Daily Press 20.9.02 CONCERNS RING TRUE AT THE BELLS - Like thousands of village pubs up and down Britain, the Ring O'Bells has been the focus of rural life for years. However, across the country local inns are increasingly being forced to close, and the Bells is as vulnerable as any other village service to the changing fortunes of the countryside…. (story)
Evening Standard 20.9.02 500,000 expected for march by Hugh Dougherty and Nigel Rosser, Evening Standard Final preparations are being put in place today for Sunday's countryside march which will see between 250,000 and 500,000 demonstrators descend on central London… (story)
Evening Standard 20.9.02 Rural voices on the march - Evening Standard editorial comment - As the Countryside Alliance march approaches and Londoners jib at the inevitable traffic hold-ups this weekend, we should also read what the banners say. Anger over Tony Blair's support for a ban on hunting has become a peg upon which has been hung understandable fury over the Government's handling of the foot-and-mouth epidemic and a wider sense that the countryside is misunderstood and under-represented in decision-making… The protestors must recognize the difference between what can be improved by Government and the more general responsibilities of people for their own lives. But this weekend, we can, at least, lend a sympathetic ear to what those with genuine reasons to feel aggrieved about the state of our green and pleasant land have to say. (story)
Evening Standard 20.9.02 How to take part in the march (story)
Evening Standard 20.9.02 Trouble when tweed comes to town by Will Self - We live in a funny old world full of unfunny people. Our leader's war aim is peace, the rich and selfish pretend to be poor and selfless, and the "beautiful people" are nothing of the sort. But for sheer, brazen hypocrisy nothing really gets close to the antics of the Countryside Alliance and its massed, tweedy ranks of bumptious bigots… There's only one other group of people who are as blinkered and that's your opponents. Anyone who imagines that the painless death of a few feral canines is important is playing the game of morality with a pack of jokers. How I wish you could all hunt each other to extinction, then the rest of us could enjoy a peaceful Sunday (story)
Western Morning News 20.9.02 MASSIVE EFFORT GOES INTO MARCH SET-UP - CLARE MORGAN More than 200,000 marchers are expected to take part in " a part of history" on Sunday in what is now being billed as the biggest demonstration of its kind since the public outcry over the Tolpuddle Martyrs more than 150 years ago… quotes from James Drewer, Countryside Alliance spokesperson James Stanford, director of the march for the Countryside Alliance (story)
Western Morning News 20.9.02 RURAL MARCH HAS BEEN 'HIJACKED BY HUNTERS' - ANDREA KUHN - Members of the League Against Cruel Sports have staged a series of demonstrations this week to try and persuade supporters of the countryside not to go to Liberty and Livelihood march… Ivor Annetts, Mid Devon co-ordinator for the group, said: "The whole event was originally initiated by the hunters…" Yesterday members of the League Against Cruel Sports were demonstrating in Newton Abbot main street… Ellen Porter, 70, from Newton Abbot, said: "I agree with them. I have seen what happens when they chase a hare. It was very upsetting…" Shirley Evans, who was shopping with her two children, Jackie, three, and Simon, four, said: "I wouldn't like them to see what happens to a fox when it is caught by all those dogs. I think it would be horrible."… Rumours that a demonstration would be held by the LACS were also scotched by a spokesperson, who said that it was unlikely anyone would be attending… (story)
Yorkshire Post 20.9.02 Marching for a way of life - On March 18, the House of Commons voted, at long last, to ban hunting. The next day, the House of Lords voted to allow licensed hunting… Is the March for Liberty and Livelihood tomorrow just too late, like shutting the stable door after the horse has fled?... The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire have already decided that the local hunts, the High Peak and the Barlow Hounds, can continue to hunt over their parkland at Chatsworth, Derbyshire, even if the sport is banned… Jane Pighills and several friends are driving down from Kilnsey, Upper Wharfedale, where she runs a riding centre. "People up the Dales are beginning to realise it is not only to do with hunting, but farming, fishing and shooting, and spreads through the countryside," says Mrs Pighills, who is a joint master of the Pendle Forest and Craven Hunt…. Sunday's march organisers are getting the wind up. The threat isn't the hunt saboteurs, but a shadowy pro-hunt group called the Real Countryside Alliance who might give it a bad name… None of the marchers will approach their sport more seriously than the Wabash Hounds, "a traditional country hunt serving Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa" since 1993… (story)
Yorkshire Post 20.9.02 Voice of countryside set to ring out - Brendan Carlin Political Editor - The voice of the Yorkshire countryside will this weekend ring loud and clear in London as about 20,000 people head south to take part in what is billed as the biggest civil rights march in Britain for 150 years… From Yorkshire and the Humber, more than 150 coaches along with special trains from York and Hull will take south protesters including representatives of famous hunts such as the Middleton, York and Ainsty South, Pendle Forest and Craven and the Holderness… (story)
Yorkshire Post 20.9.02 THE COUNTRYSIDE HAS ITS SAY More than 250,000 country folk are expected to pound the streets of central London on Sunday as part of the giant Liberty and Livelihood March organised by the Countryside Alliance… (story)
Perthshire Advertiser 20.9.02 Countryside supporters all set for London march - Sally Wilson - PERTHSHIRE will be strongly represented this weekend as thousands of Scots pour south of the border for the Countryside Alliance march…. Tim Baines (45) from Blairgowrie and Ian Valentine (26) from Pitlochry have joined 14 other runners for the relay which kicked off on Tuesday and which will see them clocking up around 50-60 miles each before arriving in London in time for the march…. (story)
Shropshire Star 20.9.02 Blockades in farm protest - By James Whittaker - The countryside was in full scale revolt today as hundreds of farmers blockaded supermarkets while more than 200,000 protesters made final preparations for one of the biggest anti-Government demonstrations in post-war history… Clare Rowson, West Midlands regional director for the Countryside Alliance, said Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood march would be one of the biggest post-war demonstrations the country had ever seen… (story)
York Evening Press 20.9.02 The countryside goes to London by Liz Todd - PROTESTERS planning to join this weekend's mass rural march through London were today told to remember that hunting was its "top priority"… Nick Proctor, joint master of York and Ainsty South Hunt, said people planning to march should be clear in their minds that it was first and foremost about hunting… But Derek Watson, NFU county vice-chairman, said support went "deeper and wider" than hunting… Master of the Middleton Hunt Frank Houghton-Brown said: "Many people who don't hunt will still go because they appreciate that we are right to continue doing what we do."… (story in archive)
York Evening Press 20.9.02 Why the country feels under threat by Stephen Lewis STEPHEN LEWIS reports on the crisis in the countryside that is behind this weekend's protest march in London and explores the reasons for the rural anger. IN THE kennel yard at the Birdsall Estate, home of Lord and Lady Middleton, the horses are being washed down, and the hounds fed. Frank Houghton-Brown, master of the Middleton Hunt, has already changed out of his hunting clothes into a yellow T-shirt sporting the words Liberty And Livelihood March…. (story in archive)
York Evening Press 20.9.02 Strains of village life - WILF Garbutt knows more than most about running a village shop. His family have been in the business since 1856 when Wardill Bros sarted trading at Thornton-le-Dale… (story in archive)
York Evening Press 20.9.02 Miner who turned to the hunt now faces… by Liz Todd - Liz Todd talks to a hunt worker and an arable farmer, who both feel that an urban government is failing to address the problems of the countryside. FORMER coal miner Dick Tonks knows what it feels like to be made redundant… Dick has been with the Middleton Hunt, based at Birdsall, outside Malton, ever since…. Dick, who lives at North Duffield with wife Angela, children Adele, 11, and 13-year-old Liam, and his 11 terriers, admits he doesn't know what he would do. He is one of eight members of staff employed by the Middleton Hunt who would all lose their jobs…. ARABLE farmer Jonathan Wilson knows all about the spiralling cost of housing in the countryside…. (story in archive)
Grimsby Telegraph 20.9.02 THOUSANDS CAMPAIGN ON COUNTRYSIDE 'THREAT' - Things have never been tougher for Prime Minister Tony Blair. On the international stage he faces isolation over his hardline stance on Iraq and increasing pressure over his failure to commit to the euro… But the "winter of discontent season" kicks off this Sunday with the biggest peacetime demonstration ever held in the United Kingdom. The Grimsby Telegraph's Parliamentary Correspondent Kirsty Buchanan reports on the Liberty and Livelihood March…. (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 20.9.02 MARKET TRADERS AND SHOPPERS FEEL THE KNOCK-ON EFFECT - The decline of the industry not only affects the farmers themselves, but it has a knock-on effect on market traders who sell the produce, and the customers who buy it. G Smith and Sons is the only fresh produce stall on Louth's weekly market…. Another worker on the stall, Karen Wilkinson, has been with the company for 16 years. She has also noticed the decline and thinks the march can only help to improve conditions for the country's farmers… (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 20.9.02 FURY AT CONTINUING SETBACKS TO RURAL WAY OF LIFE - Hundreds of men and women across the region have watched the rural way of life deteriorate over the years. And many are furious at a situation they believe has not received enough help from the Government…. Sarah Cross (20), of North Kelsey, is getting up early on Sunday morning to join in with the march in London. She said: "I have lived in the countryside all my life, and this is a chance for all country people to stand together and put our views across…. (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 20.9.02 FARMER BLAMES GREED FOR INDUSTRY'S DECLINE - HANNAH KENNARD - Grainsby farmer John Stone has experienced the devastating decline of the industry at first hand… The 57-year-old livestock farmer, who runs The Manor in the small Wolds village, blames greed and over-production for the problems faced by Britain's farmers… Mr Stone is all for the Liberty and Livelihood march, but like many farmers, he can't afford to take the time off to show his support this weekend. (story)
Manchester Evening News 20.9.02 Hunt man's plea on ban threat - FAMILY man Vinnie Faal lives in a Wythenshawe council house and spends his weekends with his lurchers and ferrets. Hardly the stereotypical tweed-jacket type you would expect to be heading down to London in a convoy of Range Rovers to support the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood march through the capital on Sunday. But Vinnie feels just as strongly about the prospect of a ban on hunting with dogs than any aristocrat and will be joining marchers in their bid to defend the rights of the countryside… Vinnie, a member of the Sharston lurcher and terrier club, said: "People think the ban on hunting is just about fox-hunting. It is not - it will ban people like me who catch rabbits…." (story)
North West Evening Mail 20.9.02 CUMBRIANS READY TO JOIN RURAL MARCHERS - South Cumbria will be represented by its own show of strength on Sunday as hundreds of dissatisfied Cumbrians make the long-haul trip to join their peers from across the UK. One of those preparing herself is Alison Bolt from Leece, near Ulverston… (story)
Cumberland News 20.9.02 THOUSANDS JOIN CAPITAL PROTEST - Cumbrians will lead what is expected to be the biggest peace-time demonstration Britain has ever seen on Sunday… (story)
Yorkshire Evening Post 20.9.02 Cross country march - By Tony Harney - FARMERS, anglers, hunt supporters and other rural residents from across Yorkshire are to lead a huge protest march through London this weekend… quote from Lindy Best, Yorkshire Regional Director of the Countryside Alliance. (story)
Bucks Free Press 20.9.02 Bucks folk gather for countryside march By Margaret Smith DOZENS of coaches will ferry people from across Buckinghamshire to London on Sunday to join thousands of protesters marching against the Government's treatment of rural communities… The Government's proposed hunting ban is a side issue, organisers say. Cherry Aston, chairman of the Buckinghamshire committee of the Countryside Alliance, told the Free Press that the protests now embrace a wider remit… The Vale of Aylesbury Hunt has organised 22 coaches leaving from different villages and says the marchers will not be just hunt supporters…. David Lidington, MP for Aylesbury, who will be taking part in his capacity as shadow agriculture minister, agreed the march was primarily about hunting. He has two hunts in his constituency, the Vale of Aylesbury Hunt and the Old Berkeley Beagles…. (story)
Plymouth Evening Herald 20.9.02 MILKING PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR OUR FARMERS - As a fuel protest organiser, South Hams farmer RICHARD HADDOCK went from unknown to national figure in a few days in 2000. This week he has been back in the news as an organiser of the milk price protest… Are you going on the Liberty and Livelihood march? No. I'll be on the farm working - I'll have to because the staff will be away on the march. I support what they're saying… (story)
Belfast Telegraph 20.9.02 London set for 'invasion' By Brian Walker - THE Government may introduce a system of licencing hunting with dogs to take some of the sting out of the big protest demonstration that is expected to engulf central London on Sunday, causing gridlock all day… (story)
Scarborough Evening News 20.9.02 HUNDREDS SET TO JOIN COUNTRYSIDE MARCH UNT supporters from the Scarborough area are preparing to travel to London for the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood march on Sunday…. (story on archive)
Stratford Herald 20.9.02 Special train and 78 coaches take protestors to the capital (story may be in archive)
Dorset Daily Echo 20.9.02 `The country is not just a theme park' by Jonathan Slater - IN TODAY'S economy, leisure is the lifeblood of the countryside - but many people fear that unless it is properly managed, it could become poison. Tourism versus tradition, recreation versus rural ecology, is one of the burning issues which protesters will highlight during the Liberty and Livelihood march on Sunday, amid claims the government and its town-based supporters treat the countryside like a "glorified theme park"…. Olive Collins, who runs Balmer Lawn Bike Hire at Brockenhurst, is also secretary of the Commoners Animal Protection Society, and fears the National Park designation could make a difficult situation much worse… Local National Farmers Union vice-chairman Ellen Box, who has a farm near Wimborne, said: "It is all very well the government talking about rights of way, but that should not give visitors license to do whatever they like…. (story in archive)
North Devon Journal 20.9.02 MAJOR PRO-HUNT MARCH - Thousands of supporters are rallying to the plaintive cry of the hunting horn, as North Devon prepares to send its own delegation to Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood March…. (story)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 20.9.02 CAMPAIGN: Countryside supporters set to march - THOUSANDS of protesters from around the city plan to march through the urban heart of London. Coachloads of people from the Peterborough area will attend the Liberty and Livelihood March on Sunday, organised by the Countryside Alliance… The Fitzwilliam Hunt will also be sending a strong contingent on Sunday, with transport for more than 800 people… (story in archive)
Bournemouth Daily Echo 20.9.02 Pyres of protest set mood for marching by Rachael Garnett - ACROSS the country villages are said to be dying. In Dorset and the New Forest many rural communities are slowly having their lifeblood sucked from them with post offices closing, pubs being turned into homes and bus services withdrawn. Angry at what they see as an erosion of traditional village life and personal freedoms, ordinary people who are not directly connected with the farming industry or hunting are also feeling the urge to attend the Liberty and Livelihood March in London on Sunday… (story in archive)
Sussex Express 20.9.02 10,000 WILL MARCH TO DEFEND COUNTRY LIFE - TEN thousand angry but determined East Sussex country dwellers are set to converge on London on Sunday to take part in what they hope will be the biggest peacetime demonstration this country has ever seen… (story in archive)
Driffield Times 20.9.02 COUNTRYSIDE UNITES IN PROTEST - HUNDREDS of people from the Driffield area are taking part in the Liberty and Livelihood march in London on Sunday… Driffield farmer Paul Temple is attending the march with his family… Gilda Brader, secretary of the Middleton Hunt, said that she knows of four coaches which are going from the Driffield area and that 200 seats have been booked on one charter train and 40 seats have been booked on another train… (story in archive)
Herts & Essex Mercury 20.9.02 countryside walk on streets of London - EAST HERTS: Hundreds of people from the district's rural areas are set to show their discontent at the Government's handling of the countryside at this weekend's 'liberty and livelihood march' in London… Sir Roger du Boulay, of the Puckeridge Hunt, will be joining many of his fellow members at the event… The Mercury's farming correspondent Peter Ashley said that it was a cause supported fully by him and his family, including his son, East Herts councillor William, who will attend the march. Peter said: "I believe very strongly that the Government does not understand the countryside and they do not try to… (story may only be on site for a week)

20.9.02 - letters
Times 20.9.02 March for Liberty and Livelihood - Sir, Amongst the hundreds of thousands of people who will be marching for liberty and livelihood on September 22 (letters, September 19, etc), will be a significant number of Christian clergy. We support the march for a number of reasons… JOHN HEREFORD, JOHN BICKERSTETH, (Bishop of Bath and Wells, 1975-87), PIP MARTIN, (Vicar of Alderholt), SUSAN RAMSARAN, (Rural Dean of Shoreham), ROBIN RAY, (Rector of Exford with Exmoor, Hawkington and Withypool), DEREK WATSON, (Dean of Salisbury Cathedral), The Bishop’s House, The Palace, Hereford HR4 9BN. September 19.
Sir, Your perceptive leading article (“Country grievances”, September 16) identifies the variety of problems that will ensure a high turnout for Sunday’s march…. C. GOODSON-WICKES, (Founder Chairman, Countryside Alliance), Flat 23, 37 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NS. September 16.
Sir, I thoroughly enjoyed Simon Barnes’s article (Thunderer, September 17) and its basic sentiment that even if you disagree with hunting it is right to defend a person’s right to do it… NICHOLAS TURK, Bush Street Farm, North Nibley, Dursley, Gloucestershire GL11 6DQ. September 17. (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 20.9.02 FOXES WILL REST EASIER THAT DAY … At least on this September 22 a few foxes can rest easier, and that's how it should be. PAMELA DEAN, Whiteshill (letter)
Shropshire Star 20.9.02 Many will defy this hunt ban - With reference to the article in the Star September 5, 2002. "Hunting ban will be defied poll reveals"… Remember Mrs Thatcher's Poll Tax Bill which was abandoned because it was unenforcable. D G Morris, Newport (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 20.9.02 Countryside marchers should embrace euro - IN ADVANCE of the Countryside Alliance march in London on Sunday, I am concerned that the real issues affecting agriculture and the rural economy are not being discussed…. instead of emphasising the need to preserve fox-hunting, which creates few jobs and plays a minimal part in the rural economy, we should be campaigning for an early entry into the euro which, at a sensible level, could boost farm incomes by up to a quarter…. George McManus, Meadowfield Close, Pocklington. (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 20.9.02 COUNTRYSIDE MARCH - DURING the last few weeks I have noticed a number of roadside signs from the 'Countryside Alliance' advocating a march for 'Freedom and Liberty'… The Countryside Alliance knows if they called themselves by their true title - 'The Fox Hunting Supporters' - the vast majority of the British population would endorse every independent poll on fox hunting and condemn them… Trevor Nicholson, Northallerton.
I READ with interest the article by Richard Dodd (Echo, Sept 17) regarding a rural heritage. It may surprise him to learn that, by and large, I agree with most of the points he mentions… before Richard Dodd marches with his troops on September 22, his followers should reflect on the wisdom of creating a new division in our society - a rural-urban divide. - Alan Benn, Bedale. (letters in archive)
I shall not be marching on Sunday simply to support hunting or the countryside, since a much greater issue is at stake. The argument is not just about the countryside. Anyone who cares for the right of individuals to make personal choices must oppose a ban on hunting… It has taken us 300 years to construct that tolerant liberal democracy of ours. I urge the Government not to ban things just because they dislike them; that would take us back to a new dark age of bigotry, intolerance and strife. That is why I will be marching on Sunday. The Rt Hon DAVID MACLEAN, MP for Penrith and the Border (letter)
North West Evening Mail 20.9.02 HUNTING LOBBY GRABS OTHER PEOPLE'S FEAR - THE Countryside Alliance, being the main organisation behind the forthcoming Liberty and Livelihood March this Sunday in London, has only one burning issue and that is for the continuation of hunting and in particular fox hunting… I have campaigned for many years to put an end to hunting with dogs and despite many frustrating setbacks, I sincerely hope the democratic process will win the day… PAT APPLETON, Rowan Avenue, Ulverston (letter)
Malvern Gazette 20.9.02 Liberty for whom? - HAS anyone else been wondering about what some of the Countryside Alliance posters actually mean? "Liberty and livelihood" - for what, for whom? Birds, butterflies, foxes, badgers, walkers ...? Perhaps "Liberty and livelihood" also includes hypocrites. Yours, in confusion. PAT PALMER, Albert Park Road, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Rutland & Stamford Mercury 20.9.02 Farmers have got their just reward - THE Liberty and Livelihood March featured by the Mercury last week, asks our opinions… It is complete nonsense by the Countryside Alliance to use our present Government as a scapegoat for their troubles, the seeds were sown decades ago, but put in a nutshell it is down to the greed of a minority… Having been a tenant on less than 20 acres for 40 years I asked my landlord if he would sell me an acre or two, he refused. Like myself he has been a lifelong supporter of fox hunting and country sports. As the last straw of his actions and to distance myself from him and his kind, from as now I withdraw my support of fox hunting and its wider community. BRIAN SHERWIN, Dyke Fen, Bourne (letter)
Rutland & Stamford Mercury 20.9.02 Enjoy local countryside - FOR what reasons are people marching in London next weekend? Are they representatives of agribusiness demanding ever larger subsidies to replace our hedgerows, songbirds, butterflies and wildflowers with a countryside synonymous with salmonella, BSE and foot-and-mouth? Or are they demanding the continuation of the right to amuse themselves with blood sports like pulling down deer with stag hounds and running down brown hares until their blood fizzes into a pink froth… N WARDE, The Homestead, Braunston (letter)
The Citizen (Preston) 20.9.02 Most opposed to fox hunting - ON Sunday, while the pro-hunt lobby converges on London, the silent majority who oppose hunting will be going about their daily lives, many of them enjoying the countryside… J Young, Lancashire League Against Cruel Sports, Stanworth Terrace, Abbey Village. (letter in archive) 20.9.02 BEACONS
Wiltshire Times 20.9.02 Beacons signal start of protest - BEACONS blazed throughout Wiltshire on Monday to herald the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood march. Towering bonfires lit up the night sky to publicise the biggest peacetime demonstration this country has ever seen… The Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs and MP for North Wiltshire James Gray ignited a rocket at one of the Beaufort Hunt's beacons, at Monument Farm, in Bremhill… (story in archive)
Kent/East Sussex Courier 20.9.02 LIBERTY BEACONS LIGHT UP THE SKY Beacons were blazing across the Westerham and Edenbridge area on Monday evening as a sign of support for the upcoming Liberty and Livelihood march. Hundreds of villagers saw giant bonfires light up the sky above Squerryes Court and Chartwell House, near Westerham, at around 7.30pm as part of a nationwide act heralding the Countryside Alliance's massive London march on Sunday…. (story)
Surrey Advertiser 20.9.02 Support for countryside hots up - Rural campaigners from around the area lit a poignant beacon this week to mark Sunday’s March for Liberty in London. Around 60 people joined Shackleford farmer Angus Stovold to light the beacon, waving banners and flags of protest as they prepare to make their stand against, among other issues, a proposed Government hunting ban… (story in archive)
Malvern Gazette/Ledbury Reporter 20.9.02 Fires fan interest in march THE Rector of Colwall, rev Carl Attwood, helped light one of the 100 bonfires across Herefordshire and Worcestershire on Monday to publicise the Liberty and Livelihood March. Beacons were also lit at Ledbury, Mathon, West Malvern, ahead of the march in London on Sunday (September 22) to protest about Govern-ment attitudes to the countryside, including the proposed ban on hunting with dogs… (story in archive)
Bridgwater Mercury 20.9.02 'Liberty' protesters to march on London - BEACONS burnt across Sedgemoor this week as countryside campaigners turned the heat up on the Government…. (story in archive)
Stratford Herald 20.9.02 Thousands fired up for big march on London - THOUSANDS of people in South Warwickshire - many of them unconnected to agriculture - plan to join the massive Countryside Alliance "Liberty and Livelihood March" on London on Sunday… All over the county on Monday night people flocked to a series of beacons that were lit on high ground to proclaim solidarity with the marchers' aims in making the government listen to country people…. (story may be in archive)
Stratford Herald 20.9.02 Narrow escape for beacons organizer - THE local farmer responsible for the beacons which lit up large parts of Warwickshire on Monday to commemorate this weekend's Liberty and Livelihood march escaped death by inches when he was pinned against a five-barred gate by a tractor and trailer as he was about to start building one… Thanks to Mr Pick's efforts, however, beacons lit the night sky in Warwickshire in at least 16 villages on Monday night and hundreds turned out to support the occasion in solidarity with the Countryside Alliance. (story may be in archive)

Guardian 19.9.02 Do they mean us? - On Monday, the Daily Mail published a poster exhorting its readers to attend the Countryside March. But do the people in the village it features really feel threatened? - Steve Morris - … Residents of Snowshill were yesterday surprised and dismayed to see their village held up as the sort of place which needed saving…. interviews with local residents (story)
Telegraph 19.9.02 Angry farmers set their sights on the supermarkets By Robert Uhlig, Farming Correspondent, and Peter Foster - Thousands of dairy farmers will today try to blockade every dairy plant in Britain before going to London on Sunday to protest against the ruthlessness of supermarkets…. (story)
Telegraph 19.9.02 Why everybody who believes in liberty should march - By Stephen Robinson - This week I have been ringing some of the foot soldiers who toil within what might loosely be called the "freedom community" to see how many of them will be attending the Liberty and Livelihood March on Sunday. John Wadham, head of the campaigning group Liberty, has been a good friend to The Telegraph's Free Country campaign since its launch last summer… But Mr Wadham and his colleagues will not be marching in defence of liberty or livelihood, and seemed rather surprised by the suggestion that they might. There is a similar lack of urgency over at the offices of Charter 88, whose founding principles exhort the faithful to take action to protect "such civil liberties as the right to peaceful assembly, to freedom of association". Karen Bartlett, Charter 88's director, said her group saw hunting "as less of a civil liberties issue as a question of cruelty versus utility"… I am not suggesting that marchers on Sunday should carry banners demanding a fair deal for gay Kurdish asylum seekers. But it would be excellent if there were a general recognition on the streets of London that freedom cuts both ways, and is too important to be obscured by something as trivial as political prejudice. (story)
Telegraph 19.9.02 Duncan Smith to lead the Tory battalions By George Jones, Political Editor - Iain Duncan Smith will lead a big Tory contingent in Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood March to demonstrate the party's strong support for countryside campaigners… Shadow cabinet members joining the Tory leader will include Michael Howard, Oliver Letwin, David Davis, Theresa May, Michael Ancram, John Whittingdale, David Lidington, Liam Fox, Damian Green, Tim Collins, Nigel Evans, Eric Pickles, Howard Flight and John Hayes. So far, 23 other frontbenchers, including Gerald Howarth, Eleanor Laing, Alan Duncan, Dominic Grieve, Robert Key and Philip Hammond, have said they will march… (story)
Times 19.9.02 World's hunters rally to the cause of countryside march BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - AN INTERNATIONAL contingent of nearly 3,000 huntsmen and women will descend on London this weekend to show solidarity with the countryside march. American huntsmen waving the Stars and Stripes will join the march wearing baseball caps and sweatshirts to show that hunting in the US has lost its elitist image…. (story)
Worcester Evening News 19.9.02 Hounds spread hunt message - ounds from the hunt's kennels have been travelling around the countryside to promote the Liberty and Livelihood March on Sunday. Last night, eight-year-old James Philips and his seven-year-old brother Henry met the hounds at the Mug House pub in Claines (story in archive)
Western Daily Press 19.9.02 FASCISTS TO HIJACK PROTEST - Rural campaigners across the West last night condemned moves by right-wing groups to hijack this weekend's countryside march on London. As thousands of protesters prepare for Sunday's mass demonstration, the Countryside Alliance reactedwith fury to news that the National Front and British National Party are urging supporters to converge on the capital…. Spokesman John Reynolds said the issues of the countryside were about defending Britain. He said: "We are marching on Sunday to show our support. It will be a recruitment exercise. We will be distributing our leaflets and trying to get people to join… the Countryside Alliance reacted angrily to their decision to infiltrate the march. South West spokesman Mal Treharne said: "They are trying to climb on the back of our success because this is going to be such a sensational march…" (story)
Western Morning News 19.9.02 HUNT BRIGADE ARE HIJACKING THE REAL RURAL ISSUES - The issues driving demonstrators to converge on London for Sunday's Liberty & Livelihood march are many…. People will be attending the march on Sunday for all sorts of reasons, and for most the defence of hunting will almost certainly not feature high on their list of priorities…. Rural residents who jump on the Countryside Alliance's bandwagon in the hope that the CA will air their grievances will be sorely disappointed. At every opportunity, the hunting lobby has used publicity in the run-up to the march to highlight the threat posed to hunting…. (story)
Western Morning News 19.9.02 MARCH TALLY THREATENS TO SWAMP ORGANISERS - JASON GROVES This weekend's Liberty and Livelihood march looked on course to be the biggest demonstration ever staged in the UK when the number of registered marchers broke the 200,000 barrier last night…. (story)
Dorking/Leatherhead Advertiser 19.9.02 Farmers prepare for march on London - FARMERS in the district are gearing up for a crucial week in the ongoing effort to highlight countryside issues. Numerous Mole Valley farmers are preparing to join the 300,000 people expected to attend this Sunday's Livelihood and Liberty March in London. Although the main focus will be a protest against a ban on hunting with hounds, many farmers will use the march as an opportunity to highlight declining rural services and a struggling agricultural industry… (story)
Cotswold Journal 19.9.02 Hunt drops in on horserace friends - THE Cotswold Hunt dropped in to the Hollow Bottom Inn in Guiting Power to highlight the links between its embattled pursuit and the sport of racing. The inn is the favoured haunt of many stars of the racing world and is partly owned by Nigel Twiston-Davies - the trainer of this year's Grand National winner Bindaree. The other partners are Raymond Mould, the owner of Bindaree, and former champion jockey Richard Scudamore… (story in archive)
Carmarthen Journal 18.9.02 HUNT SUPPORTERS ON THE MARCH - Thousands of people from across West Wales will travel to London for Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood March. More than 150 coaches and hundreds more cars will make their way to the capital for the rally… Local hunts each staged a beacon lighting, including the Carmarthenshire Hunt in Laugharne… (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 19.9.02 Region prepares for huge rural protest By Katy Edwards and Graham Dines - A CIVIL rights march due to take place in London will be the biggest demonstration of its kind since the public outcry over the Tolpuddle Martyrs more than 150 years ago, it has been claimed… quotes from James Stanford, director of the march for the Countryside Alliance, Richard Spring, the Conservative MP for West Suffolk, North Essex Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin, Jack Thain, chairman of the Suffolk Pensioners' Association, Stuart Bowell, chairman of Ipswich and East Suffolk Campaign for Real Ale, Stephen Rash, chairman of the Suffolk branch of the National Farmers' Union, Jon Richardson, regional secretary for the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters… Liberal Democrat life peer Baroness Scott of Needham Market said there were very real issues that needed sorting out to revive the rural economy, market towns and villages. But the whole Countryside Alliance message is being diluted by foxhunting, which is highly divisive and will overshadow Sunday. It is a great pity that the march will be championed as defiance over hunting and that's why I will not be joining it," she added… James Buckle, joint master of the Essex and Suffolk hunt, said: "The Government needs to see that there is a real crisis in the countryside…"
Denbighshire Free Press 19.9.02 Marchers ready for capital effort - MEMBERS of the farming community will march on London this weekend to show their dismay at the Government’s handling of countryside issues… Over a dozen coaches are set to leave Ruthin, Denbigh and St Asaph carrying a cross section of people from the farming and country pursuits sectors… (story in archive)
Wolverhampton Express & Star 19.9.02 Thousands are set to join rural protest By Steve Marshall - An army of more than 4,000 countryside campaigners from throughout Staffordshire will descend on London this weekend to protest about the erosion of traditional rural life. Up to half a million people from across Britain are expected to take part in the two-mile march through Whitehall on Sunday to raise awareness of countryside issues. Peter Presland, chairman of the Staffordshire branch of the Countryside Alliance, said the protest looked set to be the largest the country had ever seen… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 19.9.02 FARMERS' FEARS MUST BE HEARD - Struggling farmers from East Yorkshire are joining a major protest in the fight for the future of their industry. Many farmers fear they do not have a future because the Government has failed to come up with policies to help them. And that is why hundreds of East Yorkshire farmers will join the massive Liberty and Livelihood march in London this weekend - even though it is their busiest time of the year… (story)
Cornish Guardian 19.9.02 THOUSANDS READY TO GO - More than 40 coaches and a train carrying 600 people will travel from Cornwall to take part in the Liberty and Livelihood march this Sunday. On Monday night, thousands turned out to watch as giant beacons and bonfires were lit and fireworks were set off to signal that rural communities are ready to join the solidarity march in London. The march is being organised by the Countryside Alliance, an unreservedly pro-hunting organisation, which aims to attract a wide range of countryside users as well as people concerned about civil liberties and government intervention… (story)
Cornishman 19.9.02 THOUSANDS IN LONDON MARCH - Thousands of people from Cornwall will be marching in London on Sunday with a serious message to deliver to Government. Virtually every available coach has been hired, a special train is taking hundreds from Plymouth, and many people will be travelling in cars for what will be a mass exodus from the Westcountry to take part in the Liberty and Livelihood March… (story)
Newcastle Journal 19.9.02 Thousands to march in 'fair deal' call for countryside - Thousands of North protesters are travelling to London on Sunday to demand a better deal for the countryside. It is estimated that 500,000 people will take part in the Liberty and Livelihood march through the capital's streets to ask the Government to stem the crisis facing rural Britain… "Hunting is the crux of the march," said director of the Countryside Alliance North-East branch Richard Dodd. That is the spark, but the flames are being fanned by the fact that the countryside is in crisis. Those in the countryside are the forgotten people of this country…" House prices… Transport… The effect on services… The effect on hunting… The effect on farming… The effect on jobs… (story)
Newcastle Journal 19.9.02 No welcome in 'Tony's Big Tent' for the country folk - Even since Tony Blair became Labour leader eight years ago, he has based his political success on building as broad a coalition as possible between different groups of voters… But throughout this time, one group has remained largely on the outside of this grand alliance - people who live and work in the countryside. New Labour has never made more than a tokenistic effort to get them on board - and now, after five years of perceived neglect, the countryside is angry… HAYDON Hunt secretary Pam Pattinson will be marching on Sunday with her husband John and four of their children… (story)
Tavistock Times 19.9.02 Coaches full for London march - THOUSANDS of people from West Devon are due to travel to London this weekend, to join the Countryside Alliance’s Liberty and Livelihood march on Sunday. Betty Boundy, secretary of Eggesford Hunt, said the response to the call to march on Sunday had been ‘very good’…. Sue Joynson, who has organised coaches on behalf of Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt, said the response had been ‘tremendous’… Diana Moyse, of Lamerton Hunt, said she would ‘easily’ fill the five coaches she has booked to take to London….(story in archive)
Evesham Journal 19.9.02 Country campaigners take fight for `liberty' to London - PEOPLE from throughout the Vale, the Cotswolds and Warwickshire will be among an anticipated 300,000-plus protesters expected to converge on London this Sunday for the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood March… Among those who will be in London to demonstrate will be Jamie Smith, a member of the committee for North Cotswold Hunt, which hunts between Evesham and Moreton… (story in archive)
Cumberland News & Star 19.9.02 TALLY HO! - TOWN and country come together on Sunday as thousands of pro-hunt supporters and countryside activists march on London… The official count of how many people are marching will take place in Whitehall. Two sets of 6.6 metre arches will span Whitehall and they will be positioned 100 metres north and south of the Cenotaph. Marchers will pass through the first arch and will march in silence past the Cenotaph. The total number of marchers will be displayed on a giant digital screen… Anti-hunt campaigner Elaine Milbourn, of Torpenhow, said Sunday's march only involved a tiny fraction of the UK population… (story)
Telegraph 19.9.02 Government indifference - The coming march is not only about hunting: so many livelihoods depend on the countryside. In England there are 14,000 dairy farmers: three quarters are making a trading loss for this financial year… Martin Drake, Askern, S Yorks (story)
Western Daily Press 19.9.02 HUNT FOCUS ON COUNTRYMARCH … When legislation was brought out to protect wild creatures, foxes, deer, hares, and pheasants were exempt, because rich and powerful people hunted them…. Perhaps all those on the march might not be aware that they are mainly supporting fox hunting, which in my personal experience is unnecessary and cruel. Revd H W Jones Priors Hill Wroughton Swindon Wiltshire (letter)
Hereford Times 19.9.02 Stick to the facts about march - Madam, The Countryside Alliance is continually claiming one need only stick to the facts to see hunting should continue. Yet what happens? The CA has claimed that during the halt in hunting caused by foot and mouth disease, fox numbers doubled. This was based on subjective information from pro-hunt farmers. Now we have objective evidence from independent scientists at Bristol University that, if anything, numbers fell… E J Dowling, Silver Fir Close, Hereford. (letter in archive)
Berwick Advertiser 19.9.02 SIR, — As just one of many who were 'invited' in writing by their employer to participate in the Countryside Alliance March in London on September 22 I will not take part in this glorified pro fox-hunting demonstration. If Richard Dodd, the CA regional director and his cronies believe they truly represent the people of the countryside, why does he criticise MPs who embody the democratic process?... MARTIN VAUSE, The Old Church, Crookham Village(letter)
Tavistock Times 19.9.02 Differing views on the aims of Countryside Alliance campaign - THE advertisement article placed by the Countryside Alliance in the Times (September 5) would have us believe that the Alliance is not just a group of hunters trying to save their ‘sport’, but a genuine campaign against all injustices in rural areas…. Having lost the scientific as well as the moral arguments, the Countryside Alliance is desperately trying to keep the cruel sport of hunting with dogs alive by attaching itself like a parasite to the genuine concerns and campaigns of rural people. Martin Quinn, West Devon Green Party, Old Exeter Road, Tavistock (letter in archive)
Cotswold Journal 19.9.02 What about the Otter point of view? - I SEEK the Liberty to encourage the return of Otters to our Vale of Evesham Rivers. To watch them enjoying their unique Livelihood, whose continued success would be a sure indicator of the health of our threatened Waterways. Men and their Dogs pounding through our streams and rivers, hell bent on hounding to death any animal they encounter, whether Mink as main target, or Otter as an incidental victim, threatens that Liberty…. what would be the chances for my future Liberty and Livelihood be, do you think, if I joined the Countryside Alliance March on September 22 holding aloft a banner that proclaimed `Ban the hunting with Dogs, of Otters, Hares and Foxes'?... MICHAEL PARKER, Main Street, Sedgeberrow, near Evesham. (letter in archive)
Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 19.9.02 Report calls us to work, not march - NO doubt many readers, like Mr Maidment (Farmer to join London march, Gazette September 12) will join the liberty and Livelihood march in London on Sunday. The danger is that their legitimate worries about a range of issues will be overshadowed by the obsession about fox hunting which remains the principal driving force behind the organisers, the Countryside Alliance… JOHN THOMSON, Member of the Liberal Democrat Working Group on Rural Futures, Friday Lane, Charlton St Peter (letter in archive)

19.9.02 - letters
Buckingham Advertiser 5.9.02 CALM PROTEST IN A MAJOR WAY - MOST of your readers will have heard that the Countryside Alliance is holding a Liberty and Livelihood March in London on Sunday, September 22, for which it hopes most of those who love the countryside and/or its sporting activities will attend to protest in a major way, but quietly and calmly, against the Government’s present policies…. Jeremy White, Thornton, near Buckingham (letter)

Buckingham Advertiser 19.9.02 NOBLE SOUNDING BUT MEANINGLESS? I WAS surprised to see the letter from Jeremy White (Your Voice, Sept 6) trying to encourage readers to attend the Countryside Alliance (they used to call themselves the British Field Sports Society) forthcoming march in London…. It would seem that the Alliance is deliberately being ambiguous about this march, giving it the noble sounding but meaningless Liberty and Livelihood title. I would have suggested “The Bloody March”… I would advise people to think twice about attending this march, but if they do ring the 0900 number given by Mr White (who may have forgotten to mention the cost per minute of the call) I suggest they ask to talk to other departments within the Alliance about other rural issues. There are no other departments. Michael Wedgebury, Collswell Lane, Blakesley, Towcester (letter)
Buckingham Advertiser 5.9.02 CALM PROTEST IN A MAJOR WAY - MOST of your readers will have heard that the Countryside Alliance is holding a Liberty and Livelihood March in London on Sunday, September 22, for which it hopes most of those who love the countryside and/or its sporting activities will attend to protest in a major way, but quietly and calmly, against the Government’s present policies…. Jeremy White, Thornton, near Buckingham (letter)

19.9.02 - BEACONS
Amesbury Journal 19.9.02 Farmers set to march on London - A BEACON lit up the night sky at Viney's Farm, Amesbury, on Monday, as countryside campaigners sent out a warning to the government that they are on their way to London. It was one of hundreds of beacons set ablaze above towns, villages and farms around the country ahead of the Countryside Alliance's march (story in archive)
Cornish Guardian 19.9.02 WARMING UP FOR HISTORIC MARCH - A string of beacons lit up the night sky across Cornwall on Monday signalling a countdown to Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood March in London… (story)
Evesham Journal 19.9.02 Alliance in march start - BEACON bonfires lit by Countryside Alliance members as part of their Liberty and Livelihood campaign on Monday night sparked 16 false call-outs for Hereford and Worcester fire brigade crews. Callers raising the alarm did not realise the fires were part of a chain of beacons to demonstrate the strength of support for the campaign, which will include a march by hundreds of thousands of people in London this Sunday… (story in archive)

Telegraph 18.9.02 100 miles down, just 700 miles to go . . . By Auslan Cramb, Scotland Correspondent Nine men and seven women with a common interest in "saving the countryside" set out at dawn yesterday from a rainswept John o' Groats to run 800 miles to London They will each run 10 miles every 16 hours for the next five days and, blisters allowing, will arrive in time to join the Liberty and Livelihood march on Sunday… One of the participants, Caroline Innes, 45, a mother of three and joint master of the Duke of Buccleuch's Hunt, said she was motivated during her six weeks of training by the "unjustified" ban on hunting in Scotland… (story)
Telegraph 18.9.02 A home, a job, a future. That was 18 months ago By Robert Uhlig - It was a smelly, unglamorous job, but someone had to do it. For Mick Eadle, a farmer in Oxfordshire, making pigswill provided a comfortable living until the Government banned his business last year and drove him into bankruptcy. Like thousands of other rural business people, Mr Eadle, 64, plans to join the Liberty and Livelihood March on Sunday. The marchers will be protesting against bureaucracy, short-termism and what they say is a failure by Government to recognise the needs of rural enterprise. Among their number will be Toni Jones, 70, who said yesterday that red tape and Government indifference had recently forced her to close the Carnarvon Arms, a 22-room hotel at Dulverton, Somerset… (story)
Times 18.9.02 Clubland waives rules for countryside marchers BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE gentlemen’s clubs of St James’s and Pall Mall are to open on Sunday as a concession to members taking part in the countryside march… (story)
Times 18.9.02 Square protest could bring ban BY TOM BALDWIN - KEN LIVINGSTONE, the Mayor of London, is considering banning Countryside Alliance supporters from Parliament Square for their mass march in London on Sunday. Pro-hunting protesters set off fireworks and lit bonfires on the square, damaging lawns and disrupting traffic on Monday night…. The Mayor, who has posted additional wardens on the site, is considering seeking a court injunction banning alliance supporters from the square. Such action could cause severe disruption for Sunday’s march, which ends there… (story)
Evening Standard 18.9.02 March faces Parliament Square ban by Mark Wilkinson and Nigel Rosser, Evening Standard - London Mayor Ken Livingstone is considering banning Countryside Alliance supporters from Parliament Square for their mass march on Sunday… Detectives are concerned that extremists may either attack marchers or attempt to disrupt the event for their own political ends… (story)
Leicester Mercury 18.9.02 BITTER HARVEST - Why are large sections of our rural communities up in arms? Adam Wakelin investigates… In fields lining roads across Leicestershire, white banners can be seen proclaiming the Countryside Alliance's campaign for "liberty and livelihood". They serve notice that up to 10,000 people from Leicestershire will take part in a mass protest rally this Sunday which will bring much of London to a standstill…. (story)
Times 18.9.02 What farming really needs is an end to feudalism BY AIDAN HARRISON - The true story of rural Britain is one of far richer landlords and much poorer tenants - As the countryside prepares for its march on London in the name of rustic solidarity, a major rural issue has recently been unwittingly exposed by a most unlikely body: The Investment Property Databank (IPD)… Subject to measures to prevent abuse and speculation, giving farming families the “right to buy” their own homes would be a major step towards bringing justice and dignity, not to mention a little more “Liberty and Livelihood” to our countryside. (story)
Independent 18.9.02 Richard Askwith: Why you won't see me marching for my countryside - You can't go far in my part of Northamptonshire without seeing one of those curiously respectable red, white and green posters urging you to march for "Liberty and Livelihood" on Sunday… many people I like and respect will be going, and feel strongly that others should too. Not just fox-hunters, but people of all kinds and classes who believe – with good reason – that their way of life is threatened… I sympathise with the marchers' causes. True, I don't hunt and would not mourn hunting's passing. But the only case for banning it is a moral one, and governments should not legislate exclusively for the moral wellbeing of the governed. That way, tyranny lies; especially if the moral legislation is guided, as in this case, by class hatred…. as for marching for liberty and livelihood – I'm sorry, but I can't bring myself to do it. A protest needs a specific demand: a change of policy that is the protesters' price for going away. What does this protest want? Liberty? Or livelihood? The two causes almost contradict one another…. in defending the rights of the fox-hunters so enthusiastically, they may condemn other rural issues to years more of neglect (story)
Hull Daily Mail 18.9.02 'STAND UP FOR COUNTRY LIFE' Professional huntsman Robert Howarth would much rather be out with his pack of hounds than marching in London. But the threat of him losing his livelihood from the proposed ban on hunting with dogs has driven him to join thousands of others on the Liberty and Livelihood march. He also fears that a ban would lead to the Holderness Hunt's pack of hounds being put to death because they are bred purely to hunt foxes…. (story)
Worcester Evening News 18.9.02 All aboard for protest in London - A TRAIN commissioned by Worcestershire hunt supporters, along with dozens of coaches, will be carrying protesters to one of the biggest demonstrations London has ever seen. It is estimated that more than 8,000 people from Worcestershire and Herefordshire will be making their way to the capital for the Liberty & Livelihood March this Sunday… North Cotswold Hunt is putting on its own train and a further nine coaches which can collectively carry 900 people plus their distinctive yellow balloons. A total of 27 coaches will be carrying members and supporters from the Worcestershire Hunt… (story in archive)
East Anglian Daily Times 18.9.02 Have your say on rural crisis claim - THOUSANDS of people from across East Anglia will be taking to the streets of London at the weekend to show their support for the countryside. Organisers predicted up to 300,000 people will march through the capital on Sunday to protest at what they perceived as the Government's lack of support for rural areas…. Liz Mort, eastern regional director of the Countryside Alliance, stressed the march was about much more than hunting with dogs. "The march is about rural people being allowed to have the choice of how they live their lives. It's going to have people from all walks of life – that's one of the great things about it," she said…. (story)
Bucks Herald 18.9.02 'MARCH WILL ONLY STALL BAN' - AS hundreds of people from the Vale prepare to march on Westminster in the Liberty and Livelihood march the five- point charter behind it has been called 'a complete fudge'. Peter Bunce, of Protect Our Wild Animals, believes that the march has been organised for one reason only to stall the hunting ban currently being considered by parliament… (story in archive)
Western Daily Press 18.9.02 NO! - As 300,000 rural protesters blaze a trial to London . . . The Nation is split on their cause THE Countryside Alliance was last night accused of using rural issues to con people into supporting fox hunting. Animal rights groups and many townspeople across the West claimed the pro-hunting group was deceiving hundreds of thousands of people into attending the huge march on London this Sunday by pretending they represent all countryside issues… (story)
Western Daily Press 18.9.02 YES LARGEST PEACETIME PROTEST WILL SHOW STRENGTH OF FEELING - This Sunday's march is about a large range of rural issues, say countryside campaigners. The threat of a ban on fox-hunting might be the fuse but as MICHAEL RIBBECK reports, there is much more to it than that… Scotland Yard intelligence officers have been monitoring groups such as the Animal Liberation Front on a daily basis amid fears they may stage their own demonstration… quotes from Mal Treharne, West spokesman for the Countryside Alliance, Caroline Mountain, of the Royal Agricultural College, Professional huntsman Julian Barnfield… Ewen Cameron, has taken a swipe at the Government for ignoring rural poverty… (story)
Western Daily Press 18.9.02 NO COUNTRY ISSUES BEING HIJACKED AS SHOW OF SUPPORT FOR HUNTING - This Sunday's march is not a mass uprising by Britain's rural dwellers, according to animal welfare groups. It is a thinlydisguised march in favour of foxhunting, as ERIN DEAN reports… quotes from Mike Hobday, a spokesman for The League Against Cruel Sports, Richard England, a spokesman for animal rights group Animal Aid, Lis Key, IFAW… A spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs said: "We are not organising anything to counter the hunters' march this month. Our view is that the more these people stick their arrogant features on TV and spout their laughable arguments in the papers, the better it is for the hunted animal."… (story)
Shropshire Star 18.9.02 Country message hits town - Shropshire farmers took to the streets of Wellington in a special "battle bus" to win recognition for the role of the countryside. The county's Countryside Alliance urged residents to back a protest march in London at the weekend, supporting rural life. The NFU battle bus - a tractor and trailer bedecked with flags, banners and posters - was in Wellington's market square yesterday afternoon spearheading a new "Farming Counts" campaign in a bid to highlight the current plight of the industry… The protest in Wellington was just days before Saturday's Liberty and Livlihood March when more than 3,000 countryside campaigners from Shropshire are expected to descend on London… (story)
Shropshire Star 18.9.02 Farmer's wife pens song of rural sorrow By Denise Markham - A Shropshire woman today told how she was driven to write a poem about the "shameful" state of the agricultural industry after watching her third son leave the family farm business. Jean Jones, who runs Horton Lodge farm in Cruckton, near Shrewsbury, with her husband Eric, has unveiled the poem as she urged residents across the region to join the Liberty and Livelihood march in London as the weekend… (story) An Obituarty (poem)
Coventry Evening Telegraph 18.9.02 Farmers prepare for London rally By Dean Valler - Hundreds of farmers and landowners from Coventry and Warwickshire are preparing to join a huge London rally at the weekend calling for better rights for people in the countryside. Three coachloads of marchers will leave from the NFU's central Warwickshire HQ at Stoneleigh Park, at 8am on Sunday, heading for the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood March… The march is also looking to address government plans to ban hunting. Other concerns include include lack of transport, education provision and rural services, such as pubs and post offices. (story)
Northern Echo 18.9.02 COUNTRYSIDE MARCH - MAY I point out, contrary to some opinion, that the Liberty and Livelihood March on September 22 will be an entirely peaceful demonstration. Not only hunting, but many farming and rural people, will be hoping to make the Government and public realise that farmers and country people deserve the freedom to earn their livelihoods and follow country pursuits without undue government interference…. (letter in archive)
Guardian 18.9.02 Just respect our city - Once again the Countryside Alliance has recognised the importance of London by choosing to hold a rally here, rather than in the countryside… I hope that our guests will respect the customs and values of urban life…. Shouting and the blowing of horns would be an intrusion in the city, which is not just a place for tourists and visitors, but a place where many people live and work. Hugh Collis, London (letter)
Cambridge News 18.9.02 View from the other side From Mike Michalak,Swaffham Road, Burwell - WITH the march in London organised by the Countryside Alliance on September 22, might I highlight the other side of the coin. Thousands of country folk do not support this organization… I and a number of my friends will be making a peaceful protest outside Parliament the same day, for these creatures that cannot speak. (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 18.9.02 YOU CAN ENJOY COUNTRY WITHOUT KILLING ANIMALS - On Sunday, while the pro-hunt lobby converges on London, the majority who oppose hunting will be going about their daily lives, many of them enjoying the countryside. For all their noise and publicity, the fact remains that the marchers are a minority…. Barbara Gardner, Ivybridge (letter)
North West Evening Mail 18.9.02 CONVERT TO DRAG HUNTS - On Sunday September 22, while the pro-hunt lobby converges on London, the silent majority who oppose hunting will be going about their daily lives…. The tradition, pageantry and excitement can all be retained if live quarry hunts convert to the humane sport of drag hunting… J Young, Lancashire League Against Cruel Sports, Stanworth Terrace, Abbey Village, Chorley (letter)
Horncastle News 18.9.02 Countryside march a chance to save our future - Recently Revesby Estate was host to an estimated 20,000 people at the annual country fair, in the glorious park, lovingly fashioned throughout the centuries, always with conservation and field sports in mind. I wonder how many of the 20,000 would vote against hunting with dogs if they wished to come again?... On September 22 in the London Countryside March we have the opportunity to - legally and sensibly - save England and Wales, our children’s future, our wild animals such as the deer, hare and fox; and domestic animals such as horses, hounds, terriers, lurchers… HENRY FOSTER Woodhall Spa (letter)

18.9.02 - BEACONS
Harrogate Advertiser 18.9.02 Alliance marches on London - BEACONS blazed across North Yorkshire on Monday evening to signal the start of the Countryside Alliance protest over rural rights... The Bedale Hunt is just one group rallying local support for the rural Liberty and Livelihood march, which is set to see many protesting over the possible ban on hunting.... (story)
Torquay Herald Express 18.9.02 COUNTRY BEACONS SPARK 999 CALLS - Fire crews across Devon and Cornwall attended several Countryside Alliance beacons after members of the public reported them as fires. Countryside campaigners say the ones attended were "unofficial"… Beacon co-ordinator Alex Thavenot said the Alliance had told the fire brigade where all the beacons were going to be… (story)

17.9.02 - BEACONS
Telegraph 17.9.02 Blazing beacons start the protest - By Nicola Woolcock - An undertaker set fire to coffin parts last night at the lighting of one of 3,000 beacons across Britain six days before the Liberty and Livelihood march in London…. Dylan Evans, 34, an undertaker and huntmaster from Blaenau, near Llandeilo, south-west Wales, topped his nearest beacon with an old coffin and provided other offcuts to help fuel the fire…. Andrew Brown, the Joint Master of the Saltersgate Hunt, blows his horn as a beacon blazes on the North York Moors. (story)
Guardian 17.9.02 Hunters get fired up for march on London - Tania Branigan - Thousands of beacons lit up the night skies around Britain yesterday, as a "rocket relay" running from Scotland down to London noisily heralded this Sunday's liberty and livelihood march. But the protest caused dozens of false alarms as fire brigades around the country were called out to reported field fires… (story)
BBC News Online Tuesday, 17 September, 2002, 05:23 GMT 06:23 UK - Pro-hunt beacons lit up - Fire crews across southern England were alerted to more than 50 blazes on Monday night which turned out to be beacons lit by countryside campaigners. The fires are part of the Countryside Alliance's "summer of discontent" aimed at alerting the government to growing anger in rural communities… Jill Grieve, spokeswoman for the Countryside Alliance, said: "We are bringing a message to Parliament that the countryside is in trouble and needs help and we should be listened to…" (story)
Evening Standard 17.9.02 Beacons mark start of countryside protest by Laura Burkin, Evening Standard - More than 3,000 beacons blazed across Britain to signal the start of a week of protest that will culminate with tens of thousands of countrysiders taking to the streets of London this weekend…. (story)
Evening Standard 17.9.02 The countryside comes to town - Evening Standard editorial comment - On Sunday the countryside comes to London, and Tony Blair and his Cabinet ministers will no doubt decamp to the country. Downing Street is sending a rural affairs adviser to monitor the Liberty and Livelihood march, but no ministers of the Crown will be joining it… for the sound reason that the Government has nothing reassuring to say… . Probably only a minority of the countryside marchers ride to hounds themselves, but all of them will be fired with the conviction that the impending hunting ban is symptomatic of a Government and Party which is antipathetic to rural concerns from the depths of its urban soul, and which believes it has the right to tell country people how to lead their lives…. The sheer range of these issues is likely to muddy the focus of Sunday's march. Nevertheless the unity and strength of feeling behind it will send Downing Street a message it cannot afford to ignore (story)
Western Morning News 17.9.02 BONFIRES LIGHT UP THE HILLTOPS - Dozens of giant bonfires were lit and fireworks ignited on Westcountry hilltops last night to signal that rural communities are ready to march on London in defence of their "Liberty and Livelihood"… One of the leading lights behind last night's beacons was spirited Exmoor farmer Guy Thomas-Everard. During the height of last year's foot and mouth crisis his family gained huge public support by blockading one of their farms to halt Ministry livestock slaughterers…. (story)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 17.9.02 BEACONS MARK SUPPORT FOR RURAL WAY OF LIFE - DAVID MCKAY - Beacons were set ablaze throughout the Scottish countryside last night in a mass show of solidarity and support for the rural way of life. More than 60 torches were lit on farms and estates from John O'Groats to the Borders, including one at Dunecht, Aberdeenshire, as part of a Scottish Countryside Alliance protest. The lighting ceremony precedes a relay race starting today in John O'Groats, which finishes in London in time for the Liberty and Livelihood March, on September 22… (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 17.9.02 BURNING ISSUES OF RURAL LIFE - A beacon was lit on a hilltop overlooking Carsington Water last night to mark the beginning of a week of protest that will culminate in an estimated 3,000 local people joining a rally in London… Peter Durisch saw the beacon lit and Kirsty Buchanan reveals that the Liberty and Livelihood March is expected to be the largest peacetime demonstration ever held in Britain… quotes from Phillip Marks (46), farmer, of Tinkerley Farm, Kirk Ireton, Independent financial adviser Martin Tunaley, Nick Hutchinson (45), Ivy House Farm, Weston Underwood, a farmer, Gamekeeper Peter Dawson (60), Millers Green, Wirksworth etc. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 17.9.02 PROTESTERS TURN UP HEAT ON COUNTRYSIDE ISSUES - East RIDING: Symbolic fires have been sparked across the region to mark the start of a countryside protest… The main bonfires were lit at High Hunsley, Burton Pidsea, Bishop Burton, Cottingham, Catfoss and North Ferriby, but there were many other smaller ones. Broomfleet farmer Robert Patchett was at the event at High Hunsley, near Walkington - East Yorkshire's traditional beacon site… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 17.9.02 A BEACON FOR COUNTRYSIDE PROTESTS BY HENRY WIDDAS - Lord and Lady Devon are backing a march in London to highlight countryside concerns including opposition to a proposed ban on fox hunting. They allowed the grounds of Powderham Castle, near Kenton, to be included in a series of sites across the country where beacons were lit last night as a signal to start the countdown towards the march… (story)
Western Daily Press 17.9.02 BEACONS FIRE OFF A HUNT BAN WARNING TO NO.10 - Thousands of countryside campaigners lit up the night sky across the West last night. They took to the hills, sending a strong warning to Londoners that they are on their way. As the daylight slipped away at 7.30pm, hunt supporters lit thousands of beacons above villages, towns and isolated farms all over the UK and abroad…. quote from Countryside Alliance co-ordinator Nicky Driver… Olympic gold medalist Richard Meade lit one of the four main bonfires arranged by the Beaufort and James Gray MP, Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, joined the child of a local farmer in lighting another near Chippenham. The former actress Tracy Worcester, nee Ward, daughter-in-law of the Duke of Beaufort, added a touch of glamour to the green wellie crusade by lighting a bonfire at Hawkesbury Upton… (story)
Western Daily Press 17.9.02 WARNING LIGHTS - Any hopes that the Government might have had about this weekend's countryside protest in London proving to be a damp squib were surely doused last night with the nationwide beacon protest which lit up the night skies… The message is that people want solutions to the pressing problems facing the countryside, and not platitudes that will drive a bigger wedge between town and country (story)
Leicester Mercury 17.9.02 BEACONS FAN THE FLAMES OF PROTEST OVER RURAL POLICIES - Beacons were lit in Leicestershire last night as villages joined in a national protest at the Government's countryside policies… In Rearsby, near Melton, around 200 people watched as a village beacon was lit by Mark Halford, a former hunt saboteur who now hunts with the Quorn Hunt… (story)
Shropshire Star 17.9.02 Beacons lit for plight of rural life By Lisa Rowley…More than 80 beacons were lit across the region last night with thousands more across the United Kingdom to highlight the massive liberty and livelihood march in London on Sunday…. quote from Mark Jarrold, organiser of Shropshire Beacons… (story)
Worcester Evening News 17.9.02 Luff: We will burn the lies of the PM …Fifty beacons were set alight across the county, part of a national chain announcing the run-up to a massive protest march in London next Sunday, when the countryside will bring its grievances to the streets of the capital. One of the largest combustible piles was at Whittington, just outside Worcester, where Mid-Worcestershire MP Peter Luff applied the blazing torch just after 7.30Pm. More than 300 people gathered to hear him say, "These fires burn as a warning, not of a foreign invader, but of the threat that comes from our very own government. We will burn the incompetence of a government that has stood idly by and watched our farmers go to the wall. We will burn the deceit of the party spin doctors who care nothing for the countryside and we will burn the £1.1m bribery of the Labour Party by the animal rights movement."… (story in archive)
Newcastle Journal 17.9.02 Campaign hots up as fires light the sky By Sam Wonfor, The Journal - Blazing beacons lit up the sky across the North-East last night as campaigners warned the traditions of the countryside were under threat… The beacons were lit at sites including Otterburn, Lesbury, Ponteland, the Roman Wall at Bardon Mill, High Warden, West Woodburn and Stamfordham. Regional director for the North-East branch of the alliance, Richard Dodd was at a gathering near Whitton Gilbert, County Durham…. (story)
Bristol Evening Post 17.9.02 BEACONS LIT IN SUPPORT OF HUNT Hunt supporters lit a string of beacons at sites throughout their territory as the countdown started for this weekend's Liberty & Livelihood March. Members of the Beaufort and Berkeley hunts will be travelling in a fleet of coaches to London on Sunday to join an estimated 300,000 marchers… (story)
Ryedale Gazette & Herald/Evening Press 17.9.02 Go to blazes! by Liz Todd BEACONS blazed across North and East Yorkshire as thousands of people heeded a clarion call to safeguard the countryside… More than 100 farmers and hunt supporters gathered at a beacon on the North York Moors organised by Saltersgate Farmers' Hunt, which took place as part of the national demonstration… (story in archive)
North East Evening Gazette 17.9.02 Beacons 'a cry for help from country' - Countryside campaigners were today hoping to see the impact of an 8ft "beacon" they lit in the heart of Westminster as a warning to the Government about the growing anger in rural communities…. (story)
Daily Post 17.9.02 Huntsmen light pyres in protest over ban By Andrew Forgrave Rural Affairs Editor - A HAUNTED house high up on the Denbigh Moors was last night the setting for a bizarre stunt designed to highlight pro-hunting fears. As dozens of beacons lit up the Welsh night sky yesterday evening, the ghostly form of a phantom horse and rider was seen galloping past a huge bonfire close to the ruins of Plas Pen, near the Sportsmans Arms Pub, Hiraethog… About 40 beacons were built across North and Mid Wales, from Chirk Castle to Llynlloed in Machynlleth and Rhostrehwfa on Anglesey. Richard Williams, master of the Eryri Hunt, hastily arranged a beacon on Tremadog rocks at the weekend by scrounging straw from farmers and wooden pallets from a farm supplies business…. (story)

Telegraph 17.9.02 'Something must be done. Rural life is eroding away' By Robert Uhlig, Farming Correspondent - Eileen Shere is fed up with the litany of neglect she sees all around her mid-Devon village. Schools, post offices, shops and petrol stations have closed at the same rate as property prices have shot up. She says it cannot go on. Early next Sunday, Mrs Shere, a classroom assistant, will join a coachload of protesters from Huntsham, a small village south of Exmoor, and set off for the Liberty and Livelihood March in London… (story)
Western Telegraph 17.9.02 Rural crusaders march on London - Farmer's son Edward Clements is passionate about the Pembrokeshire countryside. He loves the rural way of life. The bond he shares with the South Pembrokeshire Hunt hound puppies he has walked since he was a young boy is unquestionable. Fourteen-year-old Edward, of Broomhill Farm, Martletwy, will be among hundreds of like-minded people living in rural Pembrokeshire who will converge on London on Sunday for there Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood March…. (story in archive)
Northern Echo 17.9.02 COUNTRYSIDE MARCH - THANK you Robert Goodwill (HAS, Sept 7) for your honesty in declaring that the true purpose of the demonstration to be held in London on September 22 is against the Government… Remember it was the Tories who dismantled our rural railway system, the GPO, our public utilities, etc. - A Benn, Bedale. (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 17.9.02 In pursuit of a rural heritage - As thousands prepare to march on London this weekend, Richard Dodd, Countryside Alliance regional director for the North-East, argues why everyone who cares about the rural way of life should be there…. (story in archive)
Western Mail 17.9.02 Thousands rally to the march - Sheila Coleman Farming Editor - THE Welsh farming community has thrown its weight behind next weekend's countryside march in London… Mark Hinge, the alliance's political director for Wales, said, "This show of strength from Wales sends out a clear and an advance message that the countryside must be listened and treated with tolerance and respect."… National Farmers Union Cymru spokesman Keith Jones said NFU leaders would use the march to fully promote the "many problems facing farmers"…. (story)
Western Morning News 17.9.02 BLAIR ADVISER TO JOIN THE MARCH - JASON GROVES - Tony Blair's chief adviser on the countryside is to take part in this week's giant Liberty and Livelihood march in London, in a show of solidarity with rural campaigners that will embarrass the Government. Somerset landowner Ewen Cameron yesterday confirmed that he would be joining the march on Sunday… He said it was wrong to present the march as being solely about hunting - an issue which he described as a "distraction". He said that provided the march went off peacefully then the Government "inevitably must pay attention"…. No Ministers are expected to take part in the march, although a Downing Street spokesman yesterday said there had been no instructions to them to boycott the event… (story)
Torquay Herald Express 17.9.02 'SILENT ARMY' WILL MARCH ON CAPITAL - This Sunday more than 160 coaches will pick up protesters across Devon and Cornwall and travel to London. But the "winter of discontent season" kicks off on Sunday with the biggest peacetime demonstration ever held in the United Kingdom. Parliamentary Correspondent KIRSTY BUCHANAN reports on the Liberty and Livelihood March… this is not your standard bunch of marchers - there will be no copies of the Socialist Worker on sale and no banners by the Socialist Alliance - this is the massed ranks of the countryside community… Caroline Lewis, who is organising coaches for the Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers at Halwell near Totnes, said: "It is going fantastically. There is a lot of support…" There are also at least four other coaches going from the South Devon Hunt, as well as others from various shoots around South Hams, Torbay, and Teignbridge… (story)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 17.9.02 COUNTRYSIDE ON THE MARCH - Rural protesters will pitch a peaceful battle against the Government this weekend, at the biggest civil rights demonstration ever held in Britain. More than 55 coaches from North Lincolnshire will make their way down to the capital to join tens of thousands of people - all hoping to bring their message to Westminster…. Winterton farmer John James is travelling down with 'like-minded friends' who believe they have been backed into a corner… (story)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 17.9.02 LIBERTY AND LIVELIHOOD - Officially launched six months ago, the Liberty and Livelihood March is a triumph of planning which comes at a cost the Countryside Alliance is loathe to divulge. A hotline for registering marchers was set up in March and runs 12 hours a day, seven days a week…. (story)
Shropshire Star 17.9.02 Campaign is just for savagery - The pro-hunt posters which are littering our landscape at the moment are typical of those who seek to protect the out-dated sport of hunting with dogs… They argue they are an effective pest control, but that excuse has been decidedly obliterated, since it is now official that foxes do not overpopulate. This is a fact I have been aware of for some years, ever since I made the study of foxes my hobby… I have witnessed the so-called sport of hunting with dogs, and I can tell you, it has left its mark on me…. Judi Hewitt, Rhyl, Denbighshire (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 17.9.02 For some it is cruel, for others, sport …The rich and powerful who hunt in the country and abroad are financing over a million pounds for the liberty and livelihood march on September 22. This is to protect hunting all over the world…. Rev BERT JONES, Priors Hill, Wroughton (letter in archive)

Ananova 16.9.02 Campaigners 'light' countryside beacon - Hunt supporters have staged the lighting of an 8ft beacon in the middle of Parliament Square, as a warning to the Government. They claim the fake fire of red lights and smoke effects, is to highlight the plight of the countryside, and the effect of a possible hunting ban… (story)
Independent 16.9.02 Rural problems are too diverse for one march - The difficulty of finding purely rural concerns is likely to fracture the Countryside Alliance - Andreas Whittam Smith - When hundreds of thousands of country people march through central London next Sunday, ask them what are they protesting about. For the very diversity of their answers will reveal the substantial difficulties faced by the organisers, the Countryside Alliance… Hunt supporters have seen the success of the direct action tactics used by hunt saboteurs and animal-rights fanatics. Why shouldn't they use the same methods, they wonder? They want to "gridlock" London on a weekday… (story)
Telegraph 16.9.02 Hunting protest masks deeper divisions By Robert Uhlig, Farming Correspondent - The countryside crisis is coming to town. Two years in the planning and heralded by an army of slogans leaping from hedgerows, fields and the rear windows of countless four-wheel drives, the Liberty and Livelihood March will converge on Whitehall next Sunday. But while the protest against a proposed ban on hunting with hounds is the central cause that has pulled in supporters from as far afield as America and Thailand, for many of the marchers hunting is little more than a side issue. With more than 300,000 expected, the Countryside Alliance concedes that most participants, although sympathetic to the pro-hunters, will be protesting about more fundamental threats to the countryside: the crisis in agriculture, the erosion of rural public services, the squeeze on local economies… (story)
Telegraph 16.9.02 Peterborough - Charlie Methven - Angry farmers plan to set light to Chequers - If Tony Blair reckons that sneaking a few quiet days at Chequers will shield him from - to borrow John Prescott's vivid phrase - the "contorted faces" of the protesters on next weekend's Liberty and Livelihood March, then he'd better think again. For the doughty folk who farm the land surrounding the Prime Minister's official country residence in Buckinghamshire - including Chequers' own tenant farmer - will today be setting fire to a mass of beacons in a visual show of opposition to Mr Blair's policies… (story)
Yorkshire Post 16.9.02 Burning beacons send hunt warning to Blair - Brian Dooks - THE Countryside Alliance plans to light up the sky across Yorkshire tonight with a chain of beacons designed to remind the public its supporters are marching on London next weekend in a mass protest against a ban on hunting… Special trains are running from York, Hull and Darlington and dozens of coaches have been chartered to carry Countryside Alliance supporters to London… The Alliance is asking organisers of its beacon sites to warn any surrounding residents that there could be loud bangs to ensure animals are not frightened by the noise…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 16.9.02 THOUSANDS OF PROTESTERS TO JOIN COUNTRYSIDE RALLY - Up to 10,000 people from Leicestershire are expected to join a rally in London to protest at Government policies towards the countryside… Joe Cowen, joint master of Leicestershire's Fernie hunt, said they were sending 12 busloads of supporters… (story)
Cambridge News 16.9.02 Rockets to launch country campaign - DOZENS of bonfires will light up the night sky above Cambridgeshire tonight (Monday) to herald the Countryside Alliance's march in London on Sunday… The Countryside Alliance's Liz Mort said the response in Cambridgeshire to the campaign had been "enormous"… (story)
Worcester Evening News 16.9.02 A TRAIL of 50 beacons is due to be lit across Worcestershire tonight as part of the lead-up to the Liberty & Livelihood March in London on Sunday… Mid-Worcestershire MP Peter Luff will light the beacon at Whittington…. (story in archive)
North West Evening Mail 16.9.02 CUMBRIA WILL LEAD LONDON PROTEST - THOUSANDS of Cumbri-ans will depart this week for one of the country's biggest demonstrations… Tom Fell, Cumbria regional director of the Countryside Alliance says marchers will demand that government governs for all people and recognises that minorities have rights; that country people are distressed and dissatisfied and feel disregarded… (story)
Daily Record 16.9.02 SCOTS RALLY FOR COUNTRY - MORE than 10,000 Scots are expected to take part in a massive demonstration by countryside campaigners. Up to 500,000 protesters are set to march through London next Sunday… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 16.9.02 SYMBOLIC FIRES MARK PROTEST - Huge bonfires and beacons will light up the East Riding to herald the start of a massive countryside protest… A bonfire and beacon will be lit by East Riding farmer and former Yorkshire cricket captain David Byas at Hunsley Hall Farm, High Hunsley, near Walkington. Farmers Richard and Maureen Mowforth decided to build the bonfire because they claim their livelihood is being hit by lack of Government support for farming… (story)
Mid Sussex Times 16.9.02 ALLIANCE BEACONS LIGHT UP SKY THE NIGHT sky will be ablaze with light from beacons across East and West Sussex tonight. The fires are being lit by supporters of the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood campaign to promote their march through London next Sunday (September 22.)… (story in archive)

Sunday Times 15.9.02 Focus: Country strife - Rural rising or muddy mess? Jonathan Lewis reports on divisions over next Sunday's mass march by countryside campaigners - Tourists know the village of Exford in the heart of Exmoor as one of the sleepiest, most picturesque in England. But by the early hours of next Sunday it will be wide awake, bustling with preparation…. “I am not in this for the money — I get the minimum agricultural wage of £180 a week,” said Philip Ferguson, 34, professional huntsman with the Eglinton Hunt… The published “credo” of the march demands that the government “defends the right of rural people to live their lives responsibly in any way they choose”… To this end the CA has persuaded farmers to join in en masse. When the march sets off down Whitehall next Sunday it will be headed not by foxhunters but by the National Farmers’ Union…. The veneer of universality is, however, a thin one. Among the farmers, the bumpkins and the green-wellie anarchists, the flash of foxhunters’ red coats is never far away…. Organisations such as the Ramblers’ Association and the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) have confirmed that they will not be officially represented…. frustrations have led to the formation of splinter groups, such as the Countryside Action Network, which has already begun a low level campaign of civil disobedience including blocking roads and motorways. More recently a group called the Real Countryside Alliance has sprayed graffiti on motorway bridges and sent balaclava-clad protesters to flypost the offices of Labour MPs… (story)
Independent on Sunday 15.9.02 John Jackson: The City gent who is about to invade London - The IoS interview: John Jackson chairman of the Countryside Alliance By Simon O'Hagan (interview)
Observer 15.9.02 Violence fear at pro-hunt rally - Antony Barnett, public affairs editor - Police and transport chiefs in London fear that next Sunday's demonstration by pro-hunt supporters could erupt into violence. Organisers of the march, the Countryside Alliance, are cooperating with police to identify members of a militant pro-hunting group who police fear could bring violence to the capital next weekend. Police believe about 50 members of the Real Countryside Alliance are expected to join the march to protest against possible government plans to ban hunting… London Underground will run a normal Sunday service without any extra trains being put on to cope with the crowds. LU has also chosen not to stop engineering works on the Jubilee Line, which will be used as one of the main routes for the demonstrators. (story)

Telegraph 14.9.02 A march against bad law - If a law is extremely hard to frame, it is worth asking oneself whether law is the best means of dealing with the problem. Three days of government-sponsored consultation this week on the questions of cruelty and utility in hunting have shown yet again how fiendish would be the complication of any law on the subject… It is mildly encouraging that the relevant minister, Alun Michael, seems to be looking for some sort of compromise, but no opponent of a hunting ban should put much faith in this. Earlier this year, the Government encouraged a Middle Way vote from pro-hunting people and then, when it got this, said it would press ahead with a ban anyway…. Countryside campaigners must use next Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood March in London to weight the scales in their favour… Tony Blair must be made to understand that the death of hunting is not an easy bone for him to throw to his Left… If we are becoming a society that makes criminal whatever the fashion of the time happens to dislike, the future of minorities, of liberty itself, looks very bleak. (story)
Telegraph 14.9.02 On your marks: how and where to join the march - Tips and help on how to make the most of the march… How to help… Dos and Don'ts… Access… Getting there… Why we must march… Light a fire for freedom and for fun… (story)
Telegraph 14.9.02 A to Z of the country - Adam Edwards provides an A to Z of the glories of the British countryside and a way of life that is worth marching for… Q is for the quad bike - the working 4 x 4 for the agricultural labourer and plaything for his master. It is also for the Quorn (and all the other swanky hunts) and the Queen, who rides sidesaddle, wrings the necks of pheasants and catches fish on a fly… (story)
Telegraph 14.9.02 A sea of faces, some of them very familiar - Jonny Beardsall on why so many people will take to the streets next week … The younger generation of British hunt staff feels it has everything to fight for. Richard Roberts, 29, who whips in at the Berkeley, has been in hunt service since he left school…. Celebrities in the crowds will include sportsmen and women Ian Botham, Frankie Dettori, Lucinda Green, Will Carson, Tracy Edwards and Vinnie Jones; actors Diana Rigg, Jeremy Irons, Edward Fox and Tim Rice; cooks Marco Pierre White and Antony Worrall Thompson; writers and media names Anne Robinson, Boris Johnson, Melvyn Bragg, Zac Goldsmith, Mary Wesley, Sir John and Lady Mortimer, Joanna Trollope and Frederick Forsyth; plus the Labour MP Kate Hoey and Iain Duncan Smith, Leader of the Opposition. Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, whose wife, Ginnie, raises Aberdeen Angus cattle on their farm on Exmoor, intends to warm up for the march with a three-mile jog… Sundays being a heavy day for the clergy, Father Leo, the Novice Master at Downside Abbey, is not going. "I'd be there if I could…." Emma Hope, designer of some of the country's chicest shoes, hunted with the United and the Old Surrey and Burstow as a young girl… >(story)
Telegraph 14.9.02 'I'm saying this country's rural community doesn't have freedom' - American rapper The President tells Jonny Beardsall why he recorded a single in support of the march… The 27-year-old rap artist from Washington DC - known to his growing fan base as The President - looks positively wholesome as he rubs the nose of Murphy, a strapping grey horse, in its box at the Bedale Hunt kennels…. Payne has been in this country for just 10 weeks. He first took an interest in the hunting cause a month ago when he stopped to talk to hunt protesters who had taken part in the round-the-clock vigil outside Parliament. There he met James Barclay, MFH, who invited him to see the South Wold's hounds in kennels…. (story)
Telegraph 14.9.02 Can it succeed? That's up to us - Germaine Greer lays out her hopes and fears for the big day - The art of public protest is very hard to master. A successful protest usually demands resources of which the protesters have all too few. People reduced to the kind of desperation that makes a street demonstration seem the only option are already short of time, energy and money, yet they must find all three in quantity if they are to make their point. Country people who have endured years of neglect by governments of every colour, whose income has all but disappeared, who were subjected to months of torment as governments spectacularly mishandled first the BSE problem and then foot and mouth, are now having to get themselves to London. There they intend to put on the kind of show that will convince those who think of the countryside as a good place for the occasional picnic that there is a rural way of life and it is to be respected…. Citizens who end up taking to the streets are those who can't activate the lobby system, who don't know which back to scratch. By marching, they signal their alienation from the mechanisms of power. Marching is the last resort of the disenfranchised…. (story)
Guardian 14.9.02 Gloom and defiance in the hills as fight to keep hunting - and a way of life - reignites - Hundreds of thousands of countryside campaigners will descend on the capital next weekend in a protest rally that could make or break the movement. Kirsty Scott discovers an angry mood in hardline Cumbria - William Singleton is a man of few words. "Silly old bitch, that Margaret Beckett," says the 73-year-old retired farmer, pausing to draw on the stem of his pipe. "All she knows about the countryside is what she sees from her caravan."… Up at High Halls farm near the village of Westward, Sara Thompson drops a pile of letters onto the kitchen table. They are replies from politicians to the 16-year-old's carefully penned demands that her way of life be left intact… "We're not just talking about a ban on hunting with dogs," says Sandy Guthrie, a pest controller from the nearby market town of Wigton…. As regional coordinator for the Countryside Alliance it is Mr Guthrie's job to bring Cumbria to London on September 22 for the march for liberty and livelihood. He has 60 buses filled… "The fox is a pest, albeit a very beautiful pest," says John Jackson, the Melbreak hunt master…. John Wells has seen a fox brought down by dogs to the cheers of hunt followers and is in no doubt that it is barbaric… a quantity surveyor from the village of Caldbeck. "It is the most disgusting thing that I have seen…" Mr Wells tells a different story about Cumbria; of people cowed by the dominance of the hunting fraternity and frustrated that countryside concerns have become so inextricably linked to the pursuit…. Elaine Milbourn, the local representative for the League Against Cruel Sports, says there are many more who would take a stand against hunting but are too afraid to speak out…. Carole Smith 48, tried living in a town once; she felt claustrophobic and anxious. In winter she helps her partner, Les, kennel huntsman with the Cumberland foxhounds… "We are a minority, but it is my life and my choice," she says. "Sometimes I can't believe that they want to take it away from us." (story)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 14.9.02 Beacons to be lit for protest - TWO beacons will light up East Lancashire on Monday to mark the build-up to a huge countryside march in London next weekend. Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans will light the first beacon at the old Roman lookout post on the tops above Mellor at 7.30pm. A second beacon will be lit on the top of Pendle Hill in response as part of a chain of beacons running from Scotland to London. The beacon lightings will be accompanied by a rocket relay aimed at drawing the Government's attention to the plight of the countryside… (story in archive)
Derby Evening Telegraph 14.9.02 LIBERTY BONFIRE - A giant bonfire will be lit on hills above Carsington Water on Monday to mark the opening of the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood Week… The bonfire will be lit at 7.30pm by Patrick McLoughlin, MP for West Derbyshire, and is at Tinkerley Farm, Tinkerley Lane. (story)
Northampton Evening Telegraph 14.9.02 Churches under fire over hunt 'backing' - CHURCH magazines in the Rushden area have upset anti-hunt campaigners by urging parishioners to take part in a pro-hunting march in London. The Grapevine parish magazine for Rushden and Newton Bromswold and The Bridge parish magazine for Podington and Wymington both carry articles urging readers to join the Countryside Alliance march which takes place in London on September 22… Hunt protester Clive Richardson said: "The material in the church magazines which publicise the march is highly political and could easily have been written by the Conservative party… The Rev John Tye, priest-in-charge at Newton Bromswold said: "I am not concerned about the church being accused of being political. We are part of this world and it is part of our role to get involved in this world. Members of the Newton Bromswold congregation who support the aims of the Countryside Alliance requested that we publish the article…" (story)

Telegraph 13.9.02 Running on anger from Scotland to London By Auslan Cramb, Scotland Correspondent - Minette, Caroline and Annie are ladies who hunt… The three women - an artist, a hunt master and a farmer's wife - are about to demonstrate their anger by taking part in a relay run from John o' Groats to London to join the Liberty and Livelihood countryside march on Sept 22… Mrs Innes, 45, a mother of three, from Armadale, Lothian, is joint master of the Duke of Buccleuch's Hunt…. (story)
Telegraph 13.9.02 Marching for a bit more airtime - Peaceful countryside protests are not getting the TV coverage they deserve, say organisers. Tom Leonard reports - By any journalist's reckoning, it was an impressive news story. On July 10 1997, more than 100,000 protesters gathered in Hyde Park, most of them the sort of people who had probably never before turned out to protest about anything… And yet, on that evening's BBC television news, the first Countryside Rally was number three in the running order. When a rally organiser later protested to the BBC about its news values - ITV news had made the rally its lead - he was told that "if they'd burnt a police car, they'd have gone to number one"…. Next weekend, people will be flooding into central London from all over the country for the Liberty and Livelihood March… Janet George, a pro-hunting campaigner and the former head of the Countryside Alliance's media operation, is candid: the problem is that peaceful protests don't make "good TV", she says. "An awful lot of people behaving peacefully has limited appeal televisually…." Another problem for any mass demonstration is that broadcasters are always anxious for "balance"…. This search for balance reaches ridiculous levels, she adds, when television crews sometimes "import" hunt saboteurs for a report on a hunt so that they can give viewers both sides of the story…. (story)
Vale Advertiser 13.9.02 London calls for pro-hunt campaigners By Karen Allen, Vale Advertiser …According to Barry Henderson, of the rural issues lobbying group Countryside Alliance, around 12 coach-loads of people from the Vale of Clwyd will be travelling down to London on September 22 to take part in the Liberty and Livelihood March… Ricky Proffitt, Master of the Flint and Denbigh hunt said: "People are very concerned about issues in the countryside such as fox hunting but it also includes anyone who is concerned about what is happening in the countryside because we feel our freedom has been taken away from us."… A spokesperson for the League Against Cruel Sports said they would not be running any counter publicity or events on that day…. (story)
North Devon Journal 13.9.02 WHY HUNTS SHOULD STAY OUT OF MARCH - Who's going to London on September 22nd? I'd be interested to know how many folk from North Devon will be attending the Countryside March. I shall be there, albeit reluctantly. Nothing turns me off quite so much as a crowd - especially a crowd with a common cause. There's something about banner-waving that gives me the creeps. But I shall be there working, tapping away on a laptop, interviewing all and sundry, trying to discover just what stirs the quiet countryfolk to leave their green acres and march upon the big-smoke…. as I've said before in this column, I don't hunt and have no wish to do so - but I absolutely defend the right of countryfolk to deal with pests as best they know how. If that means hunting with hounds then so be it…. (story)
Cumberland News 13.9.02 FINAL PREPARATIONS FOR COUNTRYSIDE MARCH ON CAPITAL - ACROSS Cumbria, thousands of people are making the final preparations for the Liberty & Livelihood March in London… "To demand that our Government governs for all people and recognises that minorities have rights; that country people are distressed and dissatisfied and feel disregarded," said Tom Fell, Cumbria regional director of the Countryside Alliance… The Liberty and Livelihood Beacons night aims to involve parish or town in Cumbria and the UK to encourage the widest possible attendance as well as galvanising marching spirit…. (story)
Malvern Gazette 13.9.02 Chain of beacons will herald march - More than 100 beacon fires will be lit across Herefordshire and Worcestershire on Monday (September 16) as publicity for next weekend's Liberty and Livelihood March in London… (story in archive)
Westmorland Gazette 13.9.02 Marching for the countryside COACHLOADS of people from Westmorland will be among those converging on London to take part in a mass protest march against the Government's treatment of rural affairs., writes Countryside Reporter Victoria Clark… Kate Nicholson, of Coniston Foxhounds, has booked ten coaches to transport 500 protesters, and says she is struggling to book another, with coaches few and far between…. (story in archive)
Wiltshire Times 13.9.02 Country ready to protest - COACHLOADS of countryside enthusiasts from Wiltshire will travel to London next Sunday to campaign for rural rights…. Ken Frewer, of Upton Scudamore, near Warminster, is travelling to the capital with 100 people from the surrounding area… Beacons will be lit in Wiltshire on Monday as part of a national chain promoting the march (story in archive)
Wiltshire Gazette & Herald/Chippenham News 13.9.02 Farmer to join London march - NORTH Wiltshire beef farmer Nigel Maidment will take his place in the Liberty And Livelihood March in London on September 22 to defend the future of an ancient way of life… Mr Maidment fears the future of the countryside is being dismantled because young people who should be working for the future of farming cannot do so… Mr Maidment believes many demonstrators will march against a Government ban on foxhunting but no single issue binds the protestors… (story in archive)
West Cumberland Times & Star 13.9.02 KILLING FIELDS - SIR - Obviously David Lowes, Deputy Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, is confusing those who love the countryside, with those who take pleasure in killing wild animals with dogs (Times & Star, September 6)…. ELAINE M MILBOURN,Torpenhow, Wigton (letter)
Gloucestershire Echo 13.9.02 LET HUNT DEMONSTRATE - Madam - I understand that members of the Cotswold District Council met recently to discuss the placing of Liberty & Livelihood posters and banners on private land. I hope our councillors will recognise that putting up such posters is part of the right to free speech and any attempt to remove them is a degradation of that right…. Bartholomew Borchardt, Fairford (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 13.9.02 The real rural issues have been hijacked - As a countrywoman I am not at all happy about the real rural issues being hijacked by the Countryside Alliance in its bid to retain hunting… Liberty in the countryside is for all not just an exclusive right for those who enjoy bloodsports….Therefore, Countryside Alliance, put your money where your mouth is, support draghunting/lure coursing which would not only generate more money but would allow both sides to retain their liberty and livelihood to where we can all work together for the betterment of our countryside. SALLY F BROWN, Bromeswell, Woodbridge (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 13.9.02 Not just about hunting - So the forthcoming Countryside Alliance march for cruelty is not, according to Lucy Cutting, about foxhunting after all (EADT, September 3). I will cut her letter out and keep it to use when the hunting fraternity claims that there were x numbers marching solely in support of foxhunting… IAN SMITH, Philip Road, Bury St Edmunds (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 13.9.02 We all deserve liberty - Sir, – David Green has plummeted in my estimation after his column on August 30. . Liberty can only flourish when each of us takes responsibility for our neighbours rights as well as ours, the “I'm all right Jack” attitude exposes moral cowardice. How long will shooting last when hunting has gone?... I do not shoot or hunt yet I will be supporting those that do as well as supporting all those who feel that the country side is worth preserving and most importantly all those who feel that a centralist urban intolerant regime is to be resisted. MRS K RICHARDS, Upper Layham (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 13.9.02 Field sports comparison is nonsense - It is quite clear from David Green's comments in his column on August 30 last that whilst he may comment on country and environmental matters he does not work in the countryside or derive his income from it. The march taking place in London on September 22 is not entirely brought abut by hunting but by many matters affecting the countryside as a whole. It is widely supported by the National Farmers Union, the Country Land and Business Association and the farming press as well as field sports organisations and press… An independent enquiry has already stated that fox hunting is not cruel and it is nonsense to classify it with badger baiting, cock fighting etc. He may as well throw in the salve trade and make the argument even more ridiculous… He mentioned hounds being “put down” at the end of their working lives. This is done for humanitarian reasons and involves a very small number of hounds each year compared with the massive slaughter that will result in the event of a hunting ban… D M ALLERTON, Church Farm, Chattisham, Ipswich (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 30.8.02 Staying at home - with millions of folk – David Green - I SHALL not, of course, be taking part in the so-called Liberty and Livelihood march in London next month. I do not want to hunt with dogs, I do not think it is the best way of controlling nuisance foxes and will not miss the rural pageantry of the chase… Hunting of foxes and hares is a part of existing country life but, at one time, so were otter hunting, badger baiting and cock fighting. And I don't miss them either… Many of my acquaintances feel passionately about hunting and will be taking part in the march to try to put pressure on the Government not to impose a ban. Good luck to them. Hundreds of thousands may take part in the march but I will be among the millions of country dwellers staying firmly at home. (story)

Knutsford Guardian 12.9.02 Osborne joins pro-hunt demo in London - GEORGE Osborne will join a pro-hunt march through the streets of London next week. The Tory MP will walk with a Tatton constituency banner to add weight to the Countryside Alliance's protest against the Government. Yesterday (Tuesday) Alex Park, joint master of the Cheshire Forest Hunt, said dozens of local farmers and hunters would also join the demonstration... (story in archive)
North West Evening Mail 12.9.02 PROTEST MARCHERS FEAR BURGLARIES - CUMBRIANS planning to attend the major Countryside March in London later this month have been urged to take precautions to keep their property safe while they are away… NFU Countryside spokesman Atul Sedani said: "Crime is a major issue in countryside areas, especially where properties are isolated and out of sight… (story)
Western Morning News 12.9.02 DAIRY PRODUCERS SET FOR MILK PRICES FIGHT - PETER HALL - Militant dairy farmers in the Westcountry are threatening a series of demonstrations against low milk prices next week in the run-up to the Liberty and Livelihood March in London… Farmers For Action undertook an operation against branches of Safeway after a statement from the chain about continental milk… (story) Dumfries & Galloway News 12.9.02 March for freedom - Sir — On September 22 the Countryside Alliance is marching in London for liberty and livelihood… P Gilroy, Countryside Alliance, Chairman for Galloway & Upper Nithsdale, Auchencairn House, Castle Douglas (letter)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald/Evening Press 11.9.02 Frustration mounts in the countryside by James Stephenson - NEVER in the whole field of agriculture has so much anger been felt by so many, and this resentment can be most visibly demonstrated by taking over the capital for a short while on Sunday, September 22. Ten days ago, I stayed with my daughter on their Norfolk farm where posters for the march papered the countryside in profusion; and from whence I understand over a 1,000 school children are going to come and show their distrust of this Government's policy for the future of rural Britain. (story in archive)
Argus 11.9.02 Grave doubts - Travelling through rural areas at the moment is like being in Blackpool. Posters are everywhere. The countryside is on the march. Country values are being destroyed by an uncaring government… Of course, Tony Blair will say "Hey, you guys, come off it, I'm just like you. I care about the country, especially Iraq"… we are being kept waiting for the details of his great justification for war because he wants it to coincide with the Liberty and Livelihood March…. (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 10.9.02 No nanny state …I urge everyone who believes in freedom of choice to take part in the Liberty and Livelihood march in London on September 22 whether they participate in country sports or not because no one wishes to live in a nanny state… Scott Smale, Dulverton (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 10.9.02 Join our march - On Sunday, September 22, the Countryside Alliance is staging a march in central London as a protest against the rules and regulations that our Government are trying to enforce upon the countryside…BRIAN SEDGLEY, Berwick Bassett, near Swindon (letter in archive)
Yorkshire Evening Post 10.9.02 Miners' jobs …you won't see the countryside alliance marching to save mining jobs. MR F DICKINSON, Larkfield Road, Rawdon, Leeds (letter)
Shropshire Star 10.9.02 Funny way for farmers - 'Liberty and Livelihood' shout the banners and posters which abound on roadside verges… What a pity a farming neighbour did not take even half this trouble to fulfil his legal obligation and mark out with equal care the line of a public footpath which runs across his acreage of sugar beet… Bob Alton, Shifnal (letter in archive)
Western Morning News 10.9.02 TOWN SHOULD JOIN THE COUNTRY IN PROTEST We live in a world where the apparent balance of power has moved away from its rural roots, where most people once lived in relatively modern times, to an urban-based society separated from its gritty roots… On September 22 the countryside will rise up and march through London to push home a message to our Government, that their liberty and livelihood matters. That march deserves as much support from "townies" as from the countryside… September 22 deserves widespread support from real British people of all races, colours and creeds, who share common standards and interests that are being attacked by our Government. Tom Jones, Plymouth (letter)

Oxford Mail 9.9.02 Trains busy for country protest - One of Oxfordshire's main train service providers is urging passengers planning to travel to London on Sunday, September 22, to book tickets as soon as possible because of a major rally in the city. First Great Western, which runs most of the services from Didcot Parkway station, said some services to London were already fully-booked due to the number of people travelling to the capital to support a Countryside Alliance march…. (story in archive)
Isle of Man newspapers 9.9.02 FORMER GOVERNORS TO SUPPORT BLOOD SPORTS - later this month. Sir Nigel Cecil, governor from 1980 to 1985, and Sir Timothy Daunt, governor from 1995-2000, could join an estimated 250,000 people in the Liberty and Livelihood March through the streets of London on September 22… (story in archive)
Western Daily Press 9.9.02 PEOPLE BACK HUNTING BAN Most of your readers will have seen the Countryside Alliance's socalled Liberty and Livelihood posters and banners appearing across the West Country (many attached to telegraph poles, which is illegal) advertising their march to London… The will of the people will prevail. The people want a ban, Parliament voted for a ban. To do anything else will mean the death of democracy. H Weeks West Coker Somerset (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 9.9.02 BARBARISM - Why all the fuss about Camilla joining in the Countryside March? I cannot understand why Charles would like to stop her. It is a well-known fact that all the Royal Family like nothing better than to spend their time in the activity of cruel sports… The Countryside March is a prime example of what these people are like. They are paying all the employees to have a day out in London so long as they marched and swell the numbers… JUNE RICHARDS, Southfield Avenue, Paignton (letter)

Sunday Mirror 8.9.02 WILLS: I'LL BE AT PRO-HUNTING DEMO DISGUISED AS A BADGER - PRINCE William is planning to go on the Countryside Alliance March...but disguised as a badger… William, 20, has worked out the audacious plan with a dozen friends. One of their parents said last night: "William has said he will march, but he will make sure it is impossible to recognise him… (story)

Telegraph 7.9.02 Hunt march set to make its mark on history By Philip Johnston - On St David's Day four years ago, the police estimated that a quarter of a million people marched through London in what became known as the Barbour Uprising… On the day, organisers estimate that 284,500 people actually turned up…. By holding the march on a Sunday - as before - the Countryside Alliance, which is behind the protest, hopes to maximise the attendance and demonstrate that grievances over Government policies towards the countryside have not diminished in the intervening four years… (letter)
Telegraph 7.9.02 Camilla's car sticker hints where loyalty lies By Caroline Davies - The Prince of Wales has always been aware of the need to steer clear of politically sensitive issues but his companion, Camilla Parker Bowles, is happy to hint where her allegiances lie on plans to ban hunting. Leaving the Le Caprice restaurant in London, Mrs Parker Bowles was chauffeured away in a car prominently displaying a pro-Countryside Alliance sticker reading: "Your countryside needs you now! Come and be counted"…. (story
Telegraph 7.9.02 March for Liberty & Livelihood - Information about the Liberty & Livelihood March - The Liberty & Livelihood March takes place on Sunday September 22. To register your support and obtain an information pack, call 0900 102 0900 (calls cost 60p/minute up to a maximum of £1.80), or visit (story)
Western Daily Press 7.9.02 CAMILLA IS BRAVE TO STAND UP AND BE COUNTED - Sir - May I say bravo to Camilla Parker-Bowles. That she is prepared to attend the Liberty and Livelihood March, in spite of possible jibes from some quarters, is a great credit to her…. Name and address supplied (letter)

Worcester Evening News 6.9.02 Countryside leaders in county to plan London march - COUNTRYSIDE leaders were due to meet at Malvern today to put the final touches to the Liberty and Livelihood March through London on September 22. The first day of the Game and Country Fair on the Three Counties Showground includes a series of seminars and discussion groups featuring Richard Burge, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, and Mark Hudson, deputy president of the Country Land and Business Association. Mid-Worcestershire MP Peter Luff is also due to address meetings… (story in archive)
Malvern Gazette 6.9.02 Joining march - More than 1,200 local campaigners will be among over 45,000 marchers from across the country protesting through the streets of London later this month… The Country Show at Eastnor Castle on Saturday and Sunday, September 21 and 22, has been postponed due to the clash of dates with the march (story in archive)
Dorset Daily Echo 6.9.02 Defacing of signs harvests anger of protesting farmers - FARMERS in North Dorset are angry following the defacement of a number of signs advertising the Liberty and Livelihood march which scores of them will be attending…. NFU group secretary Matthew Price said the incident had caused offence among farmers, including many who did not participate in controversial activities such as hunting but whose livelihoods were on the line…. North Dorset NFU is organising its own coach to join the London march… (story in archive)
Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 6.9.02 Landowners warned over march posters by Gerry Stribbling - NEWS of possible legal action against landowners displaying advertisements for this month's Liberty and Livelihood march in London has provoked an angry reaction. Lord Apsley of Cirencester Park said this week: "We are still in a free country where we still have freedom of speech…It would affect Cirencester's Farmers Market, and what about events which are advertised by hanging large banners across the town's streets?" he asked….
Western Morning News 6.9.02 EU to blame - ACROSS the county, signs are appearing, saying "A fair county, worth fighting for": my sentiments exactly, and shared by many colleagues and friends. But those who put up the signs ignore the fact that the threat to the county comes from the European Union… what the sign-writers actually want is the continued so-called "Liberty" to set a pack of dogs on to a small related species, chase it, then tear it to pieces - not to control its verminous tendencies, but for fun. J S Stuart, Exeter (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 6.9.02 COME ON, JOIN US ON THE COUTRYSIDE MARCH - AS we draw near to the Liberty and Livelihood March on September 22 in London, I have to ask myself: Is Cumbria going to miss out on a bit of history?.. On a visit to your beautiful county last week I had to ask myself, where are the banners, the car stickers, the determined and resolute who love our countryside in all its diversity?.... The march will be the largest public protest ever seen in London and an opportunity to bring home to politicians that they can only govern with the consent of the people. We must make it clear that we will not willingly submit to oppressive, vindictive and spiteful legislation based on nothing more than prejudice and lies. DAVID LOWES, Deputy Chief Executive Countryside Alliance (letter)
West Cumberland Times & Star 6.9.02 Come on Cumbria! SIR - As we draw near to the Liberty and Livelihood March on September 22 in London, I have to ask myself - is Cumbria going to miss out on a bit of history?... DAVID LOWES, Deputy Chief Executive, The Countryside Alliance

Malvern Gazette 6.9.02 Hijacked by hunters IN her letter (Your Letters, August 30) Audrey Steele has unwittingly exposed her true motives and agenda of the Countryside Alliance… the `Alliance' is basically a Save Foxhunting faction, who are seeking to exploit the fears and needs of other elements within rural communities in order to swell their ranks and add credibility to their movement…. The John Bulls and hard-right huntsmen have been hijacking the wider rural scene for too long. OWEN MORGAN, Cowleigh Road, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Rutland & Stamford Mercury 30.8.02 Listen to the countryside - REGRETTABLY the countryside is having to call again, in force, on Westminster on September 22. This is entirely MPs’ own faults… KAY CHAPPMAN Countryside Alliance regional director, East Midlands (letter)
Hexham Courant 30.8.02 SECOND PROTEST - REGRETTABLY the countryside is having to call again, in force, on Westminster on September 22nd…. RICHARD DODD, CA Regional Director, North-East, Ogle, nr Ponteland (letter)
Malvern Gazette 30.8.02 Countryside is calling again - Regrettably the countryside is having to call again, in force, on Westminster on September 22… Audrey Steel, Countryside Alliance county chairman for Worcestershire, Inkberrow (letter in archive)
The Shields Gazette 29.8.02 Country marching - REGRETTABLY the countryside is having to call again, in force, on Westminster on September 22…. Richard Dodd, CA Regional Director, North east (letter)
Darlington & Stockton Times 23.8.02 Letters: Countryside march - Regrettably the countryside is having to call again, in force, on Westminster on September 22. This is entirely MPs' own fault: the only interest most of them appear to show in the countryside is in trying to force an unjust hunting ban through Parliament… Richard Dodd, North Regional Director, Countryside Alliance, Ogle, Ponteland. (letter in archive)
Northumberland Gazette 22.8.02 Signal of rural solidarity - REGRETTABLY the countryside is having to call again, in force, on Westminster on September 22nd. This is entirely MPs' own fault: the only interest most of them appear to show in the countryside is in trying toforce an unjust hunting ban through Parliament… Richard Dodd, Regional Director Countryside Alliance Northeast, Ogle, Ponteland. (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 21.8.02 MAJORITY WANT HUNTING BAN - Chris Jackson of the Countryside Alliance complains that MPs are forcing a ban on hunting with dogs. Well the facts are that on two occasions now Parliament has voted by majorities of more than 200 to ban this barbaric pastime… G JONES Longton (letter)
Worcester Evening News 16.8.02 Countryside protest targets Westminster REGRETTABLY, the countryside must again travel in force to Westminster on Sunday, September 22…. AUDREY STEEL, Countryside Alliance, Worcestershire. (letter in archive)
Liverpool Echo 16.8.02 OSCAR Wilde called hunters the "unspeakable pursuing the uneatable". I wish he was around to describe Richard May and his cronies who are trying to highjack the unrelated ills of the countryside under a 'save hunting' banner when most rural people cannot abide this activity… Karen White, Liverpool L37 (letter)
Liverpool Echo 14.8.02 THE only interest most MPs appear to show in the countryside is in trying to force an unjust hunting ban through Parliament… The theme of the Countryside Alliance's September 22 march for the countryside is 'Liberty and Livelihood'… Richard May, CA County Chair (letter)/a>
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 14.8.02 SUPPORT RURAL RALLY IN LONDON - Re The Countryside on the March Again Regrettably the countryside is having to call again, in force, on Westminster on September 22. This is entirely MPs' own fault: the only interest most of them appear to show in the countryside is in trying to force an unjust hunting ban through Parliament… CHRIS JACKSON Address supplied (letter)

Western Morning News 5.9.02 FALCONER FEARS HIS SPORT MAY BE NEXT - MARK CLOUGH - Falconer Martin Whitley will be taking part in this month's Liberty and Livelihood march to defend his sport… Mr Whitley believes that moves to ban hunting infringe his individual liberties… The policies of the anti-hunting organisation, the League Against Cruel Sports, are that falconry should be banned… (story)
Banbury Guardian 5.9.02 MARCHING FOR THE COUNTRY - LOCAL support is growing in the run up to a pro-hunting march in London later this month. The Grafton, Warwickshire and Heythrop Hunts are joining others across the country for the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood march on September 22…. (story in archive)
Gloucester Citizen 5.9.02 SHOW OFF - The Three Shires Country Show has been cancelled because many of it supporters will be in London on the same day. The event at Eastnor Castle, near Ledbury was set to go ahead on September 21 and 22 - the same day as the Countryside Alliance's march to London… (story)
North West Evening Mail 5.9.02 PROTESTERS IN LONDON MARCH - PROTESTERS from throughout South Cumbria will join thousands of like-minded people attempting to protect the values and customs of rural communities…Mrs Bolt, of Leece, near Ulverston, said the catalyst for the march was the government's avowed intention to ban hunting in spite of the fact that its own Burns Inquiry came out with no evidence to support a ban… (story)
Western Daily Press 5.9.02 MARCH IS NOT ABOUT LIBERTY Sir - Dr Andrew Murrison, MP for Westbury, has, according to the Western Daily Press, decided to attend the inappropriately named Liberty and Livelihood march because he feels strongly about 'personal liberty' - whatever that means. Surely he cannot be so naive as to believe that the march is about anything other than maintaining the liberty of an insignificant minority to continue to terrorise and kill innocent wildlife for their perverted pleasure… I trust the police will be instructed to show minimum tolerance if public order offences are committed during the march - as they did during the miners' strike…. K Watts Southwick Wiltshire (letter)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 4.9.02 2.9.02 Hunt supporters' mood of militancy growing by Hilary Sanders - THERE is a growing mood of militancy in Ryedale as many country people dig in their heels and vow to break the law if hunting is banned. "Angry people are doing things that maybe they shouldn't do," said Middleton Hunt master Frank Houghton-Brown…. Sinnington Hunt master Andrew Osborne has already signed the militant hunting declaration in which he promises to hunt the day after any legislation as part of a programme of civil disobedience… A hunt-support vigil has been underway in London and members of the Middleton Hunt completed their turn this weekend. Over 14 hours, half a dozen supporters took three turns in maintaining the presence. Next to go down to London will be members of the Derwent Hunt whose vigil takes place on September 19, followed after the Countryside March by the Sinnington… From the Saltersgate, another small hunt, there will also be a contingent…. (story in archive)
Newcastle Journal 4.9.02 Pro-hunt protest to be biggest in history By Sam Wonfor, The Journal - Thousands of North-East pro-hunting protesters will be descending on London later this month for what is expected to be the largest civil rights demonstration in British history. The Liberty and Livelihood march on September 22 will see a predicted 300,000 people taking to the capital's streets to demand their voices be heard…. Regional director for the North-East branch of the alliance, Richard Dodd, said: "We have got more than 1,500 people going on the chartered trains alone…" Richard Tyacke, 26, from Corbridge has been the joint master of the Tynedale Hunt in Northumberland for the past two years. He has taken part in several pro-hunting protests and will be taking his place on one of the Countryside Alliance trains bound for the capital…. A spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports said: "September 22 will be their day to walk through the streets of London but people who advocate hunting continue to work outside the walls of Westminster while we continue to work with the Government…" (story)
Argus 4.9.02 What's the point - Posters advertising the forthcoming March For Liberty And Livelihood, which have sprouted alongside main roads, indicate at least some local farmers support this planned demonstration. Would one of them, or a spokesman from organisers the Countryside Alliance, please explain the purpose of this march?... Most of the population would not wish to deny farmers and other countryfolk the liberty to earn their own livelihood, provided that, like the rest of us, they abide by the laws of the land, notably those concerning animal welfare and environmental pollution and that they earn their living without constantly demanding handouts from the taxpayer to subsidise their chosen, and presumably preferred, occupations and/or lifestyle. -Peter Allen, Chute Avenue, High Salvington (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 4.9.02 COUNTRYSIDE MARCH - THE objective of the demonstration to be held in London on September 22, organised by the Countryside Alliance, has little to do with hunting foxes. It has everything to do with causing public disruption on a grand scale in furtherance of a general attack upon a government which has performed better than any Conservative government at any time in history… If civil disruption is to be caused on September 22, then the police should re-use the powers they used to restrict the movement of striking mine workers during Margaret Thatcher's reign. - Alan Benn, Bedale (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 4.9.02 WHEN 100,000 people attend a meeting in London for the "liberty" to terrify and slaughter Britain's' wildlife, they will not be truly representative. They will be as a grain of sand on the beach compared with the majority staying away… This is not about the legitimate employment of thousands, it is about the selfish part-time casual leisure pursuits of a minority of people whose full time earnings are made elsewhere. - G Wild, Richmond (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 4.9.02 CAMILLA MUST BE HONEST - The comments by Mal Treharne in your issue dated August 29 that Camilla Parker-Bowles concerns herself with rural business, transport and rural crime… stretches credibility to its limits… her sole reason to attend the inappropriately named march is to support the aphrodisiac of the aristos and their hangers-on - namely, hunting and killing defenceless wild animals - K Watts Southwick Trowbridge Wiltshire (letter)
Times 4.9.02 From Mrs Mary Brill Sir, Whilst it might be unwise for the Prince of Wales to attend the Countryside Alliance march in September, I can see no possible reason why Mrs Camilla Parker Bowles should not… If Tony Blair seriously wishes to prevent the present unhappy polarisation of our people from becoming permanent, he will, at long last, listen to the voices of the real grass roots. Yours faithfully, MARY BRILL, High Hall Cottage, 1 Castlegate, Kirkbymoorside, York YO62 6BH. August 27. (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.8.02 COUNTRY LIFE IS FOREIGN TERRITORY TO MANY FOLK - Sir - Rarely have I read such rubbish as that written by Ivor Annett of the League Against Cruel Sports (August 25). Does he really believe that thousands of people are that stupid and so easily conned that they would march alongside hunt supporters if they were totally opposed to foxhunting?... it's no secret and doesn't take an Albert Einstein to know that the main theme of the march will revolve round the hunting issue…. Ray Bird Acton Turville Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Morning News 3.9.02 WE WILL MARCH FOR ALL THAT IS BEST IN OUR DEMOCRACY - All hunting people will agree with Peter Anderson (WMN, August 19 ) when he says that there is no liberty to be cruel to animals. Hunting people abhor cruelty. The Burns report does not find hunting to be cruel. The liberty that hunting people will march for on September 22 is definitely not the liberty to be cruel to animals… So we shall march on September 22, not just for hunting but for all that is best in our democracy: for freedom of conscience, for toleration and the right to make responsible choices under laws made without spite… Jonathan Higgins, Totnes (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 3.9.02 Farming is only known way of life - Sir, - Regarding David Green (EADT, August 30) on the Liberty and Livelihood March. This march is not about hunting. Certainly those who do hunt may be joining us on this march, but the march is mainly for farmers and those who make a living from the land. We want Blair to see what he is doing to a once well-established trade, how imports and absurd regulations affect our lives… LUCY CUTTING, Barham (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 3.9.02 FARMERS WILL ALIENATE THEIR CUSTOMERS - Once again it appears that on September 22 we are to be treated to the unedifying spectacle of wealthy, well-heeled members of the hunting fraternity leading our rural cousins on a mass day out/junket to London… To anyone thinking of journeying to London on September 22 at the behest of their lords and masters I would simply say, why insult and alienate the customers? Why make yourselves and your cause even more unpopular than it already is? CYNTHIA LUBACZ Leek (letter)

Telegraph 2.9.02 Ignore countryside mood at your peril, duke tells Labour By Peter Foster - The Duke of Devonshire has said he hopes that the Government will receive a "very nasty shock" when more than 300,000 demonstrators converge on London this month for the Liberty and Livelihood march… Such sentiments were endorsed by stallholders and visitors. Ian Middleton, 45, a falconer, said: "The Government must respect the values and customs of the countryside because at the moment it doesn't." (story)
Western Morning News 2.9.02 EX-SAS MEN TO PROTECT HOMES DURING MARCH - PAUL ANDREWS - Former SAS soldiers have been hired to guard houses and farms in the Westcountry amid fears that opportunist thieves will strike during the weekend of the Liberty and Livelihood March. The protection is being provided by Olive Security… Adrian Yalland, a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said: "It is a regrettable fact of life that crime in rural areas is increasing all the time…" a spokesman for The League Against Cruel Sports was less understanding. "There are so many of these people who claim to be poor farmers," he said. "They want the public to shed tears for their plight, when they can obviously afford such ridiculously outlandish and ultra-expensive security for their homes." (story)

Observer 1.9.02 Fox-hunters are no friends of liberty - Our human rights are debased when protesters claim they are protecting their freedom to chase animals around the countryside - Will Hutton - It was the graffiti on a bridge over the M1 that brought me up short. 'Liberty to hunt', it proclaimed to every passing motorist. Whoever had written it plainly thought that hunting was so basic a human right and that any action to limit it so fundamental an assault on their autonomy of action that they could invoke one of the great rallying calls of Western civilisation - liberty - to serve their cause… Real liberty is too precious and sophisticated an idea to be co-opted in this way…The Countryside Alliance has every right to protest, to march and even to abuse the great term liberty. The rest of us must stick to our last, and not allow ourselves to be gulled by talk of freedom into surrendering our view… (story)
Sunday Times 1.9.02 Mean fields: Jonathan Miller: The bumpkins won’t scare Blair - THE countryside demonstration in London is to be a big deal, judging by the bush telegraph. A lot of people from the village plan to go. Not me. I don’t like crowds…Namby-pamby and pathetically British is what I call it. The idea that our weird metropolitan leaders will pay the slightest attention to a column of bumpkins shuffling around Hyde Park on a Sunday afternoon is absurd. Mugabe Blair and his henchmen will doubtless spend the day where I plan to — in the country… The Labour back benches, venal, ignorant and malicious, love foxes and hate people, especially toffs — even though foxes are riddled with mange and the toffs are not the ones losing work…(story)