The 22 September marks an important date in modern countryside history: the tenth anniversary of the Liberty & Livelihood March.
The event, organised by the Countryside Alliance, saw 407,791 people march through London to oppose the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales and to raise awareness of concerns over rural jobs and farming policy.
Described as the day “when the countryside came to town” the event was an impressive international show of strength with protesters walking through the capital accompanied by bagpipes and marchers blowing horns.
Reflecting on the day, march organiser James Stanford said the day proved the rural community was a force to be reckoned with.
Writing on the Countryside Alliance site, he said: “Was it all worthwhile? That has to be the subject for a separate debate. As it stands, and despite the outlawing of hunting in its traditional form since 2005, almost every pack of hounds continues to follow a trail at least weekly throughout the country and to date none of them have been disbanded.
“Perhaps above all, to us in the rural community and all those who are not lucky enough to live in our beautiful countryside but share and respect its traditions and values, the Liberty & Livelihood March showed the world at large and politicians in particular the strength we can muster when roused to defend our cause."
Other big issues in the farming news that week included France being pressurised to remove the ban on imports of British beef. The ban was eventually removed in October 2002, more than a year after France was ordered to do so by the European Court of Justice.
That year also marked the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, which coincided with the death of Princess Margaret, the Queen’s younger sister, and only seven weeks later the death of the Queen Mother at the age of 101.
Since 2002 several large-scales marches have taken place in London, including the 2003 march to stop the war in Iraq which attracted 2m protesters, a 2009 march for Tamil Rights with 100,000 marchers and a demonstration about government cuts in 2011 which was backed by 400,000.