27 December 2000
A country march for country people

by FWi staff

A SECOND Countryside March planned for London next spring will be about much more than just hunting, organisers have claimed.

More than 300,000 people will take to the capitals streets on 18 March, according to the Countryside Alliance which is organising the event.

About 280,000 people attended a similar march in 1998 in protest at government plans to ban hunting with hounds.

Nigel Henson, Countryside Alliance director of communications, said: We are modestly setting our sights on exceeding the numbers last time.

Mr Henson claimed that more than 325,000 people attended hunts across Britain on Boxing Day the biggest day in the hunt calendar.

But it could be the last time the activity takes place. MPs are expected to be given a free vote on whether to ban hunting before the next General Election.

Mr Henson insisted that the march was about more than just hunting but acknowledged the idea had sprung out of concerns about the prospect of a ban.

If people want to see rural Britain maintain all that is good about rural life and also beat the threats to rural life then we want to see them on the march.”

A recent Farmers Weekly campaign in favour of hunting attracted 10,000 supporters the biggest response in the magazines 66 year history.