19 February 1998
Londons West End gears up for Countryside March

THE Daily Telegraph has published a two-page special in the lead up to the Countryside March which is expected to draw 150,000 country folk to London on March 1.

Organised by the Countryside Alliance, the procession of people concerned about their future is expected to stretch for two and a half miles.

More than 2,000 beacons will be lit at dusk across the country next Thursday to signal its approach – far more than marked the Queens Jubilee.

One article looks at the battle lines being drawn by MPs to outlaw foxhunting. It is thought the survival of Michael Fosters Wild Mammals (Hunting with Dogs) Bill is too close to call.

But the foxhunting debate has become a catalyst for far wider issues including the Governments handling of BSE, the right to roam and house building across rural Britain.

Robin Hanbury-Tenison, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: “Rural people are worried about their jobs, businesses and futures. They are concerned that a large urban Parliament does not really understand rural issues.”

  • The Daily Telegraph 19/02/98 page 12, page 13, page 27 (Leader)