Kimblewick Hunt launch community fightback against rural crime
On 3rd October, the Kimblewick Hunt held the first of a series of Network Farming Forums, with farm security, rural crime, and fly-tipping as discussion topics.
Thames Valley Police, a small number of suppliers of security gates and CCTV systems, and over 40 farmers from the area attended the forum, which was held at Cholsey Grange Farm in Ibstone, Bucks.
Ted Howard Jones, who also serves as the Kimblewick’s unofficial Marketing & Technology Manager, came up with the idea to help the hunt’s farmers and landowners while also recognising the important networking role hunts play in their community.
Another two forum events covering a variety of topics are planned throughout the hunting season, to be held at various locations throughout the hunt country.
Ted and the joint masters of the Kimblewick Hunt hope that the initiative will become a permanent fixture, as well as strengthening community relationships among farmers, landowners, hunts, and local police forces.
Hunts are a vital link between villages, farmers, police, and council services on a very local and widespread scale. From spotting fly-tipping and suspicious vehicle activity during a morning’s hound exercise to assisting and notifying farmers and landowners of open gates, farm damage, machinery, or livestock theft while preparing and travelling hunt country, hunts and hunt staff understand their role in the rural community.
Ted Howard Jones said:
With a geographically large hunt country, we appreciate that the hunt has a large network of farmers and contacts, who may not all know each other but all know us. We wanted to give farmers a chance to network, share concerns with our local police, and hopefully find solutions and gain ideas. We are thrilled with the success of this first event and eagerly await the next.”
Polly Portwin, Director of the Countryside Alliance’s Campaign for Hunting, applauded the initiative. She said:
This is a wonderful example of how hunts can facilitate and enable networking and relationships within key rural sectors. Hunting is an important part of life in rural communities and initiatives like this only strengthen that bond.”