Trail hunting in the nation’s forests
The Hunting Act 2004 banned hunting with dogs in England, including on land managed by Forestry England. Trail hunting was widely promoted as an alternative activity before the Hunting Act and is still legal.
Some traditional, long-standing hunting groups still use forests we manage to trail hunt where they did before. We strictly control trail hunting with permissions and licences according to an agreement with the Masters of Fox Hounds Association. Read our trail hunting agreement and standard permission.
You can read the government’s response to a petition about this issue on the UK Government and Parliament website.
When and where does trail hunting take place?
Some visitors have told us that they might want to avoid woodlands during trail hunts so we publish where and when we have agreed it can happen. We update the information at least every 20 days during the hunting season (September to March). You can download the latest version below. Please note: We have suspended all licences for trail hunting in the nation’s forests. This is in response to confirmation that the police are investigating webinars hosted by the Hunting Office. We do not intend to make any further comments until the police have concluded their investigation.
Remember planned events can change at short notice so we can’t guarantee the information is 100% up-to-date. Updated on: 30 October 2020.
Suspected illegal activity and breaching our permissions
We sometimes get concerns from visitors that people in forests we manage may be breaking the law. People should give any evidence of illegal activity they have to the police.
If someone with a permission from us breaks the conditions in the permission, which could include illegal activity on the land we manage or a relevant conviction, we can suspend events or stop them completely.
We can, and do, monitor events we permit including trail hunting.
If you believe any event is breaching a permission, evidence should be given to our local Forestry England office. Please make sure it is clear and credible enough for us to be able to look in to it.