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Farming and Environment | 20th July 2023
 

The Oxygen Man and the trailing ban

 
 
 

New owner of Blackburn and Hartsgarth claims the hounds ‘do untold damage’

The new owners of land on Langholm Moor have banned hound trailing because they say it’s a threat to wildlife.

The move has angered local enthusiasts who say hounds have been running there since the sport first came into being in the early 1900’s.

Devon-based conservation company Oxygen Conservation bought Blackburn and Hartsgarth farms earlier this year, adding the eleven and a half thousand acres to a growing portfolio which also includes sites in Perthshire, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Wales, the Yorkshire Dales, and a stretch of the Firth of Tay near Dundee.

ENTHUSIASTS: George (Podge) McGimpsey and daughter Gillian disagree with the ban Inset: Rich Stockland of Oxygen Conservation Ltd

Founder and Managing Director Rich Stockdale says the company buys land to deliver positive impact for people and wildlife and hound trailing is not consistent with their conservation-based objectives.

“So running a group of dogs across the landscape, though I appreciate is important to a small group of people who are passionate about the sport, does untold damage to flora, fauna and fungi and our view is that for too long people have taken from the environment rather than giving it the space and time it needs to regenerate,” he said.

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