English poachers let little girl watch fox cubs savaged by hounds

This video from Britain says about itself:


23 November 2012

DRAMATIC RESCUE CAPTURED ON FILM – A young vixen owes her life to the quick thinking and courage of a hunt monitor who literally dived in and grabbed her from amongst the hounds that were just about to maul her to death …

The young woman was out monitoring the Old Berks Fox Hounds who met at Elmwood House, Black Bourton in Oxfordshire. Not long after the hunt moved off, the Huntsman sent the hound pack into woodland and thick undergrowth.

The hounds found the fox in scrub next to large slurry tanks on the edge of a farm.

Fortunately for the fox, her “guardian angel” was only feet away. With no thought for her own safety, the monitor shouted at the hounds as they closed in on the fox, and running forward, was able to snatch the terrified animal. She then scooped her up, away from amongst the hounds, which would in moments have undoubtedly torn the young animal to pieces. The fox had already been bowled over onto her back, leaving her stomach exposed.

Despite having been bitten by the terrified fox, the monitor hurried the traumatised animal away, cradled in her arms, whilst her colleague, who filmed the whole incident, called for help.

Being followed by a Hunt participant, they reached a fellow monitor’s car and the fox was then driven away to safety. She was checked for injuries, and thanks to the monitor’s lightning reactions, was found to have no serious bites.

The fox has now been rehabilitated into an area where she will be safe from the hunt.

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From the Daily Mirror in Britain:

Fox hunters slammed for letting little girl watch hounds savage bloodied corpses of dead cubs

22:53, 6 Nov 2015

By Ben Glaze

The girl, aged around six, was with 14 men who flung the lifeless cubs to a pack of 30 hounds in a hunt training exercise

A small girl looks on as a pack of hunt hounds swarm around the bloodied bodies of two fox cubs.

The shocking footage, captured by anti-hunt campaigners, shows the child – aged around six – waving her arms as the bloodthirsty pack mills about the lifeless young animals.

The fox cubs, whose corpses are hidden from view in the footage, had been thrown to the 30-strong pack moments earlier, already dead.

Wearing pink wellington boots, a white-and-pink top and blue jeans, the little girl can be seen dancing around the dogs, then backing away.

As she does so, 14 grown-ups stand by watching the fired-up hounds, tails wagging with delight, being directed by their handlers.

Animal rights activists tonight condemned the group for letting a youngster view the distressing sight.

Tom Quinn, campaigns director of the League Against Cruel Sports, asked: “What kind of people are so unashamedly happy to parade their cruelty in front of a child?”

He added: “The majority in the UK are strongly against hunting. This is its dark reality.

“We’re sure they’ll be shocked and disgusted to see a little girl being brought along to witness this barbarism.”

Animal welfare campaigners passed the video to the Mirror after seeing the youngster appear alongside the adults for the dawn “training” rite.

In the one minute, 45 second film, recorded in the mid-Devon countryside, the girl can be seen glancing up at the group of gilet-clad adults observing the hounds.

The foxes were thrown to the pack already dead in what is thought to be part of a training process.

In the footage, a middle-aged man perches on a red quad bike, while a silver 4×4 stands parked at an open gate.

The video begins with the girl, her hair tied back in a pony tail, crouching to the ground then popping up, scratching her head, looking to the adults and folding her arms across her chest.

She then turns back to look at the dogs before one fox corpse is picked up from the ground.

The second animal’s lifeless body is also retrieved, and a kennel worker carries both across the freshly harvested field to sling them into a box on the rear of the quad bike.

The horrific scenes unfolded near the village of Nymet Rowland, with dogs from the nearby 217-year-old Eggesford Kennels.

The kennels describe the land as “good hunting country”, extending 19 miles east to west and some 20 miles north to south.

An undercover investigator from the League Against Cruel Sports, who shot the footage from a public right of way, said: “It’s likely the cubs were dug out of their den and shot by the hunt’s terrierman.” …

A botched effort to relax anti-hunt laws forced Prime Minister David Cameron into a climbdown in July.

A commenter on the Daily Mirror site writes:

If a six-year-old had been taken to a dogfight on a working-class housing estate then they would be called straight away and the parents would be fully investigated.

I call upon Child Protection to make sure that this is done.

Police appeal after allegation of dog hunting and killing fox near Plymouth: here.

Police launch investigation after fox killed during Atherstone Hunt | Tamworth Herald: here.

British Levellers’ history from Cameron’s constituency

This video from Britain says about itself:

Levellers, True Levellers, and The Diggers of 1649

The Levellers were a relatively loose alliance of radicals and freethinkers who came to prominence during the period of instability that characterized the English Civil War of 1642 – 1649.

What bound these people together was the general belief that all men were equal; since this was the case, then a government could only have legitimacy if it was elected by the people. The Leveller demands were for a secular republic, abolition of the House of Lords, equality before the law, the right to vote for all, free trade, the abolition of censorship, freedom of speech, the abolition of tithes and tolls, and the absolute right for people to worship whatever religion they chose, or none at all. This program was published as “The Agreement of the People“.

The Levellers argued that since God had created all men as equals, the land belonged to all the people as a right. Their program was, then, essentially an attempt to restore the situation that they believed had existed previous to the Norman Conquest in 1099; they wanted to establish a ‘commonwealth’ in which the common people would be in control of their own destiny without the intervention of a King, a House of Lords and other potential oppressors.

It is hardly surprising, given this program of demands, that the rich and powerful felt threatened by the Levellers. This is particularly so, given that some of the Leveller demands, almost 400 years on, have still not been met!

In 1649 Gerrard Winstanley and fourteen others published a pamphlet in which they called themselves the “True Levellers” to distinguish their more radical ideas from the Levellers. Once they put their ideas into practice and started to cultivate common land, they became known as “Diggers” by both opponents and supporters. The Diggers’ beliefs encompassed a worldview that envisioned an ecological interrelationship between humans and nature, acknowledging the inherent connections between people and their surroundings.

Winstanley would advocate a new democratic society of the “common man” as opposed to the current society based on privilege and wealth. Many of the political, economic and social reforms advocated would dramatically impact the social order.

Winstanley was concerned by the plight of the people at the lower rungs of English Society, the overlooked or forgotten man. The poor, the sick, the hungry, and the destitute who often did not scrape by or were left to die.

The Digger movement at St George’s Hill (Surrey) provided an ideal venue for testing Winstanleys’ new social experiment. Winstanley rejected the concept of private ownership of all land, and called for a peaceful return of all public lands to the People. Some have even characterized the Surrey Diggers’ as a primitive Millennium movement. Later generations have called the social experiment an early form of communism or even anarchism.

After repeated attacks and destruction of their commune and crops by local landowners (particularly by hired thugs and ill-informed peasants) and fines from the high authorities, the Diggers soon faded away.

But, as with the Levellers, Winstanley and the Surrey Diggers struck a blow at the halls of wealth and power of 17th century English society. Their efforts and their philosophy were not wasted on later generations seeking the same spirit of liberty and freedom in a more democratic social structure.

By Trish Lavelle in Britain:

The Levellers’ unfinished fight for democracy

Saturday 17th May 2014

TRISH LAVELLE asks what can we learn from a historic struggle remembered today in David Cameron’s Oxfordshire constituency

Last year comedian Russell Brand told BBC Newsnight that he has never voted, and he never will, as Britain’s political system has created a “disenfranchised, disillusioned underclass. It is not that I am not voting out of apathy.

“I am not voting out of absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery and deceit of the political class that has been going on for generations,” he added.

Brand is apparently not alone in these views. Research carried out for the Electoral Reform Society earlier this year revealed that as many as 800,000 18–21-year-olds are not registered to vote.

In all, they estimate that 8.5 million people were missing from the parliamentary electoral register in April 2011. Many of these will be younger, working-class voters. It seems our political elite is quite happy with this mass disenfranchisement.

Each year in May people gather in Oxfordshire to celebrate and commemorate the ideas of the Levellers. On May 17 1649, three soldiers were executed on Oliver Cromwell’s orders in Burford churchyard. They belonged to a popular movement with beliefs in representative government, civil rights and religious tolerance.

During the civil war, the Levellers fought on Parliament’s side, at first seeing Cromwell as a liberator, but by 1649 they viewed him as an oppressor. They were prepared to fight against him for their ideals and he was determined to crush them. Over 300 of them were captured by Cromwell’s troops and locked up in Burford church. Three were led out into the churchyard to be shot as ringleaders.

The ideas of the Levellers were influential in the development of democracy, equality and civil rights and are every bit as relevant today as they were then. They were certainly seen as a threat to the rich and the powerful of that era, which explains why they were so brutally suppressed. The Levellers called for a system of fair representation of the people and an end to corruption and abuses of power.

And of course we are just days away voting from the elections for the European Parliament in Britain and Northern Ireland. The racist and reactionary interests represented by Ukip have high expectations of electoral success.

Many people have not registered to vote or will choose not to use their vote. In less than a year, if these voting patterns continue, we could see a Tory/Ukip coalition beaming out at us from the rose garden.

So in a timely debate this weekend in the heart of David Cameron’s West Oxfordshire constituency, we will be considering why apathy and cynicism about mainstream politics seem to be at an all-time high and how we must increase participation and engagement in the political system.

Speakers from trade unions, Operation Black Vote and Class will discuss what we can do to make representative politics truly representative and how we can turn single-issue activism into broader political activism. And of course, we will discuss how the values and aspirations of the Levellers continue to inform and inspire this debate.

This year will see a special tribute to Tony Benn who was a magnificent supporter of our event for many years. We will place flowers for him on the spot where the Levellers were executed and remember a great “Leveller” of our times.

Levellers’ Day takes place today at The Recreation Ground, Tanners Lane, Burford, Oxfordshire from 10.30am–3.30pm.

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Save British meadow wildlife

This video is called English Wild Flower Meadow.

From Wildlife Extra:

BBOWT needs to raise £99750 in 6 weeks

June 2012. The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) launches a public appeal to raise £99,750 in just six weeks to purchase a riverside meadow near Bampton in west Oxfordshire. If BBOWT does not reach its target in time, this rare opportunity to purchase the land known as Upper Common could be gone forever.

Upper Common is an 11-hectare site on the edge of BBOWT’s Chimney Meadows Nature Reserve. The willow-lined riverbanks and flower-filled hay meadows at Chimney are a refuge for some of England’s most threatened species, including the water vole. Awash with glorious displays of wildflowers in the summer, the meadows attract butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies that flit through the nodding heads of brightly coloured wildflowers. Tragically, meadows like this are now a rare site with only 3% of traditional hay meadows remaining in England and Wales.

Neil Clennell, Head of Conservation and Education (Oxfordshire) for BBOWT, says: “With the right management we could transform Upper Common into a colourful meadow, teaming with life once again. Using green hay cut from the nature reserve we can spread wildflower seed onto prepared ground where species like knapweed, fairy flax and delicate quaking grass can flourish.

“With greater control over the water levels it will be possible to keep areas of the reserve wetter for longer, creating new wetland habitats for threatened wading birds such as curlew and snipe. There are already signs of water voles and otters on Upper Common and with a bit of work we could provide safer habitat, helping these much-loved creatures to survive. Opportunities to buy land like this are exceedingly rare. If someone else purchases this land, the vital restoration work needed on the meadow and waterways is unlikely to happen.”

It’s not just wildlife that will benefit if BBOWT is successful. The public will be able to enjoy a stroll through the new meadow on a circular walk taking in the delights of the nature reserve and the Thames path.

If you would like to help us secure this vital site for wildlife, you can donate to BBOWT’s Chimney Meadows appeal at www.justgiving.com/chimneymeadows. Alternatively, please call BBOWT’s Supporters’ Office on 01865 788300.

July 2012. The Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) has reached its target to buy Upper Common, one of the most precious pieces of grassland in west Oxfordshire, which will now be restored as a beautiful wildflower meadow: here.

June 2013. The Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust has launched an appeal to buy Meadow Farm, a precious remnant of an ancient landscape, brimming with colourful wild flowers and unusual wildlife: here.

Dutch meadow birds: here.

English dinosaur tracks protected

This video from Utah in the USA says about itself:

Travel Adventure: Kane County Dinosaur Tracks

180 million years ago you could see the dinosaurs who left behind the tracks we are seeing today.

From the BBC:

Dinosaur tracks to be protected

The tracks are at risk from exposure to the elements and damage from erosion

Dinosaur footprints discovered in Oxfordshire mudflats are to be protected as part of a geological conservation site.

Up to 40 sets of tracks, at Ardley Trackways near Bicester, include those belonging to large dinosaurs related to Brachiosaurus and Tyrannosaurus.

The tracks, found in 1997, are located alongside where the M40 now runs.

Natural England confirmed that the area has been made a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).

The board will decide whether to confirm the designation in four months, after a public consultation.

Researchers have been able to work out how fast the dinosaurs were travelling by studying the distance between individual footprints.

It is thought that some of the species reached speeds of up to 20mph (32kph).

Natural England is working with the owners and operators of the site to ensure that the fossilised tracks are preserved.

See also here.

China: Dinosaur “Death Pits” Created by Giant’s Footprints? Here. Tiny dinos perished in footprint death pits: here.