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National Trust beats hunt lobby

MOVES BY a rebel group to overturn the National Trust's ban on stag hunting on its lands were overwhelmingly defeated last night, writes Mark Rowe.

Almost 40,000 National Trust members rejected calls by a breakaway group to lift the ban. The group, Friends of the National Trust (Font), a broadly pro-hunting lobby, had accused the Trust of failing to stand up for the countryside and ignoring the wishes of major land donors when it banned hunting.

The vote came after one of the stormiest annual meetings in the Trust's 103-year history.

Charles Nunneley, the Trust chairman, welcomed the results, saying the turnout reflected the general indifference felt by the rank and file to Font.

But Font's Baroness Ann Mallalieu QC felt that the 23,000 members who had voted in its favour could not be ignored.