Golf club responds to online allegations of foxhunting

Surrounding the clubhouse is a picturesque 18-hole golf course. Picture: DANNY LOO

Letchworth Golf Club was embroiled in a social media storm this week, after it was accused of sanctioning foxhunting on its grounds - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Letchworth Golf Club has publicly denied foxhunting took place on their property earlier this week.

Allegations of foxhunting at Letchworth Golf Club caused a social media storm on Wednesday (March 24), with activist groups Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs and South Coast Hunt Sabs taking aim at the club.

Hundreds of comments were made on Facebook, accusing the golf club of sanctioning foxhunting on their grounds, and pictures and personal details of employees were shared online.

Manor Park residents also contacted Terry Hone, Letchworth South West ward councillor, to share their concerns.

Two armed men had been on the course that Wednesday evening, but sources close to the club explained that they had been there for "a few rabbits" as part of a "long-standing relationship that precedes the club's current administration".

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The pair said they did not fire any shots while on the club's grounds that evening.

Peter Williamson, director of Letchworth Golf Club, strongly refuted the allegations of foxhunting, and explained the two individuals on site that evening had now been banned from the grounds as part of a public statement.

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"Two licensed individuals known to the club attended the course to shoot for rabbits. They have been allowed access for some time on a voluntary basis, no more than monthly, and take the few rabbits they kill to be used as feed at a wild cat sanctuary in Hertfordshire.

"While the removal of a few rabbits does reduce damage on the course, at no time has the club authorised activity in relation to foxes.

"These individuals are not members, neither are they paid by the club in anyway but they did have permission to be on our land.

"Following a meeting of club officials this morning, we have now stopped access to the course for these two licensed individuals and as such there will be no authorised shooting of rabbits or any other animal on our course.

"The club is aware of its responsibilities and its policies meet all environmental legislation, particularly in relation to the correct treatment of the various species of animals that dwell on our course."

Herts police referred to the pair as "pest controllers", and confirmed their activities were lawful and those involved were "properly licenced."

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