Shocking video shows hunt spilling onto live railway tracks near Retford

This video footage shows the shocking moment a member of a hunt recklessly leads a horse and hounds onto a live railway line near Retford.

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 4:58 pm

The rider - part of the Grove and Rufford hunt - can be seen wandering beside the tracks at Westbrecks Crossing while a pack of hunt dogs search bushes.

Footage taken by Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs of the tracks - used by freight trains - shows the camera zooming in on a sign warning of a £1,000 penalty for those who break safety rules on the tracks.

Paul Hepworth, a retired signal designer who worked on railways for 40 years, described the huntsman’s actions on Sunday as “extremely irresponsible”.

Hunstman trespasses on live railway tracks

He said: “These hunts people are setting a very bad example - if this video gets out onto wider social media some people may regard that as acceptable behaviour.

“This sends out a completely wrong message.

“Though this looks like a secondary line people have been killed by slow-moving trains before.

“There are track-side drains which are not really designed to be walked on by horses and could throw and seriously injure a rider.”

A spokesman for Network Rail said trespassing on the railway was illegal.

She added: “It is never safe to trespass on the railway and doing so can result in life changing or fatal consequences.”

After seeing the video on Twitter British Transport Police wrote how they were currently investigating the trespass.

A spokesman wrote: “We are aware of this footage and enquiries are being made.”

Grove and Rufford hunt have been contacted for comment.