Master of the Hunt

Adam Waugh, South & West Wilts Hunt

When did you become a manager?

In 1995, when I became master of the New Forest foxhounds.

What does management mean to you?

My prime task is to manage the fox population in my hunting area, which means organising more than 100 days of hunting each winter. This involves liaising with 800 landowners, farmers and game-shooting managers. I run the kennels with over 80 hounds and stables with nine horses, and I have five full-time staff. I manage the expectations of some 500 paying members of the hunt, who make it a company that turns over £250,000 a year. In summer, I arrange conservation work in the woods where we hunt, improving access for the mounted hunt followers by arranging for jumps to be put into fences and for hedges to be cut. I'm also the huntsman, so I work the hounds while out hunting and run their training. This involves cycling them out in the summer up to 20 miles a day, so I keep fit too.

What do you love/hate about it?

I love working with animals in one of the prettiest parts of rural England. I hate the misrepresentation of the truth and the vindictiveness of some backbench MPs and animal welfare groups about the alternatives to managing foxes.

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