The chant: ‘Shame, shame, shame on the Duke of Norfolk’ echoed loudly around Arundel on Sunday afternoon.
Protestors from the Bognor Regis-based National Anti Snaring Campaign (NASC) were rallying support for their bid to persuade the Duke to halt the indiscriminate use of cruel snares on his Arundel estate.
The estate aims to establish a grey partridge shoot on land north-east of Arundel up to the South Downs Way, an operation which requires extreme predator control to protect the ground-nesting birds.
Last summer, despite evidence badgers were being caught in snares, the Duke, who is the largest landowner in Sussex, refused to stop their use. Badger hairs and ground disturbance had been found around a cut snare and this year snares were set again in the same area of woodland.
The NASC, which originated from a local badger group, has now become a national organisation and attracts support from all over the world. It has already succeeded in persuading the neighbouring estates of Goodwood and Cowdray to stop setting snares following badger deaths.
The snares — wire nooses used to trap animals — are set mainly for foxes, but are also responsible for maiming or killing many other animals such as rabbits, deer and cats.
On Sunday afternoon the protesters set up a stand at the public entrance to Arundel Castle, where the marchers gathered before handing in a letter to the Duke and then setting off around the town, carrying placards and handing out leaflets to visitors highlighting the ‘shame of the estate’s continuing use of barbaric snares.
“The Duke of Norfolk just does not care and this march is a visible expression of our disgust at his actions,” said Simon Wild, one the organisers of Sunday’s protest.