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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Hunting and Feeding

I am spending a few days at my mother's house in sleepy Saughall Massie. This semi-rural Wirral village near Moreton, has become the home of a several thousand commuters, closeted in identi-kit houses around a few remaining farms and some spectacularly beautiful old cottages. Incredibly, the boundaries of the village are still defined by green fields, although there have been attempts in recent months to change that. A planning application to build on the old nursery off Garden Hey Road was turned down by the local Council.

Perhaps Saughall Massie's greatest claim to fame was that until recently it was represented on the Council by a former member of the popular combo known as The Spinners. When he relinquished his seat, held on behalf of the Labour Party, the ward reverted completely to type and it now has three Conservatives representing it. It remains though within the not-so marginal Parliamentary seat of Wallasey, currently held with a 12,000 plus majority by Angela Eagle.

I discovered today that Saughall Massie is bucking the trend in another way. At a time when fox-hunts are staging large meets around the Country before the sport is deservedly cast into oblivion, locals are feeding a colony of foxes nearby with scraps from their dinner tables to help them survive the winter. This is perhaps a more imaginative and less-cruel way to take the foxes' minds off the local chickens.

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