Britain's newest and probably most powerful bloodsport and countryside lobbying group was launched yesterday with a pounds 3.5m advertising campaign.
After months of secret preparations, the Countryside Movement was founded to protect the interests of rural Britain as well as those of the hunting, shooting and fishing lobbies.
The movement claims that rural Britain is poorly understood by urban dwellers and seeks to build a greater "awareness and understanding" through expensive and sustained advertising campaign.
According to secret minutes of meetings held by the organisation obtained by the Independent, high on its list of priorities is countering the growing influence of animal welfare groups. It also aims to tackle land access groups such as the Ramblers' Association. One of the full-page advertisements, which will appear in national newspapers from today, pictures a slaughterman. The caption reads: "George Roberts head slaughterman and animal lover." Another advertisement tackles organisations lobbying for greater land access rights. Beneath a picture of a footpath reads the caption: "It goes right across farmer Stockdale's land. No one's defending your right to use it more than …