ANTI-HUNTING protesters will target the National Trust's offices in Swindon on Saturday.

Campaigners from the League Against Cruel Sports and National Dis-Trust will hold the protest outside the charity's office on Firefly Avenue on Saturday morning.

The protesters hope to put pressure on the conservation charity to persuade it to stop granting licences for hunting on its land, and prevent wild animals being killed by hounds.

The protest has been planned to coincide with the National Trust annual general meeting, a week before hunting season opens.

Chris Luffingham, director of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "Thousands of wild animals – including fox, hare and deer – are being targeted, chased and killed every year across the country, under the guise of following a trail.

"This is despite hunting with hounds being banned in England and Wales in 2004 and packs granted access to National Trust land, managed on behalf of the nation, being implicated in this objectionable ‘sport’.

“With over 85 per cent of the public opposing all forms of hunting wild animals with hounds – including a considerable number of National Trust members, visitors and employees – it is high time the conservation body provided protection to wildlife by stopping licensing hunting on its land.”

Horses, hounds and hunters are given free access to sections of properties maintained by the National Trust, such as the village and area around Lacock which hosts the annual boxing day hunt.

The protest will take place outside Steam Museum on Saturday October 20 10am to midday.