Countryside Party (UK)

The Countryside Party was a minor political party operating in the United Kingdom. It was formed in May 2000 by Jim Crawford who was the Northern Director of the Countryside Alliance. Much of the party's agenda was the same as that of the Alliance, such as opposition to any restrictions on fox hunting.

It was formed out of what it perceived as a lack of understanding or care about rural issues by the mainstream political parties. It was by and large a conservative-minded organisation, and unsuccessfully opposed measures such as the Scottish Land Reform Act, which had been designed to give greater rights to tenant farmers and crofters.

According to its 2004 accounts, the party's membership was formally "limited to the two founders, Jim Crawford and Richard Malbon plus a very small number of supporters who are not actually members of the Party".[1]

The Countryside Party stood in the Scottish Parliament 2003 election for the Highlands and Islands electoral region. It polled 1,768 votes (1.05% of the vote in the area).

It contested the 2004 European elections in the South West England and North West England constituencies.[2] In the South West it received 2.1% of the vote which was sufficient to retain its deposit. In the North West it polled only 0.5%. Its relatively good standing in the South West may owe something to the notability of its candidates for reasons other than politics. The party's six candidates in the region included Chris Thomas-Everard, whose family became famous during the 2001 foot and mouth crisis for refusing to allow his cows to be culled, Diana Scott the joint master of the Devon and Somerset hunt and a prominent pro-hunting campaigner and Ranulph Fiennes, the explorer.

The party was deregistered in July 2008.[3]


  1. UK Office of the European Parliament: 2004 Election Candidates
  2. "List of Political Parties either renamed or deregistered since 2002" (PDF). Electoral Commission. 16 December 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2010.