Shropshire Boxing Day hunts attracting crowds of supporters
Thousands of people were today attending Boxing Day hunts across Shropshire.
Seven hunts were taking place across the county and an estimated 250,000 people were involved in more than 250 events across Britain.
The North Shropshire Hunt was meeting at the Albrighton Hall Hotel, near Shrewsbury, from 10am, while the South Shropshire Hunt was gathering at the Red Lion in Longden Common.
The Tanatside Hunt in Mid Wales was meeting at The Royal Oak pub in Welshpool at 10.45am to leave at 11.15am.
The Ludlow hunt was starting from Ludlow Castle at 11am and The Sir Watkin Williams Wynns Hunt was meeting at the cross at Malpas at 10.45am and was leaving at 11am.
The Wheatland hunt was leaving from Morville, near Bridgnorth, opposite the Acton Arms from 11am.
In Shropshire, The Albrighton & Woodland hunt, was meeting at both the Royal Victoria Hotel in Newport and Hagley Park, near Stourbridge, both starting at 11am.
The two hunts merged together last year and Julian Hill, secretary for the meet, said the Boxing Day hunt was more popular than ever. Mr Hill said: "The hunt is very popular, we have about 400 members and on Boxing Day there is expected to be about 50-60 riders and about 2,000 to 3,000 spectators. We will lay scent trails across the countryside. It is more popular than ever and we have a great day."
Officials at the Countryside Alliance said they believed the support for Boxing Day hunts shows the strength of the countryside vote to reverse the ban on hunting with dogs. Environment Secretary and north Shropshire MP Owen Paterson has said there is no immediate prospect that the ban will be repealed.
- Full round-up with photos in Friday's Shropshire Star
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