A number of hunts have offered to help the stricken farming community following the impact of the “Beast from the East” which is affecting people all across the country. Feeding livestock and ensuring they have an adequate water supply is made incredibly difficult in freezing conditions with the large snowfall creating even tougher working conditions in many rural areas.

Tim Coulson, joint-master of the Bedale Hunt in North Yorkshire sent out this message on social media: “With the adverse weather conditions we are experiencing at the moment, and the prospect of more to come at what is the worst possible time of the year, we are offering the services of our hunt staff to help with any farm emergencies in the Bedale area, rescuing sheep etc.”

A number of other hunts have also offered a similar service including the Jed Forest and the Lauderdale in Scotland. Disappointingly one pack had to take down the public notice they published after a number of anti-hunting activists made some prank calls to the number given for people to call in the event of help being required, but that won’t deter those willing to offer their time to assist those in need.

“Although keeping on top of their own workload in kennels when everything is frozen is hard enough, the thoughts of the farming community and their livestock will always be a top priority for those who hunt,” said Polly Portwin, the Countryside Alliance’s Head of Hunting. “Members of hunt staff work tirelessly to care for their own hounds and horses throughout the year regardless of the weather.

“With hunting activities curtailed due to the severity of this latest snowfall, offering to spend free time volunteering to help the farming community instead of taking the easy option of sitting inside by a warm fire, just demonstrates their generosity of spirit and the strength of goodwill extended to those whose livelihoods can be so severely affected by these dramatic conditions.”