Newcomers to hunting have yet again taken the opportunity to take to the field during the annual Hunting Newcomers’ week which was held between 19th and 26th October 2019.
The Countryside Alliance’s initiative was this year held in conjunction with the grassroots organisation This is Hunting UK. The collaboration between the two organisations helped to promote this well-established and successful annual celebration of hunting, with social media playing a key part in advertising meets, helping to reach out to a wider audience.
A number of hunts held specific newcomers’ events this year, with packs from Cornwall up to Scotland welcoming those who wished to follow hounds for the first time.
As part of the Alliance’s ongoing commitment to hunting, every pack that hosted a newcomers’ meet was presented with a hunt map produced by the Countryside Alliance and Champagne Pol Roger. The maps, which were incredibly well-received, were offered to hunts to use as auction items or raffle prizes at any of their hunt’s own fundraising events.
Polly Portwin, the CA’s Head of Hunting welcomed the positive feedback received from hunts across the country: “We are delighted that so many packs took part again this year and thank all those packs that made newcomers welcome. It has been a pleasure working alongside This is Hunting UK because both organisations recognise there is an appetite for these events which provide the perfect opportunity for those who might not otherwise know how to get involved in hunting.”
“Hunts welcome people throughout the year, not just during this dedicated week, so our advice is that if you want to find out more about hunting in your area, then do not hesitate to contact your local hunt secretary for details of suitable meets. Please also look out for the Countryside Alliance’s dedicated Boxing Day meet listing and interactive map which will be up on our website throughout December as it has been in previous years.”
James Barclay, chairman of This is Hunting UK was also enthusiastic about the comments he had heard around the country: “There has been a huge amount of positivity during our involvement in newcomers’ week - particularly from those who come from non-hunting backgrounds – and we have enjoyed sharing the videos and photographs that have been sent to use to use on social media. It’s a great initiative and we have enjoyed working with the Countryside Alliance throughout.”