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Hunts gear up to welcome new members during Hunting Newcomers' Week

The Countryside Alliance's annual Hunting Newcomers' Week, which runs from 18-25 October, has great support from hunts around the country again this year.

There has been an excellent take up with a good spread of hunts across the country getting invovled, from the Dartmoor in the South West to the Berwickshire in the North, organising events during the designated week to attract new faces to the hunting field.

Last year the week introduced around 400 new people to the hunting field and we hope to do even better in 2014.

Events range from jumping practice sessions, to help mounted followers get their eye in after the summer break, to meets specifically tailored to introducing new people to the trail hunting field, BBQs and tours of hunt kennels.

Henrietta Rutgers of the Countryside Alliance's hunting campaign said: "It is heartening to see an increasing number of hunts organising newcomers' events to introduce new faces to the hunting field which is exactly the purpose of this week. I have already had a huge number of enquiries from people wanting to find out information about their local packs, showing that despite the ban, hunting is as popular as ever and people are keen to show their solidarity with their local hunts."

List of meets and events

Albrighton Woodland - Winter Warm-Up on Sunday 19 October at Bissell Wood Equestrian Centre. An ideal day out with your horse to learn about hunting. Call Hazel on 07967 541214 for further information.

Avon Vale - Hedge and hunt jump training on Sunday 19 October at Abbottswood Farm. Riders will be in small groups, depending on ability and bravery and each session will run for 1-1.5 hours. The idea is to get horses and riders in confident mood for the season ahead – we will tailor each group to best meet their needs and the emphasis will be on fun. The day is open to anyone and is a good opportunity for people to ask questions about hunting. The cost will be £30 to include a welcome drink. Refreshments will be available. Please email Andrew Edwards MFH [email protected] for an entry form.

Avon Vale - Hunting social evening on Thursday 23 October at Neston Park Farm Shop at 7pm. This informal get-together prior to the opening meet is also an introduction evening for those new to hunting or wanting to increase their knowledge. The Masters and Beaufort huntsman Tony Holdsworth will deliver short talks on all aspects of hunting, followed by an informal supper and time to ask those questions that you've never had the chance to ask before. Tickets are £12 for adults and £9.50 for under-12s to be confirmed and paid for by 20 October (£15 and £12 on the door), to include a sausage supper. Email Lesley Loane on [email protected]

Barlow - Pre-hunting jump training day on Sunday 19 October with Lisa Morris (BHSI, BE coach). Confidence building sessions running at the kennels throughout the day. £25 per person, session lasts for 1.5 hours and groups of no more than five. Groups will be matched for experience and confidence. For further details please contact Jo Hunter on 07970 670726 or [email protected]

Banwen Miners – Newcomers' meet on Saturday 25 October at 11am, followed by a children's meet on Tuesday 28 October to coincide with half term. The field will be staffed with suitable guides. Please contact Nia Godsmark on 07815 150193 for further details.

College Valley/North Northumberland – Newcomers' meets on Saturday 18 October, Tuesday 21 October and Thursday 23 October. Please call Andrew Taylor on 01890 860285 for further details.

Curre and Llangibby – Newcomers' meet on Saturday 25 October at 10am. Please contact Charlotte Breese on 07703 269829 for more details.

Dartmoor – Newcomers' meet on Saturday 25 October. Please contact Amelia Eyston on 01548 812393 or 01548 821393 for further details.

Dumfriesshire and Stewartry – Newcomers' meet on Saturday 18 October. Please contact Hannah Hutchings on 07708 784313 for more details.

Fitzwilliam (Milton) – Newcomers' meets on Saturday 18 October at 7.30am and on Wednesday 22 October at 8am. Please contact Karen Silcock on 07836 759318, [email protected] or Penny Fortescue on 07710 241888, [email protected] for further details.

Heythrop – Pre-hunting courses with MFH and 4* event rider Simon Lawrance. A perfect opportunity to brush up on your hunting skills before the start of the season, helping you to get back in the saddle and revise the cross-country riding skills you need to be safe in the hunting field. These clinics will cater for everyone from the newcomer to the experienced subscriber who wants to get their eye in! Taking place on Friday 17 October and Friday 31 October. Please email [email protected] for further details.

Jedforest - Are running a week full of activities for the newcomer from 11 - 18 October. To include a mock hunt, an info evening at the kennels and much more! Please contact Jennie Pole on 07760 238596 for further details.

Llangeinor Pentyrch – Newcomers' meet on Saturday 18 October at 11am.

The Meynell and South Staffordshire – Newcomers' meet at 9am on Saturday 25th October. Please call Rachael Morley, 07889 083194 or Louise Williams, 07990 550547 to book your place.

New Forest – Newcomers' meet on Saturday 18 October at 9am. Please contact Penny Rendle on 07775 722795 for further details.

North Herefordshire – Newcomers' meet on Saturday 25 October at 8.30am. Please contact Ellie Bulmer on 07779 593280 for further details.

North Cotswold – Newcomers' meet on Saturday 25 October followed by breakfast. Please contact Charlotte Russell on 01386 725423 or 07816 600605 for further details.

Oakley – Newcomers' ride with hounds followed by a BBQ and tour of the kennels starting at 11am on Sunday 19 October. A great opportunity to learn about hunting and to meet new people – there will be optional jumps along the route. Please contact Caroline Evans on 07734 418598 for further details.

Pytchley – Newcomers' meet on Saturday 18 October at 8am, no charge for newcomers. Please call Serena McCall on 07798 854131 to book in and for parking information etc.

South Pembrokeshire – Newcomers' meet on Saturday 4 October at 8am followed by a BBQ breakfast. Please contact Sue Brace on 01646 651490 for further details.

South Tetcott – Newcomers' meet on Saturday 25 October at 10am. Please contact Karen Chubb on 01409 271179 or 07796 263953 for any enquiries.

Surrey Union – Newcomers' meet on Saturday 4 October. Please contact Zoe Horton on 07939 114059 for further details.

Taunton Vale Foxhounds - Pre-hunting schooling day to be held at Pontispool Equestrian centre on Thursday 16 October. Designed for newcomers and less experienced hunters who wish to improve their knowledge and horsemanship skills on the hunting field, as well as experienced hunters who wish to brush up on their skills in advance of the forthcoming season. The day will consist of two hours tailored, mounted tuition followed by a trail hunt with the Taunton Vale foxhounds with optional fences. For further details please contact Mark Heuff on 07786 227232 or visit

Thurlow – Newcomers' meets on Saturday 18 October and Thursday 23 October. Please contact Pat Thomas on 01799 599413 for further details.

Warwickshire – Newcomers' meet on Saturday 18 October at 8am. Please contact Lady Fermoy on 01295 788498 or [email protected]

For more information, contact Countryside Alliance head of media Charlotte Cooper on 0207 8409220 and 07500 834163 or email [email protected]

Note for journalists

· The list of hunts taking part in Newcomers' Week is still increasing so please check our website for more in your area -

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