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Newcomers' Week gets more people hooked on hunting

The Countryside Alliance's annual Hunting Newcomers Week (18 – 25 October) came to a close on Saturday having created many new converts to hunting.

Packs throughout the country saw huge turnouts at newcomers' meets and events, with many oversubscribed, resulting in hunts deciding to organise a second event later in the season.

Henrietta Rutgers of the Countryside Alliance said: "The aim of Hunting Newcomers' Week is to introduce as many new faces to the hunting field as possible and, due to the cooperation of so many hunts, we have successfully managed to do just that.

"Hunts from the Jedforest in the north, to the Dartmoor in the south, ran a variety of newcomers' events, from a meet to a pre-hunting talk, all of which were gratefully received by those wishing to find out a bit more about hunting."

The Seavington reported a great turnout of more than 40 newcomers on 18 October and the Curre and Llangibby had a similarly well supported day on 25 October. The Fitzwilliam (Milton) welcomed 22 newcomers, and a total mounted field of around 90 including some visitors from neighbouring hunts, to their meet on 18 October and the New Forest had around 50 newcomers, from a field of 80 at their meet also on 18 October.

And it was not just mounted packs that reported an excellent number of new faces - the New Forest Beagles ran a very successful newcomers' meet on 18 October, attracting more than 40 new beaglers, ranging in age from seven to 70+, many of which also turned up for the hunt's opening meet on 25 October.

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

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