Boxing Day – traditionally the biggest day in the hunting calender and according to the Countryside Alliance, a day which would see an average of around 750 people turn out to support each local hunt. This was not what we saw at the Cotswold Vale today, and no matter how good the hunting lobby’s PR machine is, it doesn’t detract from the new opinion poll that suggests 76% of the population would like to see the ban on fox hunting with hounds remain.
In the pouring rain the CV met at Glasshouse, near Newent in Gloucestershire. A small but determined group of hunt saboteurs from Bristol, and our friends from other nearby groups, were there to make sure that this was a happy Christmas for the foxes (and to burn off yesterdays mince pies).
After sitting tight until about 11.30, the hunt headed straight past us and into the nearby Newent Woods. We lost sight of them for a short while, with the heavy rain making it difficult to listen for voice and horn calls. But a quick chat to a couple of the field pointed us in the right direction and we soon came across hounds heading through the wood following the scent of a fox.
From then on we were with the hunt, monitoring their every move and for a while right with the huntsman and the hounds (much to his delight). The hounds picked up a few times throughout the day, with sabs using voice calls to rate them. However, the huntsman spent most of the day gathering his hounds, not moving out of the immediate area of Newent Woods and certainly not managing to do very much hunting!
After spending another 30-40 minutes pissing around trying to open a gate near the meet and gathering the remaining hounds, they packed up shortly after 3pm. A short, wet and successful day for Bristol Hunt Sabs and our colleagues. Kick on!