History of the hunt

A meet on The Green in Orlingbury
A meet on The Green in Orlingbury

It’s just over six years since the Hunting Ban was introduced on February 18, 2005, after the passing of the Hunting Act 2004.

The ban brought to an end a British tradition that had been part of country life since the 16th century.

Many villages in our area, particularly Brigstock and Orlingbury, were used to the familiar site of the men and women hunters in their traditional riding attire with a mass of hounds at the feet of their horses.

Hunts would gather a large following from spectators, particularly on the annual Boxing Day hunts, and they would follow the hunt across the fields until the end.

But despite it’s popularity amongst the rural community, fox-hunting was met with a great amount of controversy, with many feeling that the sport was cruel and unnecessary.

Its strong associations with tradition and social class were also a key point of contention for many detractors.

The controversy surrounding fox-hunting finally led to the ban - but that didn’t mean it was the end of the tradition completely.

Hunts still take place but now an artificial scent trail is used instead.

But whether you were for or against hunting, these photographs will surely spark memories of one element of country life from years gone by.