Express & Star

Boxing Day hunts set off amid fresh concerns over future

One of the most important days in the hunting calendar has gone ahead, despite renewed debates over its future.

Hounds from the Albrighton and Woodland Hunt at Newport Rugby Club

There are certain traditions everyone expects on Christmas Day: turkey, crackers and the King's speech.

But the following day's activities are more widely contested, with some arising early for post-Christmas sales or many hitting the hills to walk off the festive feastings.

In Shropshire, one tradition continues to raise debate each year - the hunt.

Boxing Day is one of the main staples in the hunting calendar for hunts in the UK and US.

Members from the Albrighton and Woodland Hunt set off from Newport Rugby Club
The Boxing Day Hunt from Newport Rugby Club
Dozens attended Newport Rugby Club to see off the hunting party
Dozens turned up to see off the hunt in Newport
The Boxing Day hunt from Newport Rugby Club

Over 100 meets took place on Tuesday across England, Wales and Northern Ireland despite opposition from anti-hunting activists.

With traditional fox hunting banned, participants now take part in 'trail hunts' - where packs of dogs follow an artificial scent laid during and in the days before the hunt.