Hunts around the country are opening their doors to new followers next Saturday for the Countryside Alliance’s (CA) Hunting Newcomers’ Week.

Newcomers’ Week has been a regular feature in the hunting calendar since 2004.

Last year, more than 5,000 new followers were indoctrinated “to the joys of hunting”, according to the CA, which hopes more people will turn out for this year’s week — from 16-23 October.

Countryside Alliance spokesman Chloe Finch said: “Not all hunts are planning a specific ‘newcomers’ meet’ this year, so we’re encouraging people to ring up their local hunt to find out what’s going on.”

Unlike last year, when newcomers hunted for free, some packs may make a charge. Though Ms Finch said the fee is likely to be “nominal”.

Visit www.countryside-alliance.org.uk for details on how to contact your local hunt

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (7 October, ’10)