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The Morpeth hunt is appealing for funds so it can move from its 19th-century kennels at Rivergreen to a modern facility in nearby Buckshaw.

The lease runs out at the Northumbrian hunt’s current kennels at the end of the year and the land will be sold, forcing the hounds to relocate.

This means they need £50,000 to build new kennels.

Joint-master Adam Waugh said: “The layout of the new kennels and lodgings will be more appropriate for a modern pack staffed by two people, and not half a dozen as in the past.

“We are not planning to downsize, we will just have easier kennels to manage — for example, the flesh room will be more accessible for people dropping off animals.”

Fundraising efforts by the Morpeth subscribers have raised £33,000 so far, but more funds are needed.

Everyone who donates will receive a limited edition photograph of the hounds and an invitation to the opening of the kennels.

Donations of more than £100 will also be offered a free day’s hunting with the pack.

Simon Hamlyn, the Countryside Alliance’s regional director, said: “The support of the local community is vital and people’s generosity in fundraising for the new kennels is a great example of how much the community values the hunt.”

And Masters of Foxhounds Association spokesman Tim Bonner added: “None of those MPs who voted to pass the Hunting Act would ever have believed that six years later a 200-year-old hunt would be laying the foundations for its next hundred years.”

To donate, visit: www.morpethfoxhounds.co.uk

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (28 July, 2011)