A West Country pack of harriers, the Cotley hunt, is holding what is believed to be the only hedge-laying competition combined with a meet of hounds.

Co-organiser and joint-master Mary Perry is anticipating a “fun and brilliant day” at the annual event, held at Forde Abbey, Chard, Somerset, this Saturday (19 March).

“Hedge layers enjoy the spectacle off the hunt — they particularly appreciate seeing people jump hedges and can’t wait for someone to fall off!” she said.

“Hedge-laying had a close relationship with hunting in the past and it’s wonderful that hunts can help preserve this important rural craft. It’s come a full circle.”

Co-organiser Roger Parris, a Devon farmer and expert hedge-layer, said they are expecting up to 40 entries for the competition.

The hedge-layers will start at 9.30am and take a 45min break at 11am for the meet.

“When the hunt returns at 3.30pm, we will present prizes and have some well-earned tea,” said Mr Parris. “It will be a cracking day and worth coming to watch.”

The event will raise money for children’s charity The Rainbow Trust, which supports families with children suffering from life-threatening illnesses, through the cap, barbecue, bar and cake stall.

Everyone is welcome to come along to the meet.