Hunts across Britain are taking part in National Newcomers’ Week (from Saturday October 21), a scheme to inform people about what hunting is all about. Open invitations will be given by meets across the country and packs of all descriptions will welcome people on horseback, in cars or on foot for a jaunt around the countryside.

The week deliberately coincides with school half terms across the country so children can join in the action. “We have run newcomers’ days in the past and they have always been hugely popular, with many people altering some of their ideas about hunting and those involved, and some going on to become regular hunt followers,” Philippa Mayo from the Countryside Alliance’s Campaign for Hunting explained.

According to the Alliance, hunting has never been more strongly supported, “We will open our doors, invite people to come and see for themselves, see we have nothing to hide, meet the hounds and hopefully have a great time,” Philippa continued.

Some hunts are providing explanatory talks and tours of the kennels, breakfast beforehand or tea after. “In all cases newcomers will be made to feel very welcome and will be introduced to someone who will look after them and explain what is happening,” said Ms Mayo.

To find out about your nearest newcomers’ day contact Philippa Mayo 07876208725 or philippa-mayo@countryside-alliance.org