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West Street Tickham hunt to disband

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The Hunting Office has applauded the decision of the West Street Tickham to disband, dividing its country between the Ashford Valley and the East Kent.

Hunt secretary Sarah Leggat said the move – which will take effect for the 2013 season – should strengthen hunting in mid and east Kent.

“It is very sad – but it’s about the future of hunting,” she said.

Mrs Leggat said the hunt was facing financial challenges and lacked sufficient country during the shooting season – so looked to their neighbours for a solution.

“The Ashford Valley have been very welcoming and are going to take on the Tickham name [becoming the Ashford Valley Tickham],” she said.

“We’re looking for draft homes for our hounds and we hope that Paul [Saunders] will find a new position within hunt service, because he’s a cracking huntsman.

He gives us some very good days, despite the obvious constraints of railways and motorways,” she added.

A number of H&H forum users went online to say it was a “sad day for hunting“.

But Tim Easby, director of the Hunting Office, said hunts need to consider their long-term viability.

“This is excellent progress and the hunts are to be commended on the mature way that this has been dealt with,” he said.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (3 August 2012)