Thousands pack Wymondham town centre for Boxing Day hunt

Dunston Harriers stage the traditional Wymondham Boxing Day hunt, leaving from the Market Place.

Dunston Harriers stage the traditional Wymondham Boxing Day hunt, leaving from the Market Place. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Thousands packed into Wymondham town centre on Boxing Day to support the annual hunt as debate continues to rage over the Hunting Act, which banned the hunting of wild mammals including foxes.

Around a dozen riders from the Dunston Harriers gathered in the town's Market Place to be greeted by warm applause from the crowd, which had braved the cold and overcast morning to lend its vocal support.

Although the number of horses had been the same as in previous years, the number of hounds participating in the hunt in a 50 square mile area of south Norfolk was less.

Last year, there were around 20 riders and 15 hounds participating in the annual tradition.

Since the hunting ban, introduced in 2004, the Harriers use a form of trail hunting using a quad bike.

Elsie Goodwin, of Vimy Ridge, Wymondham was visiting with her husband Keith and said she had been a regular at the Boxing Day hunt since she moved to the town six years ago.

She did not agree with the ban, but believed it would be lifted once the government had dealt with the more pressing issues facing the country.

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She said: 'When the hunt is out in the fields, I don't agree with 20 hounds getting one fox, but nature's nature and if you come from the country, you have to accept it.

'I don't think that this should be stopped at all because there is too much of a tradition going on. I can't see what's wrong with a few horses and hounds going out.'

Deirdre Martin, from Mulbarton, was visiting with her daughters Georgina, 19 and Rachael, 21. She said: 'It is part of the tradition that should not have been changed by the law, especially if you look at the number of people here that come to support the hunt against those who complain about it.'

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