THE traditional Boxing Day hunts proved to be successful with hundreds of people lining the streets to greet huntsmen and hounds.

Fore Street in Chard was packed with people as the Cotley Harriers began its annual festive hunt and it was a similar scene in the centre of Crewkerne for the Seavington Hunt.

It is now about four years since the hunting ban was introduced but the pro-hunt lobby claims the revised events are growing in popularity.

A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said: “Boxing Day is the biggest day of the hunting calendar and this year, once again, it was bigger and better than ever.

“Hunts reported to us that the supporting crowds grew as thousands of supporters lined the streets of Britain to support their local hunt.”

Graham Forsyth, of the League Against Cruel Sports, was in Chard to act as a monitor to ensure huntsmen stayed within the law.

“I still find it very strange that in the mists of an economic recession people will turn out and support this sport,” he said.