THE Cotley Harriers and their supporters from the local area are looking forward to the popular annual tradition of meeting in Chard High Street this year.

However, as Boxing Day falls on a Sunday in 2021, they will be in the town at 11am on Bank Holiday Monday (December 27).

The visit will be of a shorter duration than usual, with a ride through the High Street past the Guild Hall.

The Covid support officer for Somerset County Council has advised some precautions for the day - lateral flow tests for all; if you feel unwell, do not attend; respect and protect social distancing; wear a mask and the presence of stewards on the day.

Taunton Vale Foxhounds will hold their Boxing Day meet in the local area around Illminster instead of The Square.

Cotley Harriers was started in 1797 by the Eames family, and the pack is still in the same ownership after seven generations.

It is well supported by local folk, landowners, farmers, and businesses.

Members of the hunt throughout the pandemic have helped vulnerable, isolated and ill rural families with various initiatives, from meal deliveries to phone calls.

An ongoing relationship with the hunt and The Lord’s Larder in Chard resulted in a recent delivery of more than 200 tins to help provide emergency food supplies for people in need over the Christmas period.

Cotley Harries joint master Leisa Lavender said: "With a quarter of a million people usually supporting hunting with hounds over the festive period, the return of this much-loved and social event will be welcomed across the generations.