HUNT: Why gather at the reserve?

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My Boxing Day walk at Branton Lakes Nature Reserve was marred by the presence of a pack of foxhounds and the huntsman in full hunting pink.

He said he had permission to be there so I walked on. I then realised that the entire hunt was grouped on the Powburn to Branton road adjacent to the lakes.

It seems unlikely that the hounds were following a scent trail as, if this was the case, the hunt would have been in pursuit.

After many of the ducks, geese and waders currently resident on the lakes took flight, the hounds and huntsman eventually left the reserve and the hunt rode off.

I would be interested in a response from the Master of the Hunt, Hedgeley Estates which runs the nature reserve, or the Carr-Ellison family who own the land, as Branton Lakes is a designated nature reserve and conservation area and is highly valued by those of us who regularly walk there and respect the wildlife.

Ros Hoskin,

Whittingham