HUNDREDS of supporters turned out today to wave off the traditional Boxing Day Vale of Lune hunt at Tewitfield.

A large contingent of horses and riders gathered The Longlands Hotel for the start of the colourful event.

Boxing Day is the biggest day of the hunting calendar, with more than 250 meets taking place throughout the UK.

The Countryside Alliance predicted around 250,000 people would turn out to support today’s hunts, some of which traditionally take place on foot in the more challenging landscape of the Cumbrian fells.

Although historically a way of hunting down and killing foxes, it is now against the law to deliberately set hounds on the animal.