BOXING Day fox hunts this year promise to attract more people than ever before as citizens register their support for the "sport", according to the Countryside Alliance.

It has been a turbulent year for fans of the embattled activity with Government plans for a ban on hunting with hounds mentioned in the Queen's speech.

The Countryside Alliance is planning to mobilise support for hunting with an open invitation to the public to join traditional Boxing Day hunts across the country, including Cumbria's famous fell packs.

Countryside Alliance chief executive: "Hunts are proud of their way of life and the good they do for our countryside, wildlife, communities and the rural economy. That is why they encourage people to join them, not just on Boxing Day but throughout the year, and why more people are hunting now than ever before".

Boxing Day hunts in this area are: Coniston Foxhounds meeting at Market Cross, Ambleside, at 9.30am; North Lonsdale Foxhounds meeting at Crown Inn at high Newton at 9.30am; Lunesdale Foxhounds meeting at the Dalesman Inn, Sedbergh at 10am; Ulverston Foxhounds meeting at The White Lion, Patterdale, at 9.30am; Blencathra meeting at Market Square, Keswick at 10am and Wensleydale Foxhounds meeting at Hawes at 10am.