A NORTH Lancashire hunt is searching for a fearless fell runner to act as a substitute hare.

The Vale of Lune Hunt has been hunting with its pack of harriers for 110 years.

All that changed last week as the Government's ban on hunting with dogs came into force but the hunt continued its season within the law.

Hourses and hounds set out in pursuit of a new quarry on Saturday a fell runner who was pursued across hills and dales.

And now more volunteers are wanted to act as prey' for the pack.

David Welsh, chairman of the Harriers, says: "The athlete will try to outfox' the hounds by running in streams, over the tops of walls and circling, so the hounds will have to cast for the scent if it is lost. No trail is laid or dragged and the bloodhounds have such a keen sense of smell that they can follow the scent left by the running shoes."

A pack of around 20 bloodhounds have been loaned by a friend of the hunt until the end of the season and they may yet remain with the hunt for years to come, "No one really knows how long they will stay with us, it depends on the result of the General Election and whether the ban on hunting with dogs will continue," said Mr Welsh.

Sadly, the speedy harriers cannot be used to chase the runner because of fears that they will follow their instinct and go after a hare leaving the hunt in breach of the law.

Instead they will remain in kennels to be cared for by the Master of the hunt Clive Richardson.