HUNDREDS of people turned out to see the Pendle Forest and Craven Hunt set off from its traditional Boxing Day meet at Gargrave.

Hunt followers and villagers, including adults and children, gathered to see the hunt meet at about 11am on the village greens before following an artificial scent trail across the surrounding lanes, tracks and countryside.

And, following the recent cold snap and heavy rain, the hunt enjoyed a mild and sunny day for traditionally one of its busiest meets of the entire season.

The hunt, based at Coniston Cold, meets twice a week during the hunting season, on Tuesdays and on Saturdays, following scent trails laid across the border of Craven, North Yorkshire, and Lancashire.

With the co-operation and help of farmers and landowners, the hunt says it is privileged to have access to countryside usually out of bounds to the public, and all of it over grassland.

It encourages children and young people to come along on their ponies, including on lead reins, and has a junior representative to accompany first-timers and the nervous.

The hunt also stages social events and in the spring of every year stages its main fundraiser, Skipton Races, a point to point races event at Heslaker Farm, between Skipton and Broughton.

The event includes an amateur flat race where riders on horses and ponies of all shapes and sizes race along a reduced course for charity.