Following the amalgamation of the two hunts, we now have a very large country, although unfortunately a lot of it is not huntable as a result of the inexorable encroachment of roads and railways and the general urbanisation of the countryside.
When Jack Champion started hunting hounds in 1947, there were only four people to warn between South Park and Four Elms - there are now over seventy for the same days hunting!
The hunt country runs roughly from the M23 in the west to Hadlow in the east, and from the Isle of Grain in the north down to Fletching in the south. This is an area of approximately 42 miles east to west by 30 miles north to south.
The landscape ranges from the marshes around St. Mary
Hoo, across the chalk of the North Downs, into the High
Weald of Kent and down onto Ashdown Forest. The going
ranges from free draining sand to the heavy Gault clay,
the scenery from the open heathland of Ashdown to the
conifer plantations of Sheffield Forest and to the
We have built many hundreds of jumps over the years, varying from full-blown hedges to Tiger traps over ditches to removable slip gates. Whilst it is a lot of fun to jump between fields, the main purpose of our jumps is to help us get about the country quickly when hounds are running.
We are not a drag hunt with the sole purpose of jumping fast and furious - indeed we have several regular followers who never jump, and there is often a way to get around without leaving the ground if you don't want to. There are also hunting days where we do not do a single jump.
The British countryside as we see it today is the result of thousands of years of management by man. Farming practices have shaped the landscape, as has hunting over the past several hundred years.
A "forest" strictly speaking is not a wooded area, but an area of land that was set aside for the purposes of hunting. A very good example in our hunt country is Ashdown Forest - this is not a heavily wooded area and was once the hunting ground of kings. Though we no longer hunt the Fallow deer here we still hunt there every season.
With the development of foxhunting and growth of shooting as a sport, woodland and other management has developed to improve habitats for quarry species. This has had a positive impact on the local biodiversity, benefiting both the fauna and flora by positive management.
Many meets are Lawn Meets. Lawn meets are given to us at the start of the day by the landowner, and often include generous amounts of food and liquid refreshment of varying degrees of alcoholic strength! Other meets may be held at supporting Public Houses.
Parking at meets is varied - sometimes everybody can park at the same place, at other times it is a case of finding somewhere nearby and hacking. Details about parking can be had from the Hunt Secretary.
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