The Bottle House PH very generously hosted a meet today for us, providing lovely home cooked sausage rolls, whisky macs and port for the staff and field. The Bottle House is well renowned locally for its excellent food and excellent locally sourced real ales.

The weather was overcast with a slow insistent drizzle of rain. Despite the appalling ground conditions our Masters had opened just about all the local country encompassing Fordcombe, Blackham and Chiddingstone Hoath areas, so a good wide ranging day was on offer and our weather apps promised that the rain would cease.

Initially we moved off towards Fordcombe and hounds were put into coverts on the Chafford Park estate to find laid trails. The ground was very heavy across the stubble fields and progress was necessarily slow. Moving off to Blackham a laid trail was found across Tollhurst Farm and hounds ran well and it was music to the field to hear them going. The trail took us up the bridleway from Nore Farm across a nice timber jump and later a good solid hedge that was inviting with its timber front. We then crossed Moat lane and went across the Carr’s farm towards Brookers. Again hounds found their trail and this one took the field as fast as it could go on the heavy ground with one or two jumps to add interest, until we ended up near the racecourse. By this time the rain had stopped and the sun could occasionally be seen peeping out. To close the day the hounds were taken through the wood leading to Bassetts Lane where a trail was laid and then via Top Hill back to the boxes.