DOZENS of riders and hounds will be out in Oxfordshire for traditional Boxing Day hunts.

Despite fox hunting being banned seven years ago, Oxfordshire hunts say thousands will come out to support them.

Following the ban the hunts have to stay within the law by following artificially-laid trails.

Bicester and Whaddon Chase Hound Club will meet at 11am in the field opposite Winslow Hall, east of Bicester, at 11am.

Patrick Martin, of the hound club which has its kennels in Stratton Audley, near Bicester, said up to 60 riders and 35 hounds could take part. He said: “People come because they believe in the traditions of this country and are more than happy to support their local hunt.”

Hunts met in Bicester’s Market Square, on Boxing Day, until 2001, when it was moved to avoid a £1,000 bill from Thames Valley Police and Cherwell District Council, for railings.

Joint master of Heythrop Hunt Simon Lawrance said it will once again meet in Chipping Norton’s Market Place, outside the Fox Hotel at 10.45am on Boxing Day.

He said: “It’s going to be a spectacle.”

Kimblewick Hunt, previously the Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks Hunt, which covers parts of Oxfordshire, is meeting at Cholsebury Common at 11.30am on Boxing Day.