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Stoke-by-Nayland: Hound pack could fold after more than 20 years

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 December 2012

The East Anglian Bloodhounds hunt

The East Anglian Bloodhounds hunt

A HOUND pack which has been hunting across the Suffolk countryside for the past 20 years could be forced to fold if no one can be found to take over the reins of the operation.

The East Anglian Bloodhounds, based in Stoke-by-Nayland, were co-founded in 1992 by Roger Clark. The pack originally formed with hounds drafted from other packs across the UK, but all of the animals are now bred at the premises. The hounds follow the natural scent of a man along designated lines or trails set across the countryside.

But according to Mr Clark’s wife Fiona, who is joint master of the hunt, it could be forced to finish at the end of the season because of the amount of work involved and the cost of keeping the operation running.

She said: “My husband is 66 years old and was one of the original founders of the pack 20 years ago and that’s a long time to sustain that kind of responsibility on a daily basis. People who come along and enjoy the hunt on a Sunday have no idea of the amount of work that goes into keeping it running and how hugely expensive it is.”

The couple had hoped to find some younger hunt supporters who would be willing to take on the pack, but Mrs Clark added: “We have 40 hounds here and this is their home – they have to be considered. This is not something you would pass on to someone else lightly.”

A meeting of hunt members is due to take place in early January and Mrs Clark said she hoped they might find a way to enable the pack to carry on for another season.

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