Avon Vale joint master Jonathon Seed says that support for the hunt, which is expecting thousands of spectators at its Boxing Day meet at Lacock, has never been stronger.

The hunt had one of its biggest-ever opening meets this autumn with 120 riders – the highest turnout since the war.

“We would expect to have around 100 riders on Boxing Day and several thousand supporters,” he said. “Support for the hunt has never been stronger.”

The hunt meets at the Red Lion Hotel in Lacock at 11am on Saturday. The High Street and East Street in Lacock will be closed.

The traditional huge crowd is expected in Pewsey for the Boxing Day meet of the Tedworth Hunt which moves off from the Bouverie Hall car park at about 11am.

Spectators arrive from about 10am to get a close up view of hunters and hounds.

Joint master Stuart Sharp said: “We always get a good crowd turn out but it’s impossible to say how many there will be on the day.”