HUNT enthusiasts in the New Forest marked the first anniversary of a ban on fox hunting by vowing that the "unjust" law would be overturned.

The decision to outlaw hunting foxes with dogs has forced the New Forest hounds to switch to trail hunting, which involves the pursuit of an artificially laid scent.

However, the NFH has forecast that traditional hunting will return to the area eventually. In a rallying cry to members, joint master Paul Ames said: "We're determined that this unjust and unworkable law will be overturned and we must all continue to fight to ensure this happens.

"We will, in time, overturn this bill and bring back to the New Forest what's naturally ours fox hunting."

Mr Ames spoke out as NFH members prepared to move off from Hatchet Mill, near Beaulieu. The meet took place a year to the day after hunting with hounds was outlawed in a move that ended centuries of tradition in the New Forest and other countryside areas.

Switching to trail hunting has ensured the survival of the NFH part of the Forest social scene since 1781.

The League Against Cruel Sports said a "cruelty free" form of hunting had resulted from the ban.

A spokesman said: "Many people who love to see horses and riders in action, but were repelled by the bloody aspect of the sport, now feel they can support hunts that stay within the law."