THOUSANDS of people are set to turn out for one of Gwent's longest-running traditions: the Boxing Day hunts.

While this year's will take place on Monday, December 27 because Boxing Day falls on a Sunday, their popularity has endured for over 300 years.

The Monmouthshire Hunt, organised by the Abergavenny Hunt Committee, has been taking place since the 1700s.

Around 40 riders and hounds are expected to gather outside the Angel Hotel on Cross Street, Abergavenny, for the 10.30am start.

The Tredegar Farmers' Hunt will leave at the same time from outside the Tredegar Arms in Bassaleg. This has been the starting point for 62 years, with the hunt then travelling through the Caerphilly and Newport countryside.

While the Hunting Act, passed in 2005, made the hunting of foxes illegal, local hunts go ahead with 'drag hunts' where an item of cloth is dragged to lay a scent for the hounds.

Last year, around 3,000 people turned up to support Gwent's two main hunts, with 2,500 in Abergavenny.