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Hunt protest travels from John O’Groats to London

Nine men and seven women with a common interest in "saving the countryside" set out at dawn last Monday from a rainswept John o' Groats to run 800 miles to London.

They each ran 10 miles every 16 hours for the next five days and, blisters allowing, were scheduled to arrive in time to join the Liberty and Livelihood march on Sunday. The participants included an artist, a female hunt master, a forester and an oil worker and all share a passion for foxhunting.

One of the participants, Caroline Innes, 45, a mother of three and joint master of the Duke of Buccleuch's Hunt, said she was motivated during her six weeks of training by the "unjustified" ban on hunting in Scotland.

Another runner, Annie Finch, 48, a farmer's wife, said she was taking part "to keep freedom of choice and liberty and livelihood in our beautiful countryside".

Allan Murray, director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said the relay demonstrated the strength of feeling among country people.

Money from the sponsored event will go to The Back Up Trust, a charity that helps people with spinal injuries.