The Avon Vale hounds have been kennelled in the glorious surroundings of Spye Park near Lacock for many years. Previously the hounds lived in kennels at Semington which were sold in order to purchase the current Kennels at Spye Park. The Hunt owns the seven acre site consisting of two detached houses and one flat for staff, an extensive brick built kennels, stables, barns, paddocks and a fallen stock disposal unit. The Hunt have been blessed with excellent relations with the owners of the surrounding Spye Park Estate over many years and thus have easy access to wonderful exercise facilities.
The Kennels are the heart of the hunt organisation and are well maintained by a small, dedicated and hardworking staff.
The management of kennels, welfare of hounds, horses and staff is overseen by Joint Master and Huntsman, Stuart Radbourne.
Day to day management of kennels, staff and hounds is the responsibility of Kennel Huntsman Oli Thompson. Oli is helped by Kennelman, Harry Mayo.
Oli also organises a lot of the maintenance of the hunt country, which includes building fences and bridges, clearing ditches, laying hedges and coverts etc.
A significant part of the work at kennels is the operation of a Fallen Stock service for the farmers and landowners over whose land we hunt. This is a really important part of the thread that binds us all together in this part of the countryside. We are one of the minority of hunts to have undertaken the extensive and expensive work required to comply with the DEFRA gold plating of EU Regulations that now allow us to operate as a Fallen Stock Collection Centre.
We take a large amount of fallen stock within the hunt country and dispose of it on behalf of the farmers whose support we value so highly. The recent installation of an incinerator, funded by members of the hunt, has made the process a lot more efficient and economical.