I HAVE lived in Royal Gloucestershire all my life and have been lucky enough to have witnessed some of the events and quaint customs specific to our wonderful county, the woolsack races and Forest tyre throwing amongst others.

There are some events and occasions I haven't yet experienced - the Severn bore and the cheese rolling in Gloucester fall into this latter category.

But this week I managed to ‘tick another box’, so to speak, as I stumbled upon a spectacle I hadn't observed before; a real, live, genuine fox hunt, complete with huntsmen resplendent in their red and black jackets.

Only this wasn't any run-of-the-mill fox hunt. This was a hunt of a differing variety; a hunt that was taking place exclusively on Her Majesty's tarmac highway.

Yes. Imagine my surprise when on my journey home last Monday afternoon, on the A433 Cirencester-Tetbury road, I came upon a large pack of scent hounds, several horseman and supporters on foot, all using the A road as their personal thoroughfare. I was quite taken aback by this most majestic of sights, I must say, but a couple of questions came to mind as I sat there, in the queue waiting for the morass to clear.

Please excuse my lack of knowledge and ignorance as I have two points that require clarification: * I was under the misapprehension that fox hunting, after the passing of the Hunting Act in 2004, had been deemed illegal?

What astounded me was I could have sworn I saw a red fox dash across the A433, with some of the hounds in pursuit. But then, maybe I was mistaken?

* I also understand, according to Section 3(1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, it is an offence "to allow a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place where it is not allow" and "the owner or the person in charge of the dog is guilty of said offence".

Now, these dogs were running wild and unrestrained on the A433, causing cars and lorries alike to swerve and veer sharply off course. Call me an old misanthropist, but I would suggest this is contrary to that Act. However I am open to correction.

Subsequently, I am mystified and need some elucidation. Is this manner of indiscriminate hunt exclusive to Gloucestershire?

All perplexing subject matter, I hope you agree. I trust the good readers of your tome can enlighten me.

DAVE BUNTING Northfield Road Tetbury