Scuffles broke out in the high street as protesters collided with supporters at the Boxing Day hunt. 

Crowds gathered to watch the annual trail hunt parade through the centre of Lewes.

Trail hunting involves laying a scent across the countryside which a pack of hounds then searches for and follows.

Hounds from Southdown and Eridge Hunt were led up the High Street and people on horseback made their way through the town. 

Protesters were surrounded by police as they held signs up.

One sign read: "Hunts not welcome here."

Another said: "Fox hunting is a crime, not a pastime."

Sussex Police attended to make sure the event was safe for spectators and hunters.

They guarded the High Street to allow horse riders through the town.

Once the parade had made its way up the road, the two sides of the street, one mostly filled with supporters and the other mostly protesters, appeared to meet as police tried to keep the groups apart. 

Supporters booed and said "go home" to the protesters who pushed against the police who were keeping them apart.

Prior to the event, a spokesman for Sussex Police said: “We recognise the event is likely to attract many spectators, as well as protesters and police will be present to ensure the safety of the horses, hounds, public and police."

Lewes District Council this year approved a street closure for campaign group Action Against Fox Hunting's Community Foodbank Fundraiser between 11am and noon.

This is the same time as the Southdown and Eridge Hunt usually holds its procession through the town centre, but this year the group went through the town earlier.

The event is controversial and animal rights protesters often make an appearance.

In 2021, one person was arrested when protesters and supporters gathered at the annual foxhound parade, but last year's was deemed "peaceful".

Fox hunting was banned by the Hunting Act 2004 in England and Wales, and the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002 in Scotland.