TWO men have made their first appearance in court accused of illegal hunting.

Richard Down, 54, of West Bagborough, near Taunton, and Martin Watts, 55, of Washford, appeared at Taunton Magistrates' Court this morning (August 21) accused of hunting a red deer, with dogs, on January 20 on the Quantock Hills, Bridgwater, with no class exemptions under the Hunting Act 2004.

The defendants, who are members of Quantock Staghounds, both pleaded not guilty and were granted unconditional bail.

The pair, represented by Tim Hayden of Clarke Willmott, will make their next appearance at Taunton Magistrates Court on November 12 for a trial expected to last two days.