A VILLAGE pub played host to a Boxing Day tradition which is now in its 16th year.

The Five Bells, in Colne Engaine, staged the Legendary Boxing Day Barrel Hunt on Wednesday.

More than 170 people accompanied by dogs took part as they scoured every nook and cranny of the village in search of hidden beer barrels.

The aim is to find the barrels on a mapped-out route around the village, starting and finishing at the Five Bells.

Team Orbell – made up of Harriet, Emily and Ben Orbell – were the winners of the Champions route, completing it in just 18 minutes.

The junior route winners were Team Warwick – made up of Charlotte Warwick, Matthew Edwards and Luke Edwards – who completed their race in 31 minutes.

Competitors pay to take part in the event, which raised £810 for the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.

Over the past 16 years the barrel hunt has raised more than £9,000 for the charity.

Darran and Caroline Lingley, the owners of the Five Bells, laid on a spread for the competitors after the race, including plenty of mince pies to go around.

This year’s sponsors were Adnams Brewery, Winefantastic, Bookers Cash and Carry and Tidy Gardens.