As soon as everyone starts to couple up and have children, meeting new people gets harder," she says.Muddy Matches is an online community designed to bring together rural lonely hearts (see below)."People come from all over the country and there's a seating plan done by area to combat cliquiness," Lucy says.Party-goers stay in nearby hotels and can join a pre-ball activity and a hearty walk the following day.
"The fuel bills are horrendous sometimes but at least you can get easily from door-to-door," she says.Horsey girls aren't that bad really." It shouldn't be difficult to meet a like-minded person in the countryside, given that there is a structured calendar of rural social events, including races and point-to-points.But according to Patricia Warren, a farmer's wife from Derbyshire who runs the Country Bureau, a rural introduction agency, the country dating scene can be bleak, whatever age you are."Single friends will also give you moral support if you're feeling depressed about meeting the third frog in a row." If you've been brought up in a country community, the chances are you will already know a lot of the people living locally.According to Patricia Warren, this can make socialising stale. Two of Charlotte's friends organised a singles party on Valentine's Day and 70 people turned up.It turned out my parents knew his parents and I was friends with his brother." However, in the past five years, social networking sites have revolutionised rural dating."When I think of traditional dating agencies in the countryside, I imagine women in spectacles wearing tweeds and lots of underwear," says Sarah Beeny, founder of dating website My Single Friend.Following many enquiries from Land Rover Burghley fans, the solution to all those last minute present dilemmas has now arrived; Land Rover Burghley Gift Vouchers.People often ask why Charlotte Martin hasn't got a boyfriend."Communities are small and people work long hours," she says. "I've gone to so many hunt balls this year, I've become a bit of a joke among my friends."There are amazing men out there who want a wife and children but feel as if they've been sitting on a tractor for the last 10 years and haven't met anyone." Charlotte, however, is socially proactive. But it's rare to be introduced to a new face and even if I am, the likelihood is that they'll know my friends." For many rural communities, the hunt ball is an annual highlight, organised ostensibly to raise money for the local hunt, but presenting locals with a rare opportunity to dress up and swing each other around on the dance floor.