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Norm Fine's Blog

NormanDo you know what “Forester’s Corn” is? (I’d be exceedingly impressed if you did!)

In the Lake District of northern England, during the eighteenth century, a custom by that name was practiced in which the bailiff kept dogs for the hunting and destroying of foxes and other vermin. The bailiff in the neighborhood of Patterdale received forty quarts of oats from every tenant for providing this service.

This little bit of hunting history was but one small gem gleaned from a story in a wonderful website we just discovered—Lakeland Hunting Memories—which I particularly commend to you. Whenever we find a worthy site we add it to our “Links We Like” directory (see left-hand column on the Home Page). This site, all about hunting in the Lake District of northern England, is beautifully written and sensitively presented by Ron Black in Cumbria, UK.

"I am a native Lakelander with roots going back to 1700, the fourth generation to follow hounds, with ancestors who stood on the cold tops at dawn, moved the heavy Lakeland stone to free trapped terriers and also carried the horn on occasions,” writes Black. “I hope this site is of interest to you. Hunting will not come back in the foreseeable future, perhaps not at all, but for three hundred years hunting and the church were the central thread to many communities. This is a part of the story."

Following the foot packs over the rocky crags was not for the weak of heart nor the weak of limb. The site offers fascinating stories and old photographs of hunting memories, archeological mysteries of the area (fox traps), geology (borrans), Lakeland hunt songs, bibliography, and a great deal more.

Ron Black has graciously agreed that we may re-publish bits and pieces from his website from time to time. In the meantime, visit his site; you won’t be disappointed.

Posted April 28, 2011

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