with Horse and Hound

A Sporting Tour Through Merry Old….Part 2

Join James Barclay---an ex-Master of five English foxhunts---for Part 2 of his personal and revealing tour of elite hunting establishments through Middle and Eastern England. Barclay went out with twenty-one packs in just two months during the informal season, the last of which on the morning before the first of six Opening Meets. Click for Part 1.

IMG 7031Fitzwilliam huntsman George Adams and hounds with birdman John Mees at the kennel meet, Milton Park  / James Barclay photo

Hunting with the Fitzwilliam is always a treat, especially as my family and I spent twelve very happy seasons there. Although Peterborough is on the doorstep, the Park is beautifully laid out for hunting and many good days are enjoyed there. The kennels are situated on the eastern side of the Park and have a history going well back into the 1700s.

The combination of these hounds hunting with an eagle---[The Hunting Act allows a pack of hounds to flush a fox to a bird of prey]---in close proximity to the action is something we are seeing in all but a few places now and is very much a sign of the times. George Adams has hunted these hounds for over thirty years and is certainly one of the most popular men in his profession. This particular morning was when one realises just how lucky we are. On our side of the Park wall was a great gathering of like-minded  people enjoying something that has taken place here for generations. On the other side is four miles plus of new houses, factories, roads and the roar of urban noise. Is it therefore, not up to us—those who love our countryside and its activities—to encourage and involve those who may never have come across us before? Our worlds may be far apart in one sense, but they are not in another. There may be just a wall between us in this case, but it should never be looked upon us as a barrier.

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