- By Ron Black
Once upon a time there was a village—now submerged under a man-made lake—in the Mardale valley in the English Lake District. The occupants of the village were shepherds who tended their sheep high on the rugged fells surrounding the valley. Each year they would meet to exchange strayed sheep, and from these humble beginnings The Mardale Shepherds Meet—best-known of all the meets of the Lakeland Fell foxhound packs—began.
Foxhunting Life, through the courtesy of author Ron Black, is pleased to bring you Installment I of The Mardale Hunt, the first book ever written about this famous meet. It is being published here in a series of instalments which you are free to download as PDF files.
“I am a native Lakelander,” writes Black, “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....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."
We think you will be moved by this touching account of life, loss, and hunting in the Lakeland fells.
Posted November 21, 2011