The Countryman's Weekly


October 11
08:08 2017

WEB2-11-10-17A day with the Coniston Foxhounds

By David Egan.

THERE is nothing quite like the haunting sound of a Huntsman’s horn echoing down an ancient, misty valley in a part of the country where ancient glaciers appear to have purposely carved the landscape for hounds to run and Huntsmen to follow. This was the scene when I spent a day with Michael Nicholson and his Coniston Foxhounds in late August.

Set among the precipitous lofty fells and mountains of the southern Lake District, the Coniston Foxhounds are one of the seven fell packs of the English Lake District, having served the livestock farming community continually since 1825. Before that time there were several packs of hounds around the High Furness area and into the central area of what is now Cumbria.

Originally a pack of harriers by a James Gaskarth of Coniston Hall; a farmer and a butcher who, as legend says, inherited his hounds in lieu of a debt. For many years the pack hunted hare and fox but gradually turned solely to the sly one.




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