Having worked hard at opening up the country, hunting on the Shotley Peninsular eventually became a little easier although we were somewhat wedged in with it being approximately only four miles wide! We also had to contend with a very intensive shoot who decided rather unfairly that access should be completely denied. This was particularly difficult to swallow as there were hunting connections here which could, if they had wanted to, made life very much easier. However those who farmed the Peninsular could not have been kinder or more supportive. Hunting on early September mornings along the banks of the Orwell and Stour Estuaries were quite something and memories of them are just as vivid as our trips out to Horsey Island. Although this was a part of the world which was not heaving with foxes, there were always enough to make it interesting and worthwhile. It was just a matter of getting to know where to look for them and despite the shoot trying to clear up even the last one, they failed to do so. This came down to the fact that their neighbours had a much better attitude to management of the species than they did. We were helped considerably in this direction by a top class butcher called Peter Hollingsworth. He and his family were well respected in the area and his enthusiasm for the chase and the love he held for the area was a well known fact. This certainly made a difference to me and much less difficult than if I had been going in cold. It also had other benefits as being a single man at that particular time, I greatly valued a pack or two of his sausages to take home after hunting! All in all this had been another very worthwhile experience and it is extremely gratifying to see over thirty years later, despite all the challenges hunting has faced, the Essex and Suffolk Hounds are still welcome on the Shotley Peninsular.
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