There has been some concern among listeners about Freddie Pargetter's keenness to follow in his father's hoofsteps and to go 'autumn hunting'. Some people have suggested that we are portraying - even encouraging - an illegal activity.

I'm happy to be able to assure listeners that we aren't.

In years past, 'cubbing' or cub hunting took place before the formal opening of the hunting season in late October or early November. It was a way of training new hounds to scent and chase foxes, and to work as a pack. This activity became known as 'autumn hunting' some time before the Hunting Act 2004 made it illegal, along with mainstream fox hunting.

The hunting that we portray in The Archers is all legal within the act. So in the autumn hunting that Freddie is keen to join, the hounds and riders follow scented trails, not foxes. Nonetheless, hunts keep up the traditions of autumn hunting They go out in early morning or late afternoon, sporting not the hunting 'pink' (actually red), but the more informal mode of dress known as 'ratcatcher'. And the trail is usually laid through woodland rather than open countryside.

We are very aware that hunting is an emotive issue on both sides of the debate, and we always ensure that, over time, a range of views on this topic are aired in The Archers. Jill has already expressed her reservations about her grandson's enthusiam for hunting.

Keri Davies is an Archers (and Ambridge Extra) scriptwriter and web producer.

Tagged with:

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments.

  • Comment number 41. Posted by Martin Crawford

    on 13 Oct 2011 19:48

    Well done Bollynix. A sensible explanation about what actually happens from someone who obviously knows. I notice no comments from the great unwashed! But then logical argument has never been their strong point. Just hysteria and threats make up their limited thought process. Or is there one out there who can string two sentences together without abuse?

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 41: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 41: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 40. Posted by Bollynix

    on 9 Oct 2011 13:34

    I'm ambivalent about fox hunting. I worked as a groom in a hunting yard and have been hunting but, as I say, I'm neither for nor against. However, I must just correct something that was said up thread (up blog?) and its something that gets trotted out everytime the hunting debate rears its head.

    There is the idea that when a fox was hunted it was chased over a very long distance. This is correct.

    However, the fox was not chased by a pack of foxhounds inches from its brush with the mounted field on the sterns (tails) of the hounds. This simply did not happen. The hounds were sent into the covert (a wood, a kale field) where foxes were known to be. A pack of fox hounds, with the followers makes a lot of noise and any fox would have taken it's leave as soon as the 'field' approached. The actual sport was the hounds working together to pick up the freshest scent. One would find the scent and start to 'sing' (bark/howl) its news to the rest of the pack. They would then follow the scent. They would be 15, 20, 30 or more minutes behind the fox. The hunstman and his 1 or two assistants would follow the hounds some way behind. The field of mounted followers were held back by the Master until the hounds are well away then they would go where they were told. They often didn't see the hounds again. 95% of them never saw the fox the hounds were hunting. A few would be there at a kill, but not many. And a kill was quick - the lead hound jumping on the fox and breaking its back before breaking its neck with a bite. Any 'tearing apart' was done by the hounds after death.

    While this may be distastful to many, it is a totally different picture than the one painted so often of fox, hounds, mounted field just yards from each other for the duration of a hunt.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 40: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 40: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 39. Posted by John_Riggins

    on 5 Oct 2011 07:44

    This comment was removed because it broke the house rules. Explain

  • Comment number 38. Posted by Martin Crawford

    on 29 Sept 2011 01:34

    When I was young I was anti hunting and refused to consider any other view.Just following my pack of peers you might say.Then I grew up and decided to find out for myself the pros and cons of both sides. When you do this the argument has to be on the side of hunting as the best form of control. A healthy fox will usually escape and the sick or old foxes ( usually the ones which will attack livestock and have to be controlled) will be dispatched quickly and cleanly. Unlike the shooting option which can lead to a slow lingering death. A lot of hunters and hunt followers are the farmers in the hunt area and it is not the "class war" that the weards with beards (of both sexes) who have hijacked the anti hunt lobby would have you believe. It would be helpful if some of these could also grow up and put forward a coherent argument instead of just parroting the same old phrases and mantras!

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 38: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 38: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 37. Posted by Nemo399

    on 28 Sept 2011 09:57

    Before the hunting ban, the sight of foxes in urban areas dying slowly and painfully from sarcoptic mange was unknown to me. Now I see them on a regular basis. I'm told that there's no connection between these two things, but I do wonder....As for the sight of what happened to the hens in a hen house after a fox got in, that was far from pleasant....nature red in tooth and claw...

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 37: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 37: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 36. Posted by carrick-bend

    on 28 Sept 2011 06:19

    Yes, much more humane for the foxes, if individuals become a problem to farmers, to be shot and often have a slow, lingering death, and for the rural fox population (which has no natural predators) to become visibly more unhealthy, so that seeing old, mangy foxes (the mange is a prevalent disease - I'm not using a slang term) becomes much more prevalent.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 36: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 36: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 35. Posted by Pahnda

    on 26 Sept 2011 19:47

    I'm happy with TA making people aware that the despicable practice of chasing a wild animal and ripping it to pieces for so-called SPORT is still alive and well in rural Britain. I hope that Freddie comes home and says how horrible it was and he never wants to go there again.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 35: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 35: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 34. Posted by tremewan

    on 26 Sept 2011 16:26

    John Lowe writes...."You should not have to explain or apologise for Autumn Hunting (as the lefties will now have us call it). Hunting is a perfectly natural country sport and should be unashamedly promoted within the programme. Jill's attitude towards Freddie's participation is distasteful, to say the least."

    Dismissing all who disagree with hunting as "lefties" betrays a very immature and ignorant attitude. Does he not know that there are Labour supporters who agree with hunting (Melvyn Bragg is only one of many) and prominent Tories (Ann Widdicombe amongst them) who are fiercely anti-hunt? What would Mr Lowe have us call the pro-hunt lobby? "Fascists" maybe? The idea is laughable and shows a lack of understanding of a complex issue.

    Furthermore, to say that Jill's anti-hunt stance is "distasteful" is the worst kind of fascism - in that it doesn't allow for the possibility of an alternative point of view to your own.

    Please, Mr Lowe, accept the fact that whilst you may enjoy it, not all country dwellers (by a long way) support the acceptance of such a barbaric practice.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 34: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 34: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 33. Posted by Chris Ghoti

    on 24 Sept 2011 21:05

    I am now leaving here: it is too much of a bore to get out of here to where I want to be, and I don't think that bothering to check on references is how I want to spend the rest of the weekend. Bye all.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 33: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 33: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 32. Posted by cath

    on 24 Sept 2011 20:51



    And here we go!! You are hilarious OF.

    Who precisely has fantasised about harming children? I have fantasised about Freddie, a tedious little /fictional/ character having his head eaten by a fox. Good job Hillaire Belloc's dead otherwise no doubt you'd have had him hung drawn and quartered.

    I only wish I could truthfully say I 'd eaten three babies for dinner just to get the rise out of you! Ha ha ha ha ha.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 32: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 32: 0
    Loading…
More comments

More Posts

Previous

Next