Last week, the South Wolds hunt met at South Ormsby. Whilst they no longer chase foxes, they still turn out for regular meets. Drag hunting involves dragging an object over the ground to lay a scent for the hounds to follow. They are often considered to be faster, with followers not having to wait while the hounds pick up a scent, and often cover an area far larger than a traditional hunt. The hunt organise several trails with sacks dragged by a horse, quad bike and on foot to lay a scent.
The Field Master ready
with the South Wolds hunt
South Ormsby Estate was designed for
hunting with its good hedges for jumping
Fifteen couples of hounds (they count them in twos to make sure there are none missing on the chase) led approximately 20 riders in the hunt. About 40 people came to see the spectacular sight and watched as they rode off across the Estate following the Field Master, who wore the Scarlet Jacket. The Huntsman carries a horn that is used to control the hounds, which although are Modern English can trace their bloodline back to 1820. Hounds are trained from an early age (from as young as 6 to 8 months old) and the Huntsmen exercise them daily covering between 15 to 20 miles. It is the Whippers-in job to ensure that roads and paths are clear to ensure the safety of the hounds.
Despite the murky weather everyone was in good humour and enjoyed a good day out. Apparently, South Ormsby is one of the best hunt venues in the Wolds as the Estate had been designed for hunting, offering good hedges for jumping and scenic vistas to enjoy. The hunt ended with a meal at the Massingberd Arms.
Delicately adding the gold
leaf to the window shutters
The doors in the basement
needed a coat of paint too
Back at the Hall, the painters and decorators are still with us. They have been doing some routine painting work on the doors in the basement but carrying out much more intricate work in the drawing room. The shutters there have been repainted with dusky pink borders to the central panel sections. They have then had gold leaf paint reapplied to provide the narrow line that edges the pink.
In the Parklands, the wet weather created some further drainage issues. The cattle grid on the South Drive flooded and the guys from Pell Plant Hire were drafted over to see if they could solve the problem. They dug out the sides and found drainage pipes going out of the space beneath the grid but they weren’t connected to anything. A digger was brought in and channels dug to allow the water to be channelled into a soakaway via a French drain.
Work was carried out to resolve flooding issue on the South Drive
Ecologists from RammSanderson
surveying the lake in front of the Hall
Ecologists, RammSanderson have been doing a lake survey and are interested in the velocity of water flowing in and out of it. Paul, our Estate Manager and Craig, our Hall Steward, took part in the initial survey and are going to monitor the flow on a regular basis. Velocity and temperature are the two key elements to be considered.
We were delighted when one of the Pell Plant Hire guys, who was a keen fisherman, realised we had quite a few brown trout in our beck. He has been feeding them and we even managed to get video footage using a Polaroid lens.