The ancient sport of beagle hunting is becoming increasingly popular in England and is attracting people from all walks of life.
SV & CU Master of the hunt. (2 shots)
SV Members of the hunt. (2 shots)
CU Hounds out of float, CU whipper in. (2 shots)
SV Hounds surround hunt master as he blows his horn.
CU AND SV Hunters and dogs walk down country lane and master leads way over fence. (4 shots)
LV Hounds following scent.
LV Hunters running behind hounds.
CU Elderly woman and men climb through hedge and barbed wire. (2 shots)
LV Master blowing horn.
LV Startled cow surrounded by hounds.
GV Hounds across open country followed by hunter through hedge and following them. (2 shots)
SV Master watching from behind hedge.
LV PAN Hare running across field.
SPORT: BEAGLE HUNTING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The ancient sport of beagle hunting is becoming increasingly popular in England and is attracting people from all walks of life.
One of the oldest hunts in the country is the Royal Rock Beagle Hunt in the northern county of Cheshire.
Every week about twenty hunt members take to the lovely green countryside, resplendent in their hunting outfits and accompanied by a pack of beagle hounds. But instead of boots they wear knee high socks and running shoes.
For beagle hunting is done n foot - and its participants need to be fit and nimble to keep up with the hounds. The basic principles of the hunt is to release a hare. When it has had a head start man and beast pursue in earnest until it is caught...or more often until the nimble footed quarry completely baffles its hunters and disappears into the undergrowth.
The Royal Rock Beagle Hunt is led by huntmaster, Terence Harvey, a Liverpool solicitor. The master is distinguished from his underlings by the red jacket he wears.
Most hunters admit they only bag about two hares each season. They say they enjoy having around the countryside anyhow because it keeps them fit and happy.
SYNOPSIS: Nearly every week Liverpool solicitor, Terence Harvey, lays aside his business suit and dons his hunting clothes to lead the Royal Rock Beagle Hunt.
This hunt is one of the oldest in Britain and attracts people from all walks of life who enjoy taking part in the ancient sport of beagle hunting.
Their hunting ground is mainly the beautiful Wirral country in the northern English county of Cheshire near the Mersey and Dee rivers. Although the hunters' clothes are similar to those worn by fox hunters they don't wear boots - but long stockings and running shoes.
The main aim of the hunt is for the hunters and beagle hounds to chase a hare until they catch it or it escaped. The chase of the hare with hounds by foot is the oldest form of scent hunting organised as a sport and dates back to at least the Greek civilisation four hundred years before Christ.
The sport has changed very little since then and in Britain is practised almost identically to the way it was in ancient times.
The word beagle is thought to be derived from the Gaelic "beag" meaning small - the beagle hound being only fourteen inches high.
Beagling requires not only stamina but agility. Many of the hunters are well into middle age and seem to enjoy traipsing across the country side and climbing over fences immensely.
Since the beginning of the century the sport seems to have recaptured public interest once again not only in Britain but in the United States. It's not an expensive sport and as well as the obvious attractions of keeping people fit it also lends itself to companionship and a way for people to explore the beautiful country-side which has been so neglected since the invention of the motor car.