Pendle Forest and Craven Harriers move to new kennels

  • The Pendle Forest and Craven Harriers are moving kennels at the end of this season and hope to “bring hunting to a new public”.

    Hounds have been kept on the Gisburn Park Estate for the past 62 years, but with the lease up, the hunt’s 36 couple will be moved to the Coniston Estate, and complete the set-up there.

    The Coniston Estate, owned by the Bannister family, holders of the Pendle mastership since 1977, already has a shooting range, falconry centre, archery and a driving range.

    Joint-master Tom Bannister, owner of the Coniston Hotel, also on the estate, said: “It’s about trying to keep hunting going and bringing it to a new public.”

    The Bannister family is funding the conversion of farm buildings on the estate into kennels for at least 30 couple. The hunt hopes hounds will move at the end of the summer, once accommodation for huntsman Richard Lloyd has been built.

    Mr Lloyd told H&H he is looking forward to the move.

    “The old kennels needed a lot of repair, so it’s just more practical to move, and we’re building exactly what we need,” he said.

    “Where we are now I have no option but to walk out hounds on the road — there are no roads on the estate.”

    The hunt has 25 couple of entered hounds, and 11 couple unentered — it has not bred this spring because of the move.

    Mr Bannister added that the kennels would be open at their new site at various times to allow the public to visit — and even join in walking out hounds in the mornings.

    “One of my other joint-masters, Jane Pighills, who looks after the hunt horses, is planning to do hirelings at a later date, too,” he added.

    This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (19 March, ’09)

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