Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Young Poacher

With the sun obscured by the clouds & fog I caught fleeting glimpses of the Peak District countryside as I enjoyed a free ride on my way to work. Conversation flowed easily between myself, the driver and a fellow passenger as the miles ticked by, all of us were enjoying the commute and with little traffic on the roads good humour and past tales were shared.

Our driver recounted growing up in the countryside of the area and as a boy had lived with his family close to the land owners estate. Passing by a small river he told us of his desire to fish the rivers on the Dukes land, but as his family were ordinary working folk the fees to buy the "rights" to fish were well out of their means. He also mentioned that for a while he did not have a fishing rod either but undeterred he would sneak onto the private lands and down to the river to tickle trout.

On one occasion he slipped up and was caught by the game keeper. Hauled back to his parents house he was presented back to his father on the doorstep and received a telling off & a clip around the ear in view of the gamekeeper. Once the door was shut his father said "sorry about that lad, did you have any luck with the trout," he replied that he had, and his catch was safely hidden in his inside coat pocket. Much to his fathers approval it had appeared that dinner was as fresh as it came that night.

His brief tale brought a smile to my face and also triggered many fond memories of enjoying the outdoors as a child. I couldn't resist telling it here. As more of the countryside comes under threat from urban sprawl, development, increasing population and sell offs, I wonder if a few stolen moments on privately owned countryside will be the way it is enjoyed by those without the funds to pay for the privilege.

(Should you ever pass this way, thank you for the tale and for the lift John)


  1. ...greetings owl! ~ what a wonderous tale! ~ 'tis a very strange thing ~ these laws in regards to the waterways in your country!...
    ...here ~ things are such ~ that the water & forty foot out from the waters edge on either side ~ is free passage to everybody ~ there are NO private holders of the WaterWays!...
    ...thankyou for sharing your friend's tale! ~ blessed be to you all!...
    ...i bequeath a sonnet for thee...

  2. The UK does have rivers/waters that are open access to the public but some are within private lands and often fishing rights (or moorings for boats) need to be bought. It sounds like you have a better arrangement in Queensland for the public. As always thank you for the sonnet and your appreciation.