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Countrystride #104: ESKDALE - Living the Fisherground dream which we don the Countrystride shorts for a balmy trip west into sylvan Eskdale to hear about Ian and Jen Hall's 27-year journey to make a success of a Lakeland hill farm. As we set out from the handsome farmhouse at Fisherground – one-time home to the couple, alongside close friends Anne-Marie and Geoff Wake – we learn about the passion that drove both couples (plus family and other animals) onto the farm, and the highs and lows of living the farming dream. Reflecting as we walk on divers matters – from gate stoups to Herdwick rudd; from bathing in the Esk to the thrill of hound trailing – we reach St Catherine's Church, where Ian preached for many years, to reflect on the trauma of Foot & Mouth, making peace with tourism and the brilliantly named, but mechanically flawed, 'Hayter Potatovator'.

Dalegarth Hall in the sylvan valley of Eskdale.

Ian and Jenny Hall outside Fisherground - their home for 27 years.

'Stretcher Crag' above Fisherground.

Harter Fell and Green Crag on the skyline.

Ian, Jen, Dave and Pip the collie cross the meadows.

Ian showcases the stoup 'pivot' - modelled on Roman gates?

And the possible route of the old Roman Road?

The famous stepping stones... and a very low River Esk.

The Girder Bridge... which was once just girders...!

Crystal-clear dub near Girder Bridge.

St Catherine's Church - where Ian preached for many years.


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