Visitors witnessed an age-old tradition on Beaulieu's first ever Seine Net Fishing Tour.
Keeping Traditions Alive
The river was at high tide and the sun was shining as we headed out for the first ever Seine Net Fishing Tour, conducted by Mr Norris, Beaulieu resident and historian and Sarah Downer, Keeper of Collections.
This traditional method of fishing has been watched and enjoyed by Beaulieu locals for centuries; Mr Norris himself well remembers watching the seine net fishing as a boy and the tin bath they used to collect their catch!
Seine net fishing on the Beaulieu River c.1908
The tour began just after the first haul of the net; we eagerly headed over to the bucket to see what had been caught which revealed…just one fish! The net was then reassembled and taken out by boat to be placed back in the water ready for the second haul. Mr Norris explained to the group how this method works, and then we watched as the boat started to drag the net back towards the bank.
The net was then carefully collected up on the river bank meter by meter and the estate workers freed each fish from the net, throwing back any bass and a lone crab that had hung on to the net, and swiftly dispatching the fish coming back to the house to be cooked.
Seine Net Fishing on the Beaulieu River today
The second haul had 12 mullet, bringing the grand total for the day up to 13 fish! The bucket of fish was so heavy it made its way back to Palace House via car rather than the tour group. Lord Montagu’s cook Dena then had to prepare them ready to be cooked over the weekend for the family; a rather messy and smelly job!
The catch! Photo by Mr Tony Norris, local Beaulieu resident and historian.
Join a Tour
We are running Seine Net Fishing Tours on selected dates during summer 2017. The next dates are:
- Friday 9 June 11:55
- Friday 23 June 10:45
- Friday 7 July 11:00
Find out more about our Seine Net Fishing Tours.