30 July 2001
City farms open after foot-and-mouth

By FWi staff

TWO city farm attractions re-opened to visitors on Monday (30 July) more than five months after closing because of the foot-and-mouth epidemic.

The City Farm in Tredworth and the Robinswood Hill Country Park, both in Gloucester, had been closed since 24 February because of the crisis.

Manager Derek Brown said he was convinced that the decision to close the sites early on in the crisis prevented the disease reaching either of the farms.

“We had foot-and-mouth within two and a half miles of us at Sandhurst and we also had the smoke from funeral pyres sweeping over the farm,” he said.

“It was like a battlefield all around us, but thankfully all our animals have survived and are fit and healthy.

“We have had piglets and lambs born during the time we have been closed, and now we are looking forward to welcoming people back.

“It has been a very strange time because we were a visitor attraction without the visitors, but that is now all set to change.”

Plans to re-open the sites on 20 June had been postponed on advice from the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

At that time, the department said it would be ill-advised to lift restrictions at the two farms, even though the county had been disease-free for several weeks.

Now, however, the decision has been taken to re-open despite renewed foot-and-mouth fears 60 miles to the west in the Brecon Beacons.

Meanwhile, an organic farm in the Forest of Dean is planning a day of celebrations on Sunday (5 August) to mark its re-opening after foot-and-mouth.

Ragmans Lane Farm at Lower Lydbrook will hosting a Herb Walk for visitors around its 60 acres at 11am and a farm tour at 2pm.

Christopher Robbins, a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, will lead the morning herb walk.

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