20 June 2001
National park slams trespass threat

By Fwi staff

THE Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has described threats by a retailer to lead a mass trespass in the Three Peaks area as irresponsible.

The authority received correspondence last week from shop owners threatening trespass unless footpath closures were relaxed.

The authority has since replied setting out its position.

David Butterworth, chief executive of the park, said the threats were upsetting and would only serve to cause a divide in the communities of the park.

“The priority for this authority, and the other agencies, bodies and individuals involved, is the containment of foot-and-mouth disease,” he said.

“Any action that could threaten that would be short-sighted, and anyone taking part in any such protest would be committing a criminal offence and risking a 5,000 fine.”

Over recent weeks the authority has been using a risk assessment process to identify which rights of way are safe to open.

It has also started to make contingency plans for the reopening of areas away from the current outbreaks and is in discussion with all interested parties.

Meanwhile, wild flowers and ground-nesting birds are flourishing on pastures cleared of livestock in the foot-and-mouth cull, reports The Times.

In Cumbria, the county hit hardest by the virus, experts have noted increases in flowers such as Timothy, Cuckoo flower and Bisort.

More Curlews were nesting in fields while Sparrows, Pied Wagtails and Goldfinches were seen feeding on insects.

However, there are fears that some habitats, particularly chalk grasslands, will suffer unless grazing resumes soon.

Six new outbreaks of foot-and-mouth were confirmed on Tuesday (19 June) including four in Cumbria, and one each in North Yorkshire and Lancashire.

  • The Times, 20 June, 2001, page 6

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