This is the official news release - John, could you please forward this, you might like to post it on the Fishing page too.



1st March 2001


Severe restrictions on the activities of National Park Authority staff and
the general public will be reinforced this weekend to protect Lake District
farms from foot and mouth disease. Anyone who ignores notices and uses a
closed right of way will be breaking the law and could face a fine of five
thousand pounds.

"The weekend will be a test of the conscience of walkers, cyclists and day
trippers," said Paul Tiplady, National Park Officer. "No-one can plead
ignorance of the crisis now and we all know that this virus spreads
frighteningly easily. Even if you have not been near livestock recently the
restrictions apply to you, your car, even your dog. If you love the
countryside stay away from it for now."

The daily routine of National Park Authority Rangers, Voluntary Wardens and
Estate Staff has come to a standstill. Hedgelaying, walling and other
repairs, however urgent, have all stopped; public events, school trips, and
the daily fell-top conditions report are not taking place. Staff have been
diverted to putting up thousands of closure notices, taping off parking
areas, manning entry points to the countryside to turn away visitors and
staffing and information helpline. All National Park Authority vehicles are
disinfected regularly and staff are only going onto farmland with the
express permission of the farmer.

The National Park helpline is operating between 9am and 5pm every day. It is
0845 6014068. There is recorded information on the NPA's weatherline 017687
75757, which is not being updated with a felltop condition report, because
of the foot and mouth situation.

All eleven National Park Authorities in England and Wales have imposed
similar restrictions, including the closure of the 186-mile Pembrokeshire
Coastal Path for the first time in its history, and the closure of boat
moorings in the Norfolk Broads.


1. The law closing rights of way comes under Section 75 of the Animal Health
Act 1981. Offenders would be tried in a magistrates court and the maximum
penalty is a 5,000 fine.

2. More information about the Lake District National Park and the work of
the National Park Authority on our website:

3. The Lake District is one of a family of 11 National Parks. They are:
Brecon Beacons, the Broads, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Northumberland, North York
Moors, Peak District, Pembrokeshire Coast, and Yorkshire Dales.
For further information please contact Emma Dewhurst, NPA External Relations
Manager on 01539 792671; or Mike Ashton, NPA Communications Officer on 01539