Royal visit lifts morale of hard-hit farmersfrom the Farmers Guardian September 28 2001
The Prince of Wales was in Cumbria on Tuesday to show his support for farmers and others most badly affected by foot-and-mouth disease.
His visit came as a new case was confirmed in the county at Barbon in an area clear of the disease since April.
Suspect cases which led to slaughter were reported at Horton-in-Ribblesdale in the Settle triangle in North Yorkshire/Lancashire, at Ross on Wye, Herefordshire and in Devon. A suspect case at Lower Wick, Gloucestershire, was given the all clear on Wednesday.
In Cumbria, the Prince also met a team of business leaders under the auspices of his Business in the Community Rural Action Programme to hear the difficulties facing farmers and to discuss what they can do to help in the regeneration of Cockermouth.
During his visit to Yew Tree Farm, Rosthwaite, Borrowdale, Prince Charles met Joe and Hazel Ralph, tenants of the National Trust of which the prince is vice-president.
Mr and Mrs Ralph run a bed and breakfast business as well as their hill sheep flock and also run a tea-room where they sell vacuum packed lamb and other products from their Herdwick flock. Other NT farmers affected by the outbreak joined the Prince in the tea room to tell him of the impact on their families.
Oliver Maurice, NT director for the North West said: "Most of our tenant farmers have been very badly affected by this outbreak and news of the Prince's visit will give a timely boost to those who met him.
His visit to Cumbria also coincided with claims by former DEFRA civil servant that the fight to contain the disease has been hampered by a catalogue of mistakes by DEFRA
Bryan Munro claimed DEFRA's efforts to stop the spread of foot and mouth were undermined by failure to wash lorries, waste blowing from pyres to adjacent fields, errors over movement licences and other security breaches.
Mr Munro was employed as a temporary field officer for three months from June and says he is still owed around £2000 in wages.