2 West Cottages
24th July 2001
C.A. Crossley Esq.
Your Ref: CAC/MM
Dear Mr. Crossley
Thank you for your email of 16th July in reply to mine of 3rd July.
I regret to advise you that:
(a) The mats at Craster are still (today) not being replenished with disinfectant regularly. In fact, having been over there almost every day last week, I really dont think they have been done at all in over a week. I went there twice on Sunday, twice yesterday, and have just returned this morning. Not a trace of disinfectant.
(b) There is one very torn green council notice on the gate. There are no notices advising tourists that there are cattle grazing in the field (sometimes they cannot be seen from Craster) and therefore tourists are taking their dogs up to the Castle often not on leads. I have watched this myself. Surely the council can put up a notice No Dogs allowed due to cattle grazing or similar.
(c) I was speaking to a family of visitors on Sunday, who were appalled at the fact that dogs were running around in the field with cattle, and that the disinfectant mats were dry. They had just been to the Tourist Office to complain about this, and seemingly were told by the staff there that they would contact the council on this matter. Have you been contacted by the Tourist Office?
I have attached an article from the Yorkshire Post which I think you will find interesting, especially the last paragraph.
I have no doubt that you will have read the latest scientific reports regarding foot and mouth and the predictions that if it is not eradicated within the next couple of months, chances are there will be an epidemic greater than this present one during the winter.
I now realise that you do not personally have the authority to close footpaths, but I ask that you put forward to your superiors, the lack of biosecurity regarding the footpath from Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle. I am sure you will agree, we need to take every precaution to prevent this virus from returning to Northumberland.
- 2 -
As you know, at my request Alan Beith has been in touch with Councillor Michael Davey, and I am in possession of Mr. Daveys reply to him, which I find totally unsatisfactory. I have asked Mr. Beith to contact him again, but as yet have had no reply.
Please Mr. Crossley, look into the matters I have brought to your attention, even though I regularly go to Craster to check what is happening, I cannot do anything positive. I do not have any council notices to put on the gate, and I do not have any disinfectant to replenish the mats. All I can do is watch and report back to you, which as you know, I have done on many occasions.
There will be an open meeting on the subject of Foot and Mouth Disease at Penrith Rugby Club this coming Friday, 27th July, at 7.00 pm. The speakers will include:
David Maclean M.P. Penrith & the Border
Dr Richard North Research Director in European Parliament
John Gouriet Legal Advisor Freedom for Action
Tom Lowther Cumbrian Farmer
Dr Ruth Watkins virologist
Mike Ash Deputy Leader of Cumbria County Council
Les Armstrong and Will Cockbain of NFU
Andrew Haywood DVM and
Ray Anderson DEFRA Director of Operations in Cumbria.
Bob Cartwright Lake District National Park Authority.
Might I suggest you send a representative from Northumberland County Council, as I do believe a great deal of information will be given from the above speakers, which in turn could help Northumberland prevent reinfection.
I am sure you will agree with me in that we must all do our utmost to contain the foot and mouth virus.