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Lamb theft bid 'the final straw'

PUBLISHED: 19:09 07 May 2008 | UPDATED: 14:31 14 July 2010

An irate landowner is threatening to withdraw public access to his river valley site at Wymondham after an attempt was made to steal a lamb.

Roger Meadows and his family have owned land next to the River Tiffey for generations, some of which is leased for grazing.

An irate landowner is threatening to withdraw public access to his river valley site at Wymondham after an attempt was made to steal a lamb.

Roger Meadows and his family have owned land next to the River Tiffey for generations, some of which is leased for grazing. He currently allows public access to part of the site, including a bridge across the river, under the countryside stewardship scheme.

But he said there are on-going problems with some dog owners who disregard notices at both ends of the “concessionary path” and allow their pets to run free, and are verbally abusive when asked not to do so. And he regards the incident with the lamb as the “last straw”.

“It is unbelievable to think that a man - presumably a local resident of Wymondham - would chase a lamb on land adjacent to the River Tiffey for the purpose of taking it home for his children as a pet, or so he said. When approached by the shepherd he stated that one lamb could not make much difference to the flock,” Mr Meadows explained.

“Apart from the criminal act and the loss of livelihood to the shepherd, this so-called gentleman is causing great distress to the lamb and its mother.”

The shepherd intervened before the man was able to catch the young creature which suffered no permanent affects from the ordeal.

Mr Meadows said he had not informed the police, as they did not have the resources to patrol the area. But he is now thinking of withdrawing from the national stewardship scheme, which enables the public to have wider access to the countryside as well as encouraging wildlife to flourish.

He added: “We have had a lot of problems with people allowing their dogs to run riot. It is a minority who are spoiling it for the majority. If this continues then, as landowner, I will have to give serious consideration to the closure of this path, denying locals and visitors access to the paths either side of the Tiffey Valley.”

The route provides a pedestrian link between Becketswell and Chapel Bell, off Frog's Hall Lane.

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