Owner bars public access to valley site
An angry landowner has withdrawn public access to his river valley site after two lambs were killed by dogs. Roger Meadows and his family have owned land next to the River Tiffey at Wymondham for generations, part of which is leased for grazing.
An angry landowner has withdrawn public access to his river valley site after two lambs were killed by dogs.
Roger Meadows and his family have owned land next to the River Tiffey at Wymondham for generations, part of which is leased for grazing.
But there have been on-going problems with some dog-owners who totally disregard notices at both ends of a “concessionary” path beside the river and allow their animals off the lead.
The latest incident - which follows an attempt last month to steal a lamb in broad daylight - has proved the final straw for Mr Meadows who has decided to close the path from Frogs Hall Lane to the bridge over the River Tiffey.
He said: “On Friday, 8th May, I was informed by the shepherd that a couple of lambs had been killed on the land to which I allow the public to this concessionary walk.
“The shepherd had been informed by local residents along Chapel Lane that they had seen two dogs running loose on the land with their owners present. By the time the shepherd got to the field he found two lambs dead. He then rang me and I agreed with him that the path would be closed.”
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Public access had been permitted under the national countryside stewardship scheme, and Mr Meadows notified Defra of his intent.
“I rang my countryside advisor and he agreed my action was correct under the circumstances. I informed the police, tourist information office, library and the town council. This path will remain closed to all visitors and local residents as long as necessary to make the minority of dog owners fully aware that they must abide by the notices displayed at all entrances and exits, that they must keep their dogs on a lead at all times whether sheep and lambs are there or not,” he explained.
The route is a popular walk for visitors and locals, including Chapel Lane resident Nigel Richards.
He said: “It is a fantastic privilege that Mr Meadows has allowed the public onto his land for so long. It has given my family and I great pleasure over the years and I am sure many other residents at Wymondham.”
But he found the path closed on Sunday when he went for his usual walk.
“I found to my dismay that the path was closed due to irresponsible dog owners allowing their animals to roam free. It is unfair that so many have to suffer because of a few fools.”
John Wood, chairman of Wymondham's Tiffey Trails Group, was equally concerned by the incident.
“I regret the closure of the path but can understand the landowner's actions. Roger Meadows has repeatedly warned people that if irresponsible behaviour, particularly with dogs, continues he might have to take this course. I hope this will be a temporary closure because it closes off a very attractive and popular circular walk,” he said.