AN area of woodland will be temporarily shut down in the wake of ongoing issues with sheep worrying.
Uffmoor wood, Halesowen, Worcestershire is set to be closed after being branded one of the Woodland Trust’s ‘most problematic sites’.
Gareth Hopkins, regional operations manager for the Woodland Trust, said walkers had been failing to use the woods responsibly and had weekly complaints that dogs should be kept on a lead.
It came despite an array of gatepost signs warning dog walkers of the woodland rules.
He said there had been frequent incidents where sheep on neighbouring land had been attacked by out of control dogs.
“This is an absolute last resort,” Mr Hopkins said.
“We are very sad to take such severe measures. Out of control dogs and dog fouling have made this wood unsafe, despite our best efforts to work with and educate the irresponsible dog owners.
“We desperately wanted to keep Uffmoor open for all to enjoy.”
Mr Hopkins said site staff had been verbally abused by dog walkers acting irresponsibly and the site had not seen any positive change in recent years. Face-to-face conversations with dog walkers had also had no impact.
“We hope this is not a permanent measure and we extend our thanks to the responsible dog walkers and local people who love and care about the wood. We appreciate their patience and understanding,” Mr Hopkins added.
Other factors included drug dealing, inappropriate sexual activity and the use of off-road bikes.
Farmers Guardian is taking the lead by raising awareness among the British public about livestock worrying and speaking up for our readers’ concerns.