Poohcountry closed to prevent the spread of Foot-and-Mouth Disease

March 13, 2001

Many paths and open access land in the UK have been closed by an Order under the Animal Health Act 1981 to try and prevent the spread of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD). East Sussex County Council, along with most other authorities in England & Wales, have made such an Order. Therefore all public rights of way in East Sussex, including the paths to Pooh Bridge at Hartfield, have been closed as has open land such as Ashdown Forest.

Unfortunately this means that visitors to East Sussex will not be able to enjoy many of the sites in and around Ashdown Forest associated with Winnie-the-Pooh until a clearance from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food that the disease is finished. Officers from ESCC are regularly patrolling these sites and Sussex Police will be called if anyone is found in contravention of the Order and they could be subject to a fine of up to £5,000. As yet there are no cases of FMD in East Sussex and there is no danger to the public. Of those animals resident in East Sussex it can only be contracted by sheep, cattle, pigs, deer and wild boar. In the interests of preventing the spread of the disease visitors are asked to stay away from the countryside for the foreseeable future,

For more information on the East sussex County Council website.