Windsor Great Park is closed!

September 13, 2007 at 12:03 am | Posted in Cattle, Cows, Crown Estate, Deer, Deer Park, Foot and Mouth, Pigs, Royal Landscape, Runnymede, Virginia Water, Windsor, Windsor Great Park | Leave a comment

Update: After writing my post, I found the official statement on The Royal Landscape – Windsor Great Park website, which states:

Latest News

CLOSURE OF WINDSOR GREAT PARK

The Windsor Estate falls within the 10 km radius surveillance zone set by DEFRA today following the outbreak of foot and mouth in Egham, Surrey. We will be co-operating fully with DEFRA on this.

Following recent news from DEFRA that this is a confirmed case of Foot and Mouth, The Crown Estate has decided now to close the majority of Windsor Great Park for general public access, in the interests of protecting tenant farm stock and Crown Estate livestock. The closure is likely to remain in force until further advice has been received from DEFRA suggesting that it is safe to re-open. We will inform the public when the Park will re-open via the local media and our website www.theroyallandscape.co.uk

The areas closed to the public include: The Long Walk from Albert Road to the Copper Horse statue, The Deer Park, The Savill Building and Savill Garden, Virginia Water, Valley Gardens plus all car parks servicing these areas (Blacknest, Wheatsheaf / Virginia Water, Valley Gardens and Savill Garden).

Stag Meadow, the north section of the Long Walk remain open to the public.

In addition, all events due to take place in the Park in the near future have been cancelled including the Ladies 10k run on the 29 September and Windsor Half Marathon on 30 September. The three guided walks due to take place over the next two weeks have also been cancelled.

Our two tenant farms (that are within the 10 km surveillance zone but not the 3 km protection zone) are being kept informed and any changes in the advice we receive will be acted on.

This closure is in addition to the immediate action taken upon the suspected outbreak and the implementation of the following precautionary measures:

– the cancellation of The National Carriage Driving event scheduled for this weekend

– Guards Polo Club ceasing its operations

– closing a number of gates and putting disinfectant pads on all other gates into the park

– shutting the deer park (this includes part of the long walk)

– suspending all horse riding permits

– putting warning signs into position

The rest of my post was written before I found that official statement. However, it still provides useful links, favourite photos, and gives you the context for me putting fingers to keyboard on this topic today. We are living with this sad situation and hope it gets resolved as well as can be expected, soon.

Pedestrians: please stop walking and running yourselves and your dogs in Windsor Great Park! It is closed.

More specifically, the Deer Park around Windsor Castle is closed, and upcoming events scheduled to take place in Windsor Great Park have been cancelled.

Deer resting in the Deer Park around Windsor Castle on 6 April 2007

Hoofed animals in our area need to be protected from the foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Egham. Windsor Great Park, Home Park and Deer Park are in the 10km Surveillance Zone around the perimeter of the farms suffering from this disease. Parts of The Royal Landscape at Virginia Water, Valley Gardens, and National Trust lands at Runnymede, where Radio Berkshire reported car parks were closed this morning.

The Crown Estate has introduced emergency measures including cancellation of sporting events, shows, etc. in Windsor Great Park and Home Park, and closing footpaths in the areas of the Royal Landscape that fall into the 3 km Protection Zone and beyond. See BBC News on Foot and mouth begins to bite for affected events. Unfortunately, the National Carriage Driving Championships were due to take place in Windsor Great Park from Friday 14 until Sunday 16 September 2007. That has had to be cancelled😩

It is definitely best to avoid doing anything that can spread this disease further afield.

Many people may not realise how many hoofed animals we have in this area, and how many related activities take place in Windsor Great Park on a regular basis. Looking back through my own photos from walks on Crown Estate lands, I am quite surprised: there are many different types of horses that pass through the small part of the park surrounding the Long Walk from Windsor Castle to the Copper Horse.

Carriage horses on driving practice in Windsor Great Park 16 April 2006

The deer are located in special gated areas, but are not always strictly separated from riders and pedestrians. They are now. I shall add some pictures to Flickr as I get time, so you might see them appearing in that right hand column soon >>>

Walking to school in Windsor this morning, I reminded the lads that the Queen has loads of cows, sheep and pigs that need to be protected, and there are also wild deer whose families have lived in nearby royal forests since the time of William the Conqueror. These wild animals are in danger from foot and mouth too! Any hoofed mammal is at risk.

Unfortunately, the local radio news is telling us that, although Park Wardens have closed car parks and put signs on some gates, we need to look out for notices in the Surveillance Zone and people seem to be walking in some places they shouldn’t! There is some confusion in our local area, and it seems we need to pass the message on to friends and neighbours that Windsor Great Park and Home Park, including the Long Walk from Albert Road to the Copper Horse, and the Deer Park are basically out-of-bounds now, until the all clear is given.

Please use your common sense and avoid the rural areas concerned—including Royal Landscape close to rural areas—for the time being!

Yesterday’s press release from Defra:

Foot and Mouth Disease confirmed in Surrey

Other Defra pages with all the links you’d need

Declaration of Protection and Surveillance Zones 12 Sep 2007

Local FMD Zones at time of writing per Defra’s Interactive Map on 13 Sep 2007

Thursday’s news on FMD from Slough & Windsor Observer:
Crown Estate asks for public FMD support
Majority Of Festival Events Will Go Ahead

Wednesday’s news on FMD from Slough & Windsor Observer:
National Restrictions After Foot And Mouth Found In Egham
Crown Estate acts to curb outbreak
Foot and Mouth confirmed
Slough and Windsor in Foot And Mouth control zone

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