Mid Wales

Brecon Beacons foot-and-mouth fence to come down

A fence put up on the Brecon Beacons during the foot-and-mouth crisis must be pulled down after the Welsh Government refused planning permission.

Campaigners have welcomed the decision saying it was an eyesore.

But graziers said it was important if they were to manage the land effectively.

The fence stretches for more than four miles (6.4km) across the Brecon Beacons, through some of the remotest parts of the mountains.

When foot-and-mouth disease arrived in Wales in 2001 every flock on the Beacons was culled.

Edwin Harris, who lost about 1,000 sheep to the cull, said everything on the Beacons had changed since foot and mouth.

Keeping the fence would help farmers manage the grazing, he said, and without it diseases like foot and mouth could spread easily once more.

"It still serves its purpose as a disease control, and we think that's one reason why it should stay," added Mr Harris.

But Michael Rolt, of the Open Spaces Society, said people had a right to roam over the Beacons.

"It's an enormous intrusion into the rural scene across these wide open spaces, and it's also a barrier to physical progress," he said.

The Welsh Government has refused the fence permanent planning permission, but it is yet to be agreed who will enforce its removal.

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