Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Turning FMD Burial Site into Woodland

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Turning FMD Burial Site into Woodland

Article excerpt

Byline: By Tony Henderson

It was a dark time for villagers when 138,000 animals were burned or buried near their communities during the foot-and- mouth disaster.

"The smell was nauseating, and blood was leaking on to the road. It was a very upsetting time for everybody," says Helen Maltby, who is chairman of the Widdrington foot-and-mouth disease liaison committee in Northumberland.

But the committee has been working with landowners UK Coal, Northumberland County Council, the Pegswood-based Greening for Growth organisation and Defra to plant 19,000 trees on the Widdrington mass burial site.

It is Helen's hope that the site will become a community woodland, linking into path and cycleway networks in the area which the committee is also working on.

Backed by a Forestry Commission grant, the 33-acre site has been planted with species such as holly, oak, ash, birch, Scots pine, wild cherry, rowan, alder, crab apple and gelder rose.

"It is impressive that something positive is going to grow out of what happened," says Helen, who is co-ordinator for the community-run Wansbeck Toy Library. …

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