Foot & mouth shuts reservoirs

Datchet and Queen Mary already closed, with the threat of many others to follow, reports Andy Rice

Wednesday February 28th 2001, Author: Andy Rice, Location: United Kingdom
Sailors are racing to get their boats out of dinghy parks in the Thames region, following Thames Water's decision to close all reservoirs due to the foot and mouth crisis sweeping the country.

Datchet Water and Queen Mary are amongst the clubs already closed by the ban. Queen Mary's general manager Charles Wand-Tetley told madforsailing: "They've closed us already, and I shouldn't be talking to you now. We should all be out of here by now. Thames Water haven't given us much indication of how long this is going to take."

Mike Whicker, Datchet's club secretary, said he changed the padlock on the gate of Queen Mother reservoir on Tuesday night, after Thames Water ordered him to close the reservoir following a meeting with the Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries. "I understand the RYA is making a big representation to Thames Water to change the situation, particularly with regard to helping the 49er sailors get their boats out of the boat park, as they are an Olympic class," he told madforsailing.

Grafham Water Sailing Club had been in discussions with Anglia Water, but the secretary said the reservoir was remaining open for the time being.

A spokesman from Bewl Valley Sailing Club admitted they had not even heard of the ban, but said he was worried that they too could be closed, as cows are allowed to graze right down to the water's edge.

madforsailing will keep you informed of any developments in the crisis.

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