THE NATIONAL Park Authority has issued a plea to the public about the importance of closing gates behind them after seven sheep worth £2,500 died.
Someone using a bridleway in the North York Moors National Park deliberately tied and propped two gates, which had self closing mechanisms, open allowing the animals to escape.
They strayed into nearby woodland and were poisoned – probably by eating ivy or rhododendron.
The incident happened on Sunday 26 February at East Moor Farm at sawdon further down the coast and farm manager, Mike Cleasby, has now put notices on gates with pictures of the sheep showing the consequences of what can happen when gates are left open.
He said: “To deliberately tie open a gate in a field where livestock are kept just beggars belief.
“Not only am I out of pocket for the sheep but I’ve also had to pay to get them taken away and disposed of. This is a case of the good old farmer paying once more for someone’s carelessness.”
The National Park is remaining people to leave gates as they find them and close them after they have gone through, keep dogs on a lead around livestock and during nesting season (March to July) and take notice of warning signs.
Jay Marrison, the National Park Authority’s southern area ranger, added:
“We want people to enjoy the North York Moors but they do need to be mindful that it is a working landscape and actions such as propping gates open can affect others’ livelihoods.
“The stunning scenery and extensive network of tracks and trails don’t happen by chance and farmers and landowners play a big part in looking after the National Park.
“We would urge people to follow the Countryside Code when out and about in the North York Moors.”