A little local trouble

A weekly round-up of rural rumpuses
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The Independent Online
Yorkshire Dales National Park has withdrawn its support for a 200-mile bridle and cycleway across the Pennines. Park authorities say that the Countryside Commission has gone back on assurances that the bridleway's route through the Dales would be negotiated with them. They say the Commission is now refusing to negotiate changes to the route, and have ceased work on their part of the route in retaliation. The Park believes that the trail could use existing rights of way rather than spending pounds 1m on a new route between Settle and Mallerstang. Without National Park support there will be a 25-mile gap in the bridleway's 200-mile route between Matlock and Kirkby Stephen.

The only oyster farm in Wales is to close. Carew Oyster Farm in Pembrokeshire was set up 16 years ago by Joe Folder and his wife, June. Mr Folder, 56, blames the closure on fewer people eating oysters and not enough government subsidies. "We've been having a very difficult time for a number of years. We cannot produce at the same cost as our subsidised neighbours." He said oyster farming was flourishing in Ireland, helped along by subsidies, which in Britain were virtually nil. Last month's Budget, which stopped a number of grants previously available, was the last straw. Mr Folder hopes to develop the couples' naturist camp site nearby instead.

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