A weekly round-up of rural rumpuses

A former Lord Mayor of Manchester was ordered to remove a dozen huge boulders from a stretch of the Tweed this week. Sir Neil Westbrook brought in the rocks to slow river flow and reduce erosion on his salmon beat near Melrose in the Scottish borders. However, he did not reckon with John Crawford, a local builder who owns the actual riverbed where the boulders, some weighing 10 tons, were deposited. Mr Crawford said the boulders could affect his fishing downstream, and that if every fishing proprietor between Melrose and Berwick dumped boulders in the water, they would create a series of eyesores that would not improve the river at all. The matter is now in the hands of Borders Regional Council.

Farmers near Bradford were warned to get a grip on their sheep. The animals have been wandering on to the roads near Baildon Moor, and a driver narrowly escaped injury recently when he collided with a wandering sheep, which later died. Householders near the moor complain that this is just one in a string of incidents and that the farmers allow their sheep to run free, invading gardens and chewing up plants. They say the root of the problem is Bradford council's refusal to install two cattle grids to keep the sheep safely on the moor, and they are considering legal action.

A row that broke after housing developers built a home over an ancient right of way has been temporarily settled. The solution? The developers will leave open the front and back doors of the semi-detached property at Bitham Park, Westbury, Wiltshire, so that walkers can stomp straight through.

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