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6 - 9 June 2019

Appleby Horse Fair

UPDATE: River Eden access ramp reopening at Appleby

2.40pm - 9/6/19

UPDATE: The ramp access to the River Eden will reopen shortly.

The ramp was closed yesterday morning (8 June) and has remained closed this morning (9 June).

However, following a meeting of the MASCG early this afternoon, the decision has been taken to reopen the access.

The factors involved in deciding if the ramp river access is open are:

• The height (depth) of the water
• The speed the water is travelling
• How unclear the water is
• The temperature of the water, and
• The condition of the river bed

Chair of the MASCG, Matthew Neal, Director of Corporate Services at Eden District Council, said: "Following our latest multi-agency meeting this afternoon we have found the factors which led to the decision to close the ramp have improved sufficiently to allow for it to be reopened.

"The ramp provides people who wish to enter the river to wash their horses with a safer method of doing so.

"However, all members of the MASCG would stress that there is always a risk to safety when someone chooses to enter the river and anyone making the choice to go into the river does so at their own risk.

"People should also be mindful of the potential for unseen debris below the surface of the water and so are advised to take extra care.

"Finally, I would like to thank everyone for their patience and respecting the advice to stay out of the river."
 

 

 

 

UPDATE: 10.30am, 9 June 2019

 

The ramp access was closed all day yesterday (Saturday) on safety grounds following heavy rainfall. 

Regular monitoring of the river has continued.

The first priority of the MASCG is public safety.

Factors which will influence the decision to keep the ramp closed or re-open access are:
• The height (depth) of the water
• The speed the water is travelling
• How unclear the water is
• The temperature of the water, and
• The condition of the river bed

At this time the river remains unsafe for people and animals and the ramp access remains closed.

However, the picture is improving and there is the potential for the river ramp access to be reopened early this afternoon (June 9).

Any changes to the status of the ramp access will be communicated promptly.

The MASCG would like to thank people for respecting the warning messages yesterday and staying out of the water. People are urged to continue to stay out of the river whilst the ramp is closed.
Chair of the MASCG, Matthew Neal, Director of Corporate Services at Eden District Council, said: "The current forecast suggests the River Eden access ramp is likely to reopen early this afternoon.

“Hopefully the picture will continue to improve and we will be in a position to remove the barriers, which will provide a nice end to the fair for all.”

The RSPCA would like to continue to request people do not bring dogs to the Fair. Dogs must not be locked in cars, particularly with warmer weather expected today.

 

Previous update: 10.15am, 8 June 2019

The Appleby Horse Fair Multi-Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group (MASCG) has this morning (8 June, 2019) taken the decision to close the ramp access to the River Eden on public safety grounds.
 
The rivers levels in Appleby are monitored constantly throughout Appleby Horse Fair.
 
Following heavy rain on Friday night into Saturday, the river levels were found to have risen above 0.5m.
 
The MASCG would also like to strongly advise people not to enter the water for the safety of themselves and their animals.
 
This decision was reached based on the following assessment factors:
• The height (depth) of the water
• The speed the water is travelling
• How unclear the water is
• The temperature of the water
• The condition of the river bed
 
The primary factors in reaching the decision to close the ramp access were the depth of the water, how quickly the river is running and the poor visibility of the water beneath the surface, with the potential for unseen debris under the surface.
 
Chair of the MASCG, Matthew Neal, Director of Corporate Services at Eden District Council, said: "The top priority of every agency which sits as part of the MASCG is always public safety and the preservation of life.
 
"Any time any person or animal enters the river there is risk involved. However, now the river levels have risen above the 0.5m level, the different agencies have taken action to keep people and animals safe.
 
"We urge people to heed this warning and stay out of the River Eden on the advice of the MASCG agencies. This advice also applies to other access points within the Appleby area, including Jubilee Ford "
 
The river levels are under regular review and if they do fall back to a safer level, the MASCG may take the decision to reopen the access ramp. However, the current forecast is this is highly unlikely to occur today (Saturday).
 
There is also the potential for the river levels to remain above 0.5m into Sunday. However, the river levels are being regularly monitored and any changes to the status of the ramp access will be communicated.
 
The RSPCA  is urging people to heed the advice and to not to take horses into the river as it is currently unsafe for people or animals.

Chief Inspector Rob Melloy said: "If anyone takes or attempts to take an animal into the water they may be committing an offence under the Animal Welfare Act.
 
"Action may be taken by ourselves alongside the police."