West Lulworth

a Registered One-Place Study and part of the Dorset OPC network

News - 2001

Daily Echo - 22 October 2001


ANGRY Dorset villagers are demanding action after 10 tonnes of mud swept through their small community.

The people of West Lulworth blame intensive farming practices and are demanding action to stop a repeat of the incident.

They claim that the mud was swept from fields surrounding the village following heavy rain at the weekend.

It flowed through Church Road and swamped the post office and local store.

Shopkeeper, James Eyres, was forced to close his business while the clean up operation got underway.

Mr Eyres, who runs Store Plus and the village post-office, claims the mud originated in fields at the top of the hill close to Lulworth Camp, which is nearly a mile away.

He claims that intensive farming means that two crops are now regularly grown on each field throughout the year.

Because there are no roots left in the ground over the winter and because the fields have no hedges and ditches, Friday night's rainstorm sent a huge torrent of mud and water off the fields, down the hill and into the village, piling up outside his store in Church Road.

The villagers have now started a petition calling on landowner Weld Estates to stop the practice.

"I lost a lot of my early morning custom because we couldn't get into the shop. It was nearly two hours before I had managed to clear a path," said Mr Eyres.

"It was such a mess. Some of the water got into the shop as well. Elderly people could not get to the shop even when it was opened, so it has affected a lot of people.

"Several people have also had punctured car types because there was a lot of sharp flint washed down onto the road with the mud."

Mr Eyre added: "It makes me so angry and the other people in the village feel the same. The hedges and ditches have disappeared so when it rains, mud is sent pouring onto the road. It is a terrible situation and a real headache for me."

Mr Eyres says the fields are on land owned by the Weld Estates which are leased to a farmer.

No-one was available for comment at the Weld Estates.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service crews dealt with numerous flooding incidents after Friday's downpour and thunderstorm.

Firefighters dragged furniture and valuables to safety when flash floods hit a home in a village near Dorchester.

Crews from a fire service Land Rover were called into action at Pear Tree Cottage in Tincleton.

The rescue mission came as firefighters were called to nearly 20 homes threatened by floods in Dorset.

Crews also faced emergencies when debris and water blocked roads as well as more calls from worried householders as water levels rose in the day after the rains.

Areas affected included Tolpuddle, Bovington, East Stoke, Winterborne Stickland and Bere Regis.


News Index