Burgh Castle Fort field closed off due to electric fence fears
A field by the Roman fort at Burgh Castle has been sealed off to the public following concerns over an electric fence at the site.
The Norfolk Archaeological Trust has closed off the field at Butt Lane, which is popular with dog walkers, after people complained they could not see the recently installed fence and warning signs had been removed.
The trust had set up the electric fence after it decided to allow some horses to start grazing on the field as part of a pilot countryside management scheme.
Earlier this week signs had been put up along the field by a dog walker, which said their 12-year-old springer spaniel had to be put to sleep after suffering heart failure after receiving an electric shock in the field.
The trust says the move to close off the field is temporary over the winter and people will still have access to 40 acres of field by the castle site.
Caroline Davison, of the trust, said: “The trust welcomes visitors to Burgh Castle Fort and makes no charge for providing this amenity, but we also are obliged to manage the site under our countryside stewardship scheme agreement, and we are currently piloting horse grazing as part of this.
“The horses will be rotated around the fields on the site over the coming months.
“They are currently in the field next to Butt Lane.
“Rather than closing the Butt Lane field, we hoped to maintain public access by cordoning off the grazing area with electric fencing. “We put signs on every pedestrian gate into the field to alert people to this change, and the grazier installed warning signs on the fencing.
“Unfortunately several of these signs were taken down by visitors and we received complaints that the fence was not visible enough. In view of these concerns, and in order to ensure safety of visitors, dogs and horses the trust has made the decision to close the field to public access over winter while the horses are present.”
Dog walker Lou Denny supported the move to bring the horses to the field and the new arrangements.
He said: “I just think it is something nice to make it more attractive to bring visitors to this area.”
When the electric fence was installed as part of the pilot scheme there were signs saying people should keep their dogs on their leads.