28 April email from Dennis Trent, Coordinator of the Winchester Convention:
CONFERENCE UPDATE CONFERENCE UPDATE CONFERENCE UPDATE CONFERENCE UPD
While foot and mouth remains a problem in Britain, the good news is that every indication is that it is on the way out. I have been in contact again with English Heritage who run Stonehenge and IT IS OPEN. There are some restrictions, such as we will have to stay on the path and therefore may not be able to go all the way around the site and we will have to walk through some disinfected straw to get there, but they are still willing to open it for us and we will still have access to it. It is also likely to be relaxed more before the conference dates.
There is more good news! Much of the countryside is open. You can walk on virtually any of the country roads and many paths. The only thing you cannot do is walk through the footpaths that go through farmers fields and even many of these are open depending on which part of England, Scotland or Wales you would like to visit. All of the country pubs and the vast majority of the country bed and breakfasts are open. The best news is that since people have been scared away from visiting England, the prices are getting quite low as innkeepers try to lure customers back. That makes this a very good time to visit England, especially Winchester. (And while you are at it, there just happens to be a very interesting conference at King Alfred’s College you might want to attend!!)
If you want to find the latest on what is open and what is about to open, check out the following websites: www.nationaltrust.org.uk and www.openbritain.gov.uk the latter of which has a listing of those English heritage sites which are open and which are closed at www.english-heritage.org.uk/news-events/news/ExpandedResult.asp?Id=223 which is continually updated.
Foot and mouth is not harmful to humans. Britain has the most rigid food quality control in Europe and the food here, both meat and vegetable, is the safest of anywhere in Europe. This year provides the ICP with a golden opportunity to recover from past events. Support the ICP while having a rewarding personal and professional experience by joining us for A Knight in Winchester.
A 29 March email from Dennis Trent, Coordinator of the Winchester Convention:
I have been receiving a number of emails concerning the status of the ICP Conference due to the foot and mouth situation. As of yet we have no information that the Hoof and Mouth epidemic will affect the conference.
English Heritage has not informed us of any closures, so as far as we areaware, Stonehenge is still on. Most of the epidemic is in Cumbria (on the Scottish border) and Devon (Southwest of Winchester). Clearly we are watching the situation, but the government is spending a lot of time and energy to let people know that the countryside is still open. We have been advised that there is no current need to cancel the conference.
We may ultimately have a lower attendance because of the concerns, but Ihave emailed everyone on the ICP database that Ernest sent me to remind them of the extended date and will email them again on the foot and mouth situation. We are watching the situation closely and will advise if there is any change, but none is foreseen. Please let others know that the conference is still on.
Dr Dennis R Trent
ICP 2001 Convention "A Knight in Winchester"
8-12 July, 2001