The story of the 2001 Foot and Mouth Disease epidemic in Britain as experienced in the Cumbria region of the United Kingdom by 50 people directly affected - farmers, farmers' families, a vet, hoteliers, a local Doctor, a slaughterman, school children, telephone help-line counsellors and others in the rural communities of this badly affected, major sheep-producing, county


photo of Foot and Mouth disease epidemic book - FMD Heart and Soul Cumbria UK

"Foot and Mouth - Heart and Soul"

A Collection of Personal Accounts of the Foot and Mouth Outbreak in Cumbria 2001

Paperback - 208 pages 83 photographs   Published by Small Sister

*Synopsis     *Background to the Book
*Ordering information




The BBC describes the book as "A story of sorrow, intense frustration and engulfing sadness brightened by small tales of kindness - flowers left in fields, mountains of baking - and communities and industries supporting themselves and trying to rebuild with a wartime-like resilience."

More than 50 people whose lives were turned upside-down by the epidemic have contributed to the book. They include Penrith and the Border MP, David Maclean, Nick Utting of the National Farmers Union (NFU), mountaineer Chris Bonington and writer Hunter Davies as well as farmers, hoteliers, schoolchildren and members of the clergy.

The personal stories recounted in the book are wide ranging, from the Cumbrian General Practitioner who dealt with the grief of affected patients, to a bored farm sheepdog left without any sheep to herd.


Background to the Book

The book, a modern social history, was the brainchild of BBC Radio Cumbria presenter Caz Graham. Caz hosted the two-hour "Nightline" show for a month at the height of the epidemic.

Caz says: "Night after night there were stories of real heartache, huge frustration and often complete fury at, and incomprehension of, the strategies and procedures that were supposed to be stopping the spread of the virus. It seemed to me that these voices needed to be recorded more permanently. So I set about doing the book."


Greg Dyke, Director General of the BBC, launched "Foot and Mouth - Heart and Soul" at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, Cumbria. He commented that the people of London could not comprehend the scale of the foot and mouth outbreak in Cumbria. "No-one had any idea as to the scale and impact of the disease in Cumbria. It went from nothing to panic in a comparatively brief period of time."

Foot and Mouth - Heart and Soul is liberally illustrated with over 80 black and white photos, plus line drawings and copies of key archival documents.

Greg Dyke & Caz Graham at the book launch
Greg Dyke and Caz Graham at the launch of the book
Photograph: Cumbrian Newspapers

Mr Dyke continued "There is no doubt that Radio Cumbria played an instrumental role in helping farmers through the crisis. I came here today to say a thank you to the people of Radio Cumbria for doing such a brilliant job. I had a letter from a listener who said Radio Cumbria provided a bit of sanity in a mad world!"

The editor, Caz Graham first met Mr. Dyke at the BBC's Frank Gillard Awards - Radio Cumbria had just won the coveted Radio Station of the Year Award. Caz said later: "I was sitting next to him and was telling him stories about how the disease had affected Cumbria. He was really interested in my tales and I asked him if he'd come to Cumbria for the launch of my book."


Ordering Information
"Foot and Mouth - Heart and Soul": ordering page (all countries supplied from UK)



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*United Kingdom Foot and Mouth epidemic 2001: On-line Archive



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