I had the radio on all night and sleepily caught Farming Today, which is on at about 5.30am. It was about something berries, which are a rhizoid/rhizome with roots or whatever they are up to 15ft underground. It is some sort of plant disease. I was not really listening until I heard the advice to keep dogs on leads. I am not even sure whether the advice was to protect the dog or to stop the (plant) disease from spreading.
Did anyone hear it? Is it localised advice? I can't see anything on it in the doghouse. They only mentioned dogs at the end and I am not a farmer so I didn't pay attention up until then.
Just answered my own question I think. It is in the Roaches area of the Lake District. Bilberry blight.
Just listened again to the podcast in my lunch hour.
It is the third outbreak of bilberry blight in the world. First in Cornwall, second in Cannock, third in the Roaches in the Lake District. Bilberry blight has the potential to destroy vegetation. People are not allowed in the affected parts that have been identified. Bilberry is half the size of a blueberry. Deer may have moved it in from Cannock. Stick to footpaths and keep dogs on lead in the Roaches. There is no 'cure'. It spreads underground. The 'rangers' are monitoring the situation.
I was not sure but having 'listened again' they said that 'deers potentially moved it in' (from Cannock) so I think it must be to prevent the spread of the disease by dogs. They didn't really mention dogs except to give the advice to stick to paths and keep dogs on leads. I don't know if dogs eat bilberries. Mine wouldn't.
Soil diseases (particularly fungal ones) are very easily moved from place to place on people's feet - so presumably dogs' feet too. It only needs a microscopically small particle of soil to do the damage. Or muddy water.