YOUNG Farmers' Clubs are relaunching after 30 days clear from foot and mouth cases in Devon.

Following the first case of foot and mouth disease in the county, Devon YFC took the policy to cancel and postpone all county events and advised clubs to do the same, with the aim of trying to stop the spread of the disease.

County chairman Fiona Vigers said they hoped the relaunch of the clubs would see the brilliant work the YFC does for young people in the countryside begin again. The Devon County Show dance will be their first county social activity since January.

Chairman of Tavistock YFC, Richard Cole, said the past months had been 'a bit depressing' but their area had not been as badly affected as others. Their club had held some meetings and a few events, such as a barbecue and rounders and a visit to the Warner Village, since the end of June.

'We took the view that if we didn't start some meetings the club would suffer. We had to cancel our dinner and dance and dung sale earlier in the year, which has made things hard financially as we lost £1,500 of income. We also haven't been able to have the usual dairy stock judging or sheep shearing.

'We began meeting fortnightly in mid-June, but will now be able to meet weekly again and start fund-raising.'

Lewdown YFC chairman David Chick said they had not met as a club since the start of the crisis. 'Virtually everyone has lost their stock. Some members have seen one another at the local pub, but others have been stuck on farms cleaning up,' he said.

Lewdown is not a big club, and David thought most members would still be there when they restarted their activities, which include swimming, ice skating and fund-raising events.

If you would like details of a YFC in your area, contact the Devon Federation of YFCs on 01392 272189.