Ramblers offered a virtual walk

Foot and mouth and mouse

Ramblers frustrated that restrictions imposed due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease are curtailing their favourite pass time are been offered the chance to take a virtual walk instead.

A site, Benderloch.com, which was originally intended to give disabled people the chance to browse Scottish scenery is proving a hit around the world, and increasing in popularity since walking restrictions were imposed in the UK.

The site features 60 pictures that illustrate walks around a hill called Ben Lora, which is located near Argyll in the Western Highlands of Scotland. It features pictures taken by locals using a digital camera that illustrate woodland paths and highland scenery near the hill.

Steve Eccles, who runs the site, said he got the idea after himself becoming unable to go on hill walks due to increased infirmity. Since he set it up two years ago the site has attracted 7,000 visitors.

However since the weekend, Eccles reports, hits have shot up and people from places ranging from Iceland to the Ukraine have visited the site.

The foot and mouth outbreak has now reached France, and Eccles said he is quiet happy to give a bit of friendly advice to others who might think of setting up similar sites in other countries affected by the disease. ®

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