THE clean up operation from Appleby Horse Fair will be completed over the next few days.

The message came from Dr Robin Hooper, chair of a group of organsations aimed at improving the fair, as it begins to draw to a close.

Many of the gypsies and travellers are today starting their journeys home and Cumbria Police have urged motorists to slow down and take extra care especially in the Appleby area.

The number of caravans at this year’s fair was down by 21.

The total number of caravans was 1,297 (1,095 were trailers or motorised caravans and 202 were traditional bow tops or horse drawns).

The number of market stalls was very similar to last year totalling 241, compared to 236 in 2014.

The Multi Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group (MASCG) of public agencies, who work to improve the safety of the Horse Fair, will now start the evaluation process for this year’s event, by gathering feedback from local residents, gypsies and visitors who attended the fair.

The weekend has been overshadowed by an attempted robbery on a caravan early Sunday morning and the death of two horses who were killed in a collision on the flashing lane on Friday.

Dr Hooper, chair of MASCG and chief executive of Eden District Council, said: “Many aspects of this year’s Fair have been improved, most notably the substantial reduction in the number of early arrivals, and the reduction in traffic congestion, as Gypsies and Travellers migrated onto Fair Hill.

"These improvements have been praised by the local community, along with the clean up operation in Appleby and Kirkby Stephen, and the standard of policing. The clean up of outlying areas will be undertaken on a priority basis and will be completed over the next few days.

“Significant praise is due to the animal welfare charities such as the RSPCA, who work at the Fair each year.

"Many of their staff are volunteers, and this shows their continued dedication to addressing animal welfare issues.

"The RSPCA are continuing to investigate the deaths of two horses after a collision on the flashing lane, and I praise the public’s response to their appeal for information.

“The level of crime and anti-social behaviour at this year’s Fair has been low. Cumbria Police are continuing to investigate an attempted robbery on Fair Hill, which has been the only significant incident.

"I would like to praise the licensees of the local pubs who have worked proactively with us to implement the Voluntary Licensing Charter. This helps to foster responsible drinking and reduce any instances of anti-social behaviour. 

"All the organisations involved in MASCG work tirelessly throughout the year to improve the safety of the Fair. I would like to thank the local community and Gypsies and Travellers for their positive contributions which help to improve the Fair year on year.”

Gypsy and Traveller representative on MASCG, Billy Welch said: “All the plans the MASCG have put in place for this year’s Fair have gone really well, and I would like to thank the local community and Gypsies and Travellers for their support.

"As with any large scale event, you cannot legislate for the actions of a small number of people whose behaviour has cast a shadow over what otherwise has been a very good Fair.

“In the long history of Appleby Fair and Gypsies and Travellers staying on Fair Hill, we have never experienced any incidents like the attempted robbery on Saturday night, it has no place at the Fair. I would also like to thank the people who have come forward with information to help the RSPCA investigate the collision which resulted in the sad death of two horses.”

Detective Chief Superintendent, Sean Robinson, the Gold Commander for Cumbria Police at Appleby Fair said: “The attempted robbery on Fair Hill has been the only significant incident of crime and disorder at this year’s Fair. Incidents like this are very unusual at this event.

"I would appeal to the Gypsy and Traveller community to work with us and come forward with any information, to allow us to bring those responsible to justice. Anyone with information should call Cumbria Police on the non-emergency 101 number or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“In general, the level of incidents we have been called out to this year has been very minor and we praise the local community, Gypsies and Travellers and visitors for their continued tolerance and support around this event.

“The messages we have to take forward from this year’s Fair are continuing to ask Gypsies and Travellers, the local community and especially visitors to Appleby Fair, to stay safe around horses. Thirteen people were injured by horses this year and public safety is our paramount concern at events like this. We need people who bring horses to Appleby Fair to exercise them responsibly, by showing due care and consideration to the people and traffic around them. Later today, people will start to make their way home from the Fair, so we ask motorists to be aware of slow moving traffic and increased congestion in the Appleby area over the next few days.”

The RSPCA and their colleagues from animal welfare charities, including vets, addressed a number of animal welfare issues at this year’s Fair.

RSPCA Chief Inspector, Rob Melloy said: “I would like to thank the Gypsies and Travellers and the public who have contacted us with information since our public appeal following the death of two horses in a collision on the Flashing Lane. Our enquiries are continuing, but anyone with information can contact us on the RSPCA inspector appeal line 0300 123 8018.

“I would like emphasise that Appleby Horse Fair is a large scale event and it is only a small minority of people who attend the Fair that have little regard for animal welfare.

“We have a dedicated group of officers and volunteers from not just the RSPCA but also Redwings Horse Sanctuary, World Horse Welfare, Blue Cross, the Donkey Sanctuary and, joining us on the education stand, the British Horse Society (BHS) and Bransby Horses, who, supported by MASCG, address any animal welfare issues.”

To take part in the Evaluation Process for the 2015 Appleby Horse Fair, please complete the evaluation form at or email the Chair of MASCG at: or write to The Chief Executive of Eden District Council, Town Hall, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 7QF.

The public debrief about the Horse Fair is taking place at Appleby Public Hall on 20 July from 7-9pm.