ANGRY parish councillors want to know why they have been left out of plans for moorland cattle grids.

Danby Parish Council was amazed to hear of a scheme to put a permanent grid in the area and of public meetings to debate the issue.

Members said it was vital they were involved - especially as the moves could affect a long-running discussion on whether Castleton should have a village flock.

Meanwhile, a temporary cattle grid near the Eskdale Hotel at Castleton will be removed on Monday.

The grid was put in place last year at the height of the foot-and-mouth outbreak to keep sheep out of the village.

But clerk Pam Reeves said the North York Moors National Park was now proposing to put one grid and fencing at the top of Longmans Bank, near Castleton.

The park says this will do the same job as the temporary one, but said if there was to be a flock in the village, an extra grid may be needed on Westerdale road.

Members at Wednesday's meeting were stunned.

Coun Rita Rudsdale said: "We are in danger of losing our village caretaker and if we are to lose sheep as well Castleton is going to be a terrible mess."

Coun Geoff Banner said: "I thought it had been agreed there would be no cattle grids until a decision had been taken on whether to have a village flock."

A public meeting will be held on Thursday in Castleton Village Hall at 7pm to allow people to make their feelings known.

A second meeting is scheduled for Glaisdale on July 15.

Coun Linda Grout said the parish council should be asked to attend. "We should know what's going on if we are to have input. Members were not told about the Longmans Bank grid."

The council is writing to the national park and North Yorkshire County Council asking about the decision, the meetings and why the council was not involved.

The Castleton grid is one of five proposed for the Esk Valley.

The national park says grids are vital both to keep sheep on the moorland and within villages.

A spokesman said ten temporary grids were installed during the foot-and-mouth outbreak, but the disease had decimated numbers and led to sheep straying further afield.

"The loss of moor flocks will make the moorland and villages harder and more costly to manage, initiating a possible decline in farm viability and tourism," he said.

"Cattle grids are becoming essential for the continued management of flocks and the maintenance of high quality moorland to the benefit of landscape, wildlife, the economy and tourism."

* The road into Castleton will shut between 9am-3pm on Monday while the temporary grid is removed