To those who live and work here, it is obvious that Cumbria has a long and proud agricultural tradition.

The economy of the county is inextricably linked to the agricultural sector, and culturally, farming has had a huge impact on the way we speak and our 'no-nonsense' attitude towards life.

It's right that as a county we can feel a little protective of the industry - from only shopping at supermarkets that pay fair prices to our farmers, to supporting them at farmers' markets in our towns.

So it's always surprising that every year farmers have to plead with members of the public to keep control of their dogs near their livestock, and indeed livelihoods.

The National Trust is leading efforts to get dogwalkers to take some responsibility when out and about in the countryside and keep their pooches on a lead.

According to the National Farmers' Union, sheep worrying costs farmers an estimated £1.6m a year. It's depressing that organisations such as the National Trust and NFU feel the need to reiterate this message every time lambing comes round again, but it seems that some people aren't getting the message.

The consequences for dog owners can be dire. Farmers can seek compensation from the dog owners, and in some cases they are legally entitled to shoot the dog.