FOREST Progress Project co-ordinator Keith Campbell's letter (Postbag, January 19) is helpful. It is good to know that dog-walkers continue to be welcome in the Forest.

The dog-waste problem is confined, as I said in a previous letter, to the immediate vicinity of the car parks, say within 100 yards.

Nobody could object to bins for dog mess being installed in these areas and the dog walkers should use them.

Perhaps if visitors took their children a little further from the car parks, they might find that the situation improves with distance, and a little walk can only be a health benefit.

With regard to the relative merits of horse and cattle droppings as opposed to those of dogs, I can only say that all faecal material, regardless of origin, is potentially infective.

To argue that the relatively high nitrogen and phosphorous content constitutes a problem with the amounts involved seems silly, and I am certain that it wouldn't take long to find an equally anxiety-provoking disease associated with horses, cattle or pigs, to set beside the risk of toxocariasis infection from dogs.

I have walked dogs in the Forest for 50 years, and I fear that, before very long, unless we protest, the Forest will be so systematised, preserved' and controlled that the freedoms many of us have enjoyed will be eroded, and the Forest will be transformed into a sanitised environment for the supposed recreation of city dwellers who do not understand it.

CHRIS BASHAM, Downlands Close, Downton