Two decades ago, the Isle of Wight faced a very different threat, which led to reduced tourism, the closure of public spaces and rights of way and the cancellation of country events.

The foot and mouth outbreak of 2001 also led to the cull of some Island farm animals and more than six months of increased precautions to ensure the disease did not spread.

Scroll through our gallery of pictures above to see more of our front pages and pictures from 2001...

Foot and mouth was discovered at an Essex abattoir on February 19, 2001, and it quickly spread across the UK.

It was discovered on pigs which had come from Buckinghamshire and from Farringford Farm in Freshwater — although the source of the outbreak was later confirmed as being a farm in Northumberland.

Nonetheless, Farringford Farm was placed in quarantine and farmer Andrew Fidler ended up being a prisoner on his farm.

The quarantine meant Andrew and his wife were not able to live together for days as his wife was off the farm when the restriction was imposed.

Similar restrictions were placed on Cridmore Farm, Cridmore, as it had been dealing with the same abattoir.

The ferry operators all started taking special precautions to stop the disease being brought over on tyres and feet on mainland visitors and matting soaked with disinfectant  for both vehicles and foot passengers was a common sight at all terminals.

Isle of Wight County Press: Foot and mouth disease precautions at the ferry ports - East Cowes. Heavy goods vehicles drive over the straw matting.

Foot and mouth disease precautions were undertaken at all the ferry ports. Pictured here is the Red Funnel car ferry terminal at East Cowes.

Islanders were asked to avoid crossing farmland, footpaths, bridleways and other rights of way were closed, Forestry Commission car parks were shut and English Heritage closed its grounds temporarily.

As the crisis deepened across the UK, Isle of Wight hotel bookings slumped by up to 50 per cent, Wightlink reported a ten per cent drop in cars crossing The Solent and Isle of Wight's farm holiday industry was heavily hit too.

Isle of Wight County Press: Foot and mouth pix. Footpath at Winford.

Footpaths, bridleways and byways were closed to stop the disease being spread over farmland. Pictured is a footpath at Winford.

A number of local events were cancelled — notably the Isle of Wight County Show, although a replacement equestrian event, the Isle of Wight Horse Show, was held at Smallbrook Stadium, Ryde, and raised funds for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

The final foot and mouth case in this particular UK-wide crisis was reported near Appleby in Cumbria on September 30.

Despite the fact the Isle of Wight's annual Gilten Market is held each December and fell after the last recorded case, the organising committee felt it would be best not to hold the 2001 Gilten Market for fear of the disease breaking out again.

Before 2001, the last outbreak of foot and mouth in Britain was almost exactly 20 years previously — by coincidence at an Isle of Wight farm near Yarmouth in March 1981.

ALSO IN 2001: Pictures: 160 evacuated in 2001 Shanklin landslide terror

READ AGAIN: Photos: Isle of Wight farming and sea-faring memories

Like reading tales of life on the Isle of Wight in bygone days? Click here to browse the stories in our Looking Back section.