MARLOW'S long awaited farmers market has been cancelled as the foot and mouth crisis deepens across the country.

Organiser Sally Philp said she would not consider holding the market, which was set to take place in May on The Causeway, until the virus is eliminated.

A suspected case of foot and mouth disease at Bockmer Farm, in Medmenham, is still unconfirmed after the Ministry of Agriculture Farming and the Fisheries (MAFF) took away a cattle sample last Wednesday. The test results are expected today.

Chris Boddington, MAFF spokesman,said: "Hopefully we will have a result by the end of today but definitely by the end of next week. The reason it is taking this time is because the labs are so full at the moment.

"Sometimes they have to keep retesting depending on results of tests to make sure it is accurate."

An eight kilometre exclusion zone has been placed around the area and if the case is confirmed an 'Infected Area' will be declared and further restrictions will be imposed within a 10km radius of the farm.

Mrs Philp, of New Town Farm, in Bisham, said: "It wouldn't be the most jolly market in the world.

"I just don't know when we will be holding the market now. Our hearts really are not in this at the moment which is a shame because these markets have given framers an enormous boost."

For the first time in 30 years the Marlow Mini Tournament, the largest mini rugby tournament in the UK, has also been cancelled due to the foot and mouth outbreak.

The event was due to take place on April 1, with 2,000 children taking part.

The tournament finances the Mini club for the entire season and the club is now left with a large short fall.