With much of the UK's countryside under virtual lockdown to curb the burgeoning foot-and-mouth epidemic, producers are beginning to feel the disruption as rural locations become inaccessible, and the scramble begins to find suitable replacements.

"Most scripts will have a bit of greenery in them," says Gavin Northover, location manager on Mr In-Between, a Phantom Pictures-Spice Factory drama-thriller currently shooting. "I think it's going to hit everybody pretty hard."

All non-urban National Trust land - which includes 600 miles of coastline - has been closed to try to stem the spread of foot-and-mouth, a highly contagious livestock virus which can be carried on clothes, although it rarely affects humans. Rural footpaths, some public parks and areas around affected farms are also off-limits, and this week, cases of the disease were confirmed in France.

Mr In-Between's producers had initially planned to shoot for three nights in a country cottage, but Northover is now searching for a London-based location after a rural cottage location became a no-go. The script also calls for some country road exteriors, which, says Northover, have had to be changed.

Lynne Ramsay's Morvern Caller has also been disrupted, with producers forced to switch location shooting from Oban in Scotland because of the outbreak.

Although the UK has a wealth of disparate locations not immediately affected by foot-and-mouth, finding alternative urban locations that can stand in for countryside areas can be tricky to secure at short notice, and may present new problems to a film crew. "If you're in the country, it has dead sound," says Gavin Northover. "But if you find a city location there could be sound problems, with traffic or extraneous light."

An alternative for projects in pre-production is to simply write out any tricky "greenery" in a script.

Nevertheless, Harvey Edgington, head of borough liaison at the London Film Commission talks of one TV production which has resorted to building countryside sets in a studio, and a Pedigree Chum pet-food commercial has recently had to relocate to South Africa.

"There's a question of responsibility," Edgington says on crews shooting in hitherto unaffected rural areas. "Keep the crew to an absolute minimum. The fewer people you take, the less chance there is of spreading the disease."

That there seems to be no immediate end to the outbreak means that problems may become compounded by insurers, reluctant to underwrite new productions reliant on location shooting.