removal of "recreational horses" in the New Forest

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removal of "recreational horses" in the New Forest

Postby jb » Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:50 pm

Dear All.
We have had the EU regulations imposed on us as to Farriers working in this country with-out proper qualifications, i.e.. they don't have to, ( and cant be ) made to register with the FRC.
Now the New Forest is proposing that "recreational horses" cant be kept on land that surrounds or is in the new National Park.! This is surely the death blow to Farriers in the area.
Will you support the Farriers by witting to the National Park authority?

For your convienince, below is a copy of the New forest National Park meeting 26/06/08
section 261/08 ... e_2008.htm


Policy DC12: Recreational horse keeping

Recreational horse keeping will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that there will be:

i. no adverse impact on the landscape or any nature conservation interests;

ii. no increased riding pressures on the open Forest; and

iii. no loss of run back grazing land.

Horse riding is a popular recreational activity in the New Forest but there can be associated harmful impacts which include:

Erosion of the Forest: recreational horse riding is known to cause wear and tear on

Forest tracks and associated damage to vegetation and nature conservation interests;

Landscape impact: of pony paddocks, fencing, buildings, maneges, jumps and floodlighting, which both individually and cumulatively can be intrusive and harmful to the landscape character of the New Forest; and

Loss of run back grazing land: the proliferation of recreational horse keeping can reduce and displace the supply of grazing land available to New Forest Commoners.

In order to demonstrate compliance with this policy, the following information will need to accompany each application:

i. Proposed stocking density

ii. Grassland Management Scheme (to prevent overgrazing)

iii. Fencing details and plans

iv. Landscaping details and plans

v. Proposals for any buildings (now or in the future)

vi. Waste storage details

vii. Biodiversity survey and report

viii. Availability of off road riding in the area (other than on the open Forest)

The distinction between grazing and keeping horses is not always clear and it continues to generate confusion as to when planning permission might be required.


Of itself, grazing of agricultural land by horses for the purposes of an agricultural trade or business does not normally require planning permission - it is not considered to constitute a material change of use. In this context, grazing means that a horse can sustain itself by feeding off the land and does not require supplemental feeding

(except perhaps in extreme weather conditions). A horse will normally need at least one hectare of grazing land to sustain itself in grass feed.

Conversely, the keeping of horses is considered to be a recreational use of land rather than an agricultural use and does require planning permission (as it constitutes a material change of use of the land). As a guideline, the keeping of horses occurs when there is a stocking density of less than one hectare per horse. Other key indicators include the following:

�� The subdivision of a former single field into multiple pony paddocks ;

�� The existence of maneges, stables and field shelters (‘portable’ or otherwise);

�� Other on site equine equipment, such as horse jumps and schooling rings;

�� Corrals for tacking up horses (normally by the field gate);

�� Regular supplementary feeding; and

�� Horses being regularly ‘rugged’ throughout the winter

Agricultural land can be used temporarily for a number of different uses, including horse keeping, horse riding and horse training, for up to 28 days in any one calendar year without the need for planning permission.


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Postby PNB » Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:41 am


Any idea why the page size is to small for the above text!!

I have had one comment from a local farrier yesterday, as how this restriction will effect the casual at home pony keeper in the New Forest and other National Park areas. He was concerned about how this would effect the spread of Farrier's Work and other support services, in semi urban areas. The casual one to one chat with the Fordies Cup of Tea!! The pleasant socialising side of undertaking our craft.

He has noticed pony keeping at peoples homes has changed in semi urban areas and the trend is to push pony keeping into an agricultural livery business. Non economic farms converting their buildings into stables FOR RENT!! Paddocking off pasture land with electric broad tapes were included in his comments, and the associated general untidiness of good food producing land. Should this be of more concern in National Park areas, with little emphasis being placed on the pony kept at home and ridden around the villages, with its manure spread on the a well kept garden!!


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Postby csc » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:32 am

one would assume those with existing planning permission will not be affected but those applying will be refused on these grounds unless they can satisfy the criteria laid out
they seem to be identifying agricultural land and equestrian if planning is given to equestrian they could open themselves to rates as agricultural is fairly rate free
those requiring permission will have to pay for planning and possibly a fee towards local infrastructure
a planning barrister will be able to clarify

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Postby awc » Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:28 am

as a farrier working in the forest i can tell you that the equestrian people in the forest are concerned and having several meetings to discuss the way forward. this will put a great strain on farriers when there does seem to be difficulty finding work . we do have many farriers coming into the area who have been forced further afield by corporate farriers as far as kent sussex and devon. i have had to start working in guernsey to make up work myself. i agree that there is a need to tidy the forest and its surrounding areas and that there is errosion. i also notice that there is an increase in deforestation which seems counter productive.


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New Forest National Park Draft Consultation Plan

Postby admin » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:30 am

I have been reading the New Forest National Park Draft Consultation Plan and it seems that there is a fundamental problem with their attitude to horse owners compared with their attitude to farmers.

While they propose to support farming they want to resist horse keeping. They should realise that horse owners are important custodians of the land and much better for bio diversity than farming. Where are all the swallows? They are in stables, not on farms, because horse keeping encourages a diversity of plant and insect life. Horse owners are more hands on, more involved in their land and more caring about the environment than farmers who rarely get out of their vehicles.

It is good that horse owners are having meetings, they need to influence decision making by getting involved in Forest affairs.

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Postby csc » Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:41 am

at our meeting last night it was unanimously decided to write formally to the new forest national park authority supporting farriers concerns admin will post the letter when drafted on this site

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UKHSA response

Postby admin » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:57 pm

I have submitted our comments on line at ... ations.htm

They will be available to public view in due course. The main point we made is that the plan is biased towards farming and prejudiced against horse owners, whereas in fact horse keeping is better for the environment and should be encouraged.

The consultation period ends on 14 November 2008.

Why not have your say? It is quite easy to make your comments by doing the survey through the website.

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Postby awc » Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:30 pm

i have had a meeting with chairman of national park and have been asked to help in rewriting the proposals which is a step in the right direction for all concerned.

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Response from New Forest National Park Authority

Postby admin » Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:53 pm

We have had a letter from the Authority to say they are having discussions with relevant parties. It looks as if horses are the big issue. It is good that Alex Chalmers is closely involved.

"The Authority received around 9,000 responses to the draft Park Plan and the draft Recreation Management Strategy. The figure is made up of 900 completed response forms, letters or e-mails from individuals and organisations, of which initial analysis suggests that 65% have raised objections to the recreational horse-keeping policy; 900 standard letters or variations of the letter from NFDOG; and approximately 7,200 signatures on a petition by the Forest Uprising Group.

"Although the majority of the responses focused on issues to do with recreational horse-keeping a wide range of other matters featured in many responses including policies on car parks related to dog-walking, zoning and local businesses among others."

further details ... k_plan.htm

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Postby admin » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:13 pm

We have had another letter. ... tter-3.pdf

They are setting up working groups covering Recreational Horse Keeping amongst other things.

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Postby csc » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:32 pm

basically they are formalising things to make it democratic if a big noise isn't heard from groups of interested parties they will be forgotten
anyone fancy a riot!!!!

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