Equine Pasture Management Frances Clayton Equine Pasture Management • Requirements of the Horse • Grassland Management • Fencing • Waste Management • Planning for Equine Development Key Issues Overgrazing, poached, weed infested fields Breaking up of fields into smaller paddocks Visually intrusive, insensitive fencing Inappropriate planting Waste management Inappropriate buildings/assoc development Inappropriate lighting Adverse impact on biodiversity What you can do …. Condition the number of equines on the site at any one time. Stocking density of one hectare per horse (domestic/business differences, soil/geology differences). Ask for detailed land management plans as part of D&A Statements. Suggest mixed grazing with sheep/cattle or taking a hay crop to manage excess grass in the summer. Consider grass matting on well used tracks and around gateways. Challenge economic arguments for greater stocking density, more equines does not always mean greater profit. Be aware of cross-compliance issues. Encourage mixed sward grassland rather than ryegrass mixes. Direct applicants to info on good pasture maintenance, harrowing etc. What you can do…. Ask for full details of all fencing proposals, permanent, semi- permanent and temporary as part of the application. Article 4 Directions so all fencing would require planning permission? Remove permitted development rights? Condition the type of permanent, semi-permanent and temporary fencing. Ensure any veteran and important trees within the site are protected through appropriate fencing. Ask for full details of proposed tree and hedge planting, check all species are native and appropriate in the specific area. Any removal of hedgerows/trees will be subject to Hedgerow legislation. Waste Management Waste types: manure/ plastics/used syringes, medicine containers Premises used for the purposes of breeding, stabling or exhibiting animals are classed as industrial businesses, therefore, waste produced from riding schools, livery stables, stud farms etc is classified as INDUSTRIAL WASTE All Industrial Waste is designated “Controlled Waste” and must be managed in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Penalties for offences under Act- up to £50,000 and/ or 5 years imprisonment If a horse is kept as a domestic pet within the curtilage of a private individuals domestic dwelling then the waste is classified as HOUSEHOLD WASTE Do’s and Don’ts „Commercial‟ horse owners must: NOT burn waste (incl. manure) Only use a Registered Waste Carrier Obtain Waste Transfer Note Ensure waste stored securely and only up to 12 mths „Private‟ horse owners: Must only use a Registered Waste Carrier Recommend no burning, store waste securely & obtain waste transfer note What can you do …. Check applications for provision for waste management – manure and other waste such as plastics. Home composting is usually only appropriate for small scale private use, commercial yards will need to have manure collected from site. Ensure that composting units have non permeable sides and base and are situated away from water courses. Direct applicants to contractor lists – collection of manure and plastics from commercial yards can now be carried out for a fee. Planning Policy PPS 7 encourages local planning authorities to include policies in LDDS that support „equine enterprises that maintain environmental quality and countryside leisure facilities‟ What can you do …. Is the scale of the development (proposed equine numbers) supported by sufficient land to prevent negative landscape impact? How will the development affect landscape character? Does the development work with contours, existing hedgerows, trees etc to limit its impact? Question the need for arenas for private use? Large landscape impact for few to benefit from. Look closely at economic forecast figures for equestrian development, hard to make a good profit on a single focus equestrian business. Check where spoil will be deposited – bunds can form very artificial landscape features. What is the availability of off road riding like in the area?
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