Council could ban horses from land

HORSE owners could soon be banned from grazing their animals on public land in Wellingborough as part of a new council policy.

Wellingborough Council’s committee will discuss proposals for dealing with unauthorised grazing by horses on council land at a public meeting on Monday night.

The authority’s policy had previously been to deal with reports by approaching people believed to be responsible for the horses.

But a report to the committee is recommending that its policy is changed as it is “no longer appropriate” following “recent welfare incidents”.

The report states: “The number and nature of incidents has changed in recent months and as a result it is believed that there is a need to change the way in which unauthorised grazing on council-controlled land is dealt with. The issue is a perennial one that excites strong feelings on the part of many people for a variety of reasons.

“All incidents of horses being left to graze on council-controlled land reported to the council involve horses owned or controlled by a small number of travellers.

“Because ownership or control of horses is a feature of gypsy or traveller culture, and travellers are permanently resident in the borough, the issue of managing horses being left to graze will be ongoing.”

The committee will consider adopting a new policy of not allowing horses or ponies in any open environment, on any land under the control of the council.

Land at the back of the Hemmingwell estate, off Northen Way, at the back of Morris Close and opposite Sainsbury’s have all been identified as problem areas.

The Evening Telegraph was recently sent pictures of a foal which died shortly after being born in the field opposite Sainsbury’s. The images were too distressing to print.

Cllr Graham Lawman said: “I am very concerned about the ones at the back of the Hemmingwell. We have had incidents of people letting them loose and they have gone through bins and eaten people’s gardens. We have called the police out before.”