Help for horse owners

HORSE owners are to benefit from a new project advising on the proper maintenance of their land.The Horsewise project will begin on Monday in an attempt to combat weedy, poorly-fenced and over-grazed paddocks.

By Richard Cornwell

HORSE owners are to benefit from a new project advising on the proper maintenance of their land.

The Horsewise project will begin on Monday in an attempt to combat weedy, poorly-fenced and over-grazed paddocks.

Babergh District Council and the Suffolk Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (Suffolk FWAG) have joined forces to launch the initiative.


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Dora Nichols, a Conservation Advisor for Suffolk FWAG said: "The aim of the project is to help improve the condition of established and new grassland for horses, improve horse welfare, and help local wildlife through the use of more suitable equine grass mixtures and alternative management practices."

Changing land use and ownership has resulted in more land in Suffolk being given over to horse and pony grazing than ever before.

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Often these pastures are well managed with fencing well maintained and sensitively sited.

But in some cases management is inadequate and unkempt land can have a detrimental affect on the landscape and local surroundings.

Peter Berry, Babergh's countryside officer said: "The Horsewise Project is a meeting of minds between the two organisations, who have both identified problems with horse grazing and are working together to produce a common approach that would benefit the landowner and the environment.

"Our intention is to offer constructive advice and to encourage landowners to carry out improvements, such as hedgerow planting, and give information on the new environmental grants, which will be available from January 2005".

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