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Reporting Back: Simister Wetlands / Horses Meeting

by prestwichfocus on 17 November, 2015

A meeting took place on Wednesday 11th November at Wilton Hall in Simister, which Mary D’Albert attended on our behalf. The meeting was called by the local horse riders/owners.

The meeting was attended by a large number of local residents (the village has a very good community spirit and all events in and around the village are always well supported). The aim of the meeting was to discuss the plan to allow horses to be ridden on the wetlands, which is something they cannot do at the moment.

This is a complex subject, with many different and valued opinions.

The history is that before the wetlands were created everybody used the area for mixed use recreation – as young trees were planted, horse riders were asked to stay away from the area to allow them to mature.
As many years have passed, and the number of accessible bridle paths has reduced, the riders would like to be allowed to ride on the wetlands.

The bridle group have had a meeting with the council, the council have put restrictions on what and where riders will be able to go. The view is that dogs and horses cannot be in the same area, they need to be separated for safety reason.

The plan involves building a fenced in area – which can be only be used by the horse riders.
Many local residents understood the need for the horse riders to have access, but were unhappy that they would lose access to the centre of the wetlands.

A number of compromises were suggested, the favoured option is that a double fence around 3 meters wide would be built for the horse riders. This would keep them apart from the dog walkers / children etc.
A further meeting is planned with the council to put forward the revised plan(s).

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