Horses, the landscape and you

South West Protected Landscape Forum in partnership with The British Horse Society and The Farming Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) has produced a publication for horse keepers in the South West. 'Horses the Landscape and You' provides guidance, information and contacts to help make sure horses are well cared for and make a positive contribution to our landscape. It is available to download on the right.

A guide to keeping horses in protected landscapes

Horse owning and riding is an increasingly popular activity that is growing across the south west of England. How horses are cared for and the developments associated with keeping a horse have a significant impact on the character and quality of the South West's special landscape.

South West England is defined by the richness and diversity of its landscape. Nearly 40% of the region is recognised as internationally important through the designation of 2 National Parks and 14 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).

Dave Dixon, Regional Programmes Manager working with the Protected Landscapes, says, "Keeping our landscape special both now and for future generations is a job for us all.  By understanding what makes our protected areas so special we can all play an active part in ensuring the landscape we pass on to future generations retains these highly regarded qualities".

Owners of horses and ponies have an important role to play in safeguarding our rich landscape. Julie Garbutt, Regional Development Officer with The British Horse Society, points out that horse owners and keepers "are not only responsible for the welfare of their animal, but take on a further responsibility to care for the land on which their horses live. Managed in the right way, land can support the welfare needs of the horse, as well as maintaining and enhancing the distinctive character and wildlife of the landscape".

This new guidance combines information about legal requirements with "top tips" to ensure your horse's life is rich and healthy whilst to improve the quality of the landscape in which you live and work.