Town leaders call for daytime horse riding ban on Exmouth beach

PUBLISHED: 16:05 25 May 2018

Horses on the beach at Exmouth. Picture: Alex Walton Photography

Horses on the beach at Exmouth. Picture: Alex Walton Photography

Alex Walton

Horses galloping along the golden sands of Exmouth beach could soon be a rare sight if a riding ban bid is given the green light.

Horses on the beach at Exmouth. Picture: Alex Walton PhotographyHorses on the beach at Exmouth. Picture: Alex Walton Photography

Exmouth Town Council this week voted in favour of calling time on unlimited riding on the beach and will press the district authority to enforce a restriction on horses during peak times.

The town council’s waterfront working party said it was prompted to act after ‘one or two’ complaints about horses ‘getting in the way’ of dog walkers and beachgoers.

Exmouth Town Council is calling for East Devon District Council (EDDC) to back a 10am to 6pm daily riding restriction.

East Devon Hunt Pony Club (EDHPC) said a curfew would impact on young riders’ enjoyment and called for seasonal restrictions to be considered instead.

Horses on the beach at Exmouth. Picture: Alex Walton PhotographyHorses on the beach at Exmouth. Picture: Alex Walton Photography

Helen West, EDHPC joint district commissioner, said a daytime ban would spell the end of a popular children’s beach ride, held in the autumn.

She said: “It would seem an awful shame for the children to miss out on this fantastic opportunity to take part in a supervised beach ride.

“Perhaps a ban similar to the dog ban could be considered, so that between peak months, May to October, horses are only allowed during the proposed times.”

The riding restriction proposal was raised at a town council meeting this week by Councillor Bill Nash, a member of the waterfront working party. He called for an all-area clampdown, from mid-morning until the evening.

A separate suggestion to control riding on Exmouth beach by introducing a code of conduct for horse riders was ‘inappropriate’, said Cllr Nash.

The council agreed any new rules would exempt beach donkey rides.

Cllr Nash said the council was reacting to ‘complaints’ received about horse riding on the public beach.

He added: “Unfortunately, horses can get in the way of children and certainly, in the area where dogs are walked, 
they can be a problem; also they don’t make pooping bags big enough.”

EDDC said: “At present, riding horses is allowed on all our beaches and there are no 
formal restrictions as to when that activity can take place.

“Exmouth beach, as with all our beaches, is a space used by many different user groups.”

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