The New Forest Equine Forum

Planning Guides
Horse riding and horse keeping

The Proposed Policy DM12: Recreational horse keeping

Permission will be granted for recreational horse keeping provided that the proposal does not:

  1. have an adverse impact on the landscape or any nature conservation interests;
  2. increase riding pressures on the open Forest; or
  3. result in the loss of back-up grazing land.iv.

The Authority cannot control the use of land for grazing. However, the keeping of recreational horses involves a more intensive use of land which is subject to planning control. The distinction between grazing and keeping is not always clear although a judgement can normally be made on the basis of the area of grazing land available per animal. As a guideline, the keeping of horses generally occurs when there is less than 0.5 ha of land per horse. Other key indicators can include the existence of stables and other facilities, and the condition of the land.

Planning applications should be accompanied by sufficient information to demonstrate that the associated impacts of any new recreational horse keeping use is positive rather than negative, for example by including details of fencing and landscaping.
Connecting the central southern equestrian community.