The New Forest Equine Forum

Planning Guides

Horse riding and horse keeping have a long history in the New Forest and are part of the New Forest scene. In the region of 3,500 horses are kept for recreational purposes within and immediately surrounding the National Park1. Together with horses kept by farmers and commoners, the local equine community makes a valuable contribution to the local economy.

When it is done well, horse keeping can make a positive contribution to the management of the New Forest and assist farmers and commoners seeking to diversify their activities. But also in the few cases when it is done badly there can be problems associated with overgrazed fields, poor fencing and inappropriate lighting, all of which can lead to a negative impression of horse keeping. There are examples of both within the New Forest.

Planning permission is usually required for most horse related development. However, under the General Permitted Development Order 1995, there may be some scope to provide buildings or enclosures associated with the keeping of recreational horses, incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house, in the garden of a domestic dwelling. It will be advisable to seek the advice on the need for planning permission for such buildings from the Authority.

DM12: Recreational horse keeping
DM13: Field shelters and stables
DM14: Maneges
Connecting the central southern equestrian community.