Sunday, 7 March 2021

Our over-grazed and once-pleasant land

Across the nation horsey-culture is causing huge environmental damage.

Over-grazed paddocks are puddled leaving next-to-nothing for invertebrates or other wildlife. No grass or roots are left which leads to increased run-off in heavy rains. These are muddy, wildlife deserts where:

The medicated faeces of the horses cannot be rendered by natural processes e.g. dung beetles. 

Aminopyralid residues in bedding and fodder cause the stunting of plant growth.

The by-product of the industry - soiled bedding - is rarely disposed-off sustainably. Poo & bedding mountains are frequently seen by riding stables.

The wrappers on the tonnes of winter haulage add to the mountains of unnecessary plastic waste.

And ragwort is seen as a threat to horses and ponies. It is still deemed 'notifiable' and toxic weedkillers are routinely used to kill it. It is an important necar source for many insects.
Ragwort and cinnabar moth caterpillars

The stench of horse urine hangs malevolently in the air.

And the welfare of horses and ponies, sometimes overnight in ankle-deep freezing mud, seems low on the priority list for too many owners and proprietors.

And while this is going on, the unregulated, free-market economics of this industry result in more-benign systems of land management being priced out.

When will an enforceable code-of-practice be introduced to regulate this maverick and growing industry??


CiNdEe said...

I love horses and have had one or two over the years. Horse manure is great for gardening. We get it by the trailer load for our garden. Horses keep the fire danger down by keep land clear of weeds. There are a lot of benefits to horses including mental support for humans. They are a valued asset.

Rob said...

No problems with horses. My problem is with over-grazing and its’ effects on wildlife and horse welfare.