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Horses: New Forest

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the draft New Forest Recreation Management Strategy, if he will publish the evidence justifying the proposed policy of the New Forest National Park Authority that the use of horses for recreation in the New Forest needs to be restricted. (227625)

I understand there is no proposed policy to restrict the use of horses in the New Forest and there is unrestricted access for horses on the Open Forest.

The New Forest National Park Authority has published a number of policies and proposals in its draft Recreation Management Strategy and draft National Park Plan that are the subject of a public consultation until 14 November 2008. All interested parties are free to make their views known to the Authority and to have those views fully considered.

Decisions on these issues are for the Authority to take. It is an independent Authority operating within the local government framework and legislation.