Kirklees Council hungry building machine is reaping our green spaces and squeezing out our horses fraternity.
Let me start with the benefits of horse riding and owners ship include immense enjoyment, physical and mental fitness and a chance to enjoy the countryside. Horses can help people with their everyday life skills and reduce stress levels, create a calm environment and relieve anxiety. It is easy to see why the loss of such large areas of the countryside and inner urban areas could have a devastating effect on our communities.
I have recently had a number of local horse owners express their concerns on the impact of the potential loss of several areas of land within Mirfield’s boundaries which are currently used for the grazing of horses and the provision of hay, straw and fodder for their animals. Mirfield has a large equine population-estimated to be in excess of three hundred horses grazing and stabling here.
These provide employment for dozens of people from the town and surrounding area including stable staff, farriers, vets, instructors, the retail staff at saddlery shops and feed stores.
The threatened sites include Calder Farm– recently included on the local plan, council-owned land at Dunbottle Lane and Old Bank road, Steanard lane and Balderstone Hall fields, Kitson Hill Crescent
People are finding it increasingly difficult to find grazing for their horses and livery costs are expected to soar as land is no longer available for grazing and growing the essential feed.
Nationally the equestrian industry is immense. Over four billion pounds is spent annually on equestrian related activities and services, over three million people ride and there are over five hundred thousand horse-owning households.
The photo was taken at Calder Farm this land and the ones mentioned above will fall to building