Bailiffs warn horses could be evicted from Bowthorpe Southern Park

Horses on Bowthorpe Southern Park. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Horses on Bowthorpe Southern Park. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Horses that have become 'part and parcel' of a riverside park are set to be evicted because the council believes they are harming biodiversity.

Horses on Bowthorpe Southern Park. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Horses on Bowthorpe Southern Park. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Residents living near Bowthorpe Southern Park said the animals have grazed on the site for more than a decade, but notices from a bailiff appeared over the bank holiday weekend, warning the horses would be 'detained' if their owner did not remove them by 9am next Monday, June 6.

Sally Button, who represents Bowthorpe on Norwich City Council, said the authority had acted because there were 'far too many' horses on the land, and ate so much that little vegetation could grow.

Yiting Tsai, a 32-year-old art history student, who walks through park on her way to the UEA, said she had shared photos of the horses with friends in Taiwan to show them the English countryside.

She said: 'It's a good way for me to see this beautiful British landscape, so it's quite interesting for me. I think these horses are very beautiful and I don't think they bite people. They are very gentle.'

Some people said the police were occasionally called out because the horses sometimes escaped onto the road.

One nearby resident said: 'I don't see any reason why they should be removed. They have been no problem to us over the years we have been here, since the houses were built.

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'I think they are part and parcel of the area. We often talk about the horses. As far as I'm concerned, there's no reason at all why they should be moved on.'

The notice, dated May 29, and posted around the park, said: 'This land is privately owned and the horse/s on it are there without the license or consent of the land owner. The land is owned and lawfully occupied by Norwich City Council.

'Take further notice that no persons have the right, licence or authority to occupy the said land without the express written authority of the landowner and/or lawful occupier.'

It said that, unless the horses were removed by 9am on Monday, June 6, they would be detained.

Ms Button said the issue had been going on for 'some time', and added: 'They are just eating everything on site, and nothing is growing, and it's not good for biodiversity.'

Norwich City Council did not response to a request for comment.

Do you have a story about Norwich City Council? Email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk