Should horse riders have to pick up after their animals?
PUBLISHED: 17:22 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:22 09 October 2019
Archant Norfolk © 2015
Clumps of waste left behind by horses on a scenic seaside prom are drawing concerns and calls for a barrier.
John Spooner, of Bradwell, said groups of horses with two-wheeled carriages left a mess close to the Pier Hotel and the Ocean Room in Gorleston where people were sitting outside having lunch.
He said on several occasions he had witnessed the animals doing what came naturally in an area where it wasn't "appropriate."
Mr Spooner said: "Is there a different rule regarding the cleaning up of horse mess in Gorleston as to that of Great Yarmouth especially when it comes to the public walkways?
"As we all know, the wonderful horse and carriages on the seafront of Yarmouth are obliged to have a form of nappy to catch the horses droppings, whereas in Gorleston, on the prom and on the occasions when they turn up (usually a Sunday morning) it seems to be accepted that those in control of the horses can just arrive, leave the horses' mess, and depart with no regard for the public who are just out for a meal or a drink and have to put up with the smell of the effluent in full view while eating.
"Dog owners are required to bag up the mess from their pets, so why should this not apply to the owners of the horses who show no intention to do so?
"Perhaps a warden or a barrier of sorts would prevent these horse owners from making a presence on our hidden gem of glorious Gorleston beach sea front."
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British Horse Society spokesman Alex Potter said riders were not required by law to pick up dung, although it did advise brushing it to one side if possible.
A statement said: "Horses are not ridden out for the purpose of defecating, as is often the case with dogs.
"Horses dung about eight times a day, thus many will not dung when out for an hour's hack.
"They may dung if frightened or if at a place where they have previously been distressed.
"The BHS strongly encourages riders and carriage-drivers to be aware of their horses dunging on paths and the potential impact on other users."
Dung catchers were brought in for working horses pulling landaus along Great Yarmouth's seafront in around 2002, although initial reports said they made "no discernible difference" to the amount of muck on the highway.