Play area churned up by horse riders

NADV. Councillor Greta Knight pictured at the new play area on Butler Road Field, where horseriders have damaged the grass. 110314AR1pic1.

NADV. Councillor Greta Knight pictured at the new play area on Butler Road Field, where horseriders have damaged the grass. 110314AR1pic1.

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A NEWLY-refurbished play area in Woodfield is being used by horseriders as a showjumping arena.

Hoof marks, churned up grass and droppings have been left around the Butler Road Playing Field, and there is evidence that play equipment has been jumped over by horses. Two female riders were spotted leaving the field last week.

NADV. Councillor Greta Knight pictured at the new play area on Butler Road Field, where horseriders have damaged the grass. 110314AR1pic2.

NADV. Councillor Greta Knight pictured at the new play area on Butler Road Field, where horseriders have damaged the grass. 110314AR1pic2.

Some of the play equipment is outside of the fenced play area, encouraging children to use the field as much as possible, but the open surroundings have left the wooden planks with enough space for horses to be ridden over.

The work cost £65,000, paid for through North Yorkshire County Council with a Government grant which was withdrawn by the coalition government last year, before being reinstated after lobbying from the community.

As part of the funding, the play equipment also has rubber matting around the base to protect the surrounding grass.

Woodfield ward councillor Greta Knight said: “I’m sure that the horse riders didn’t fully appreciate the implications of their ill-advised actions. I urge them to enjoy using the bridleways in the area and leave the play area for the children. A designated recreational area isn’t the appropriate place for horseriding activities.”

NADV. Horses hooves have damaged the grass at Butler Road Field Play Area. 110314AR1pic3.

NADV. Horses hooves have damaged the grass at Butler Road Field Play Area. 110314AR1pic3.

She urged anyone who spotted people using the new equipment inappropriately to contact the council and report the activity.