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Windfarm Consultation (Bridleways)  

Author:  | Safety, Tourism, U.K.

400 Consultations sent out, to: bridleway officers, development officers, affiliated bridleway groups; 116 responses received (return of 29%)

Questions included:
Do you ride near wind turbines?
Are they near public rights of way?
Have you encountered any problems?
Location of respondent

Of the 116 responses, 19 people rode near turbines (16%)

16 people informed us the turbines were on, or very near a right of way, the remainder being on private land.

The main problems reported were:
Turbines casting shadows
Noise from turbines
Flying ice in winter
Movement of blades

All of the above upsetting the horse and often unseating the rider or causing them to fall

From the 19 respondents, 5 people have actually fallen off at least once, 3 of these required hospitalisation and 1 horse was unable to be ridden after the incident.

People who encountered no problems stated they were riding horses who were accustomed to the turbines or riding very steady older horses. They also acknowledged that they could understand how other people’s horses may be upset by the presence of a turbine and are aware of incidents occurring.

Lots of people also commented that they wouldn’t mind one turbine, however a whole farm of turbines may cause them to rethink their riding route.

In one particular instance, a report of over half the members of Haworth and Oxenhope riding club experiencing problems was reported, this being over 100 incidents.

Location of respondents:
1 incident in North East
5 incidents in Lancashire
1 incident in Cumbria
1 incident in West Yorkshire
1 incident in Cornwall
2 incidents in Wales

Lancashire: 1 unable to pass, 1 fall, 1 bolted, 2 distressed horses
Wales: 1 sudden stop and spin around, 1 bolted
West Yorkshire: 1 distressed horse but heard of many more riders having problems, over half the bridleway group
Cornwall: 1 distressed horse
Cumbria: 1 distressed horse
North East: 1 distressed horse due to noise

Respondents were also asked if the presence of turbines would deter them from taking their horse to a given place e.g an equestrian holiday. Of the 99 people who answered the question, 66 would not take their horse on holiday where there were turbines present (65%)

The main reasons were:
Their horse had never seen a turbine and they would be unsure of its reaction
Unnecessary risk
Scenery and views spoilt

Equestrian Business
This will have implications for many equestrian businesses including bed and breakfast establishments. In the areas where incidents were reported the British Horse Society has registered bed and breakfasts that cater for equestrians.

Bed and Breakfast Establishments —
County Durham and surrounding area: 7
Lancashire: 5
Cornwall: 5
West Yorkshire: 11
Cumbria: 6

One respondent commented that her clients have stopped coming due to the erection of turbines in the surrounding area.

Download original document: “The British Horse Society Windfarm Consultation

This article is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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