Wind farms are on the increase, and this is seen by many as good news for the environment. However, an increasing number of riders are becoming concerned about the effects this could have on their horses.
In response, the British Horse Society (BHS) has fired up its wind farm campaign. It’s keen to fly the flag for renewable energy, but wants to make sure horses and riders are not put at risk from the huge turbines.
So far no horses or riders have been injured as a result of the turbines themselves, but the unexpected sight of one close by is enough to send many horses running for cover – which is where the danger lies.
Henry Whittaker of the BHS said: “The biggest risk is to riders who are hacking in an area they don’t know – if they take their horse on holiday for instance. If you come round a corner to be confronted by a turbine your horse won’t be impressed. The turning blades throw shadows on the ground, produce a low-frequency noise and look scary.
“We’ve heard of riders falling when their horses have turned tail and bolted. Another, much smaller risk, is from ice flying off the turbines in winter.”
The BHS is publishing new guidelines on the siting of wind farms, and will work with developers to make sure they’re adhered to.
Henry said: “The most important thing for developers to consider is that the turbines should be at least three times their height away from an equestrian right of way.”
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