Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Great Britain: Fears over Norfolk forest sell-off plans

Eveningnews24.co.uk - Full Article

Monday, 10 January, 2011

Hundreds of horse riders could face difficulty pursuing their passion in Norfolk if swathes of publicly-owned woodland is privatised under government proposals.

If the move goes ahead, Thetford Forest could no longer be the domain of family picnics, campers or cyclists, and riders could be forced out of the area completely due to a lack of alternative space.

Currently much of Britain’s endurance riding programme is carried out in the region, and people from all over the country descend on the forest for its long and peaceful routes.

Nicki Gilbert has been breeding endurance horses in her spare time for the past five years. She is now in limbo waiting for a decision and could be forced to relocate if the forest is sold to private landowners.

Miss Gilbert, 39, who runs Akala Arabians at Ash Farm in Shipdham, said: “A lot of it is about having access to somewhere you can ride safely and off road.

“I used to hack out in the lanes but just in the years I’ve been riding traffic has got so much faster and it’s impossible now..."

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