Looking for some opinions on an issue that I find thought provoking but know nothing about – like almost all threads on here TBH 😉
Basic premise is whether horse piss / crap counts as an environmental or safety hazard.
Locally to me there is a stable yard that sits right in the middle of a public right of way. There are gates at both ends, presumably to stop stray horses running off. Getting through the gates requires dismounting the bike – I’m not Danny Mac.
The yard contains numerous stables which are rented (if that’s the right term) by individuals, so there’s a real community of horse folk who presumably pay the landowner for the use of a stable stall(?) and paddock.
The yard sits on a concrete slab and at one end the slab stops abruptly at the gate where it joins onto the ROW. The ROW here is an unsurfaced track.
This is the low point of the yard, so water runs off the slab, directly onto the ROW.
The mud and puddles created on the track are made worse by the regular cleaning of the stables, which seems to involve hosing out the remnants of horse waste not soaked up by the straw.
The resulting puddles are grim. Basically a green soup of mud, horse piss and crap. They stink year round, and in summer are almost unbearable.
It’s impossible to use the ROW without going through the slurry, even in summer.
1) Is horse crap a hazard?
2) Can a business dispose of its waste straight onto an ROW like this? Are there some environmental controls that might apply?
It seems odd that a seemingly nasty by-product can be disposed of in this way in a public location. It’s not quite the same as a private farmyard as there is public access.
The obligations on businesses to deal with their waste in other realms are so onerous it hurts. Are stables exempt?Posted 7 months ago
I rode through a farm yard once that was a bridalway, I got absolutely covered in slurry, nice.
Might be of use:Posted 7 months ago
Seeing as the authorities aren’t interested or don’t have time to deal with silage effluent running across the Old Clitheroe Road between Longridge and Clitheroe, and practically destroying it outside a farm, then I doubt they’d be interested in something like that. Although run off should be channeled to drainage, if the EA agency visit we had a few years ago has anything to go by.Posted 7 months ago
Not sure but I think it’ll be better to ride another route, I live on a large estate, on the edge of town, we are only 2 minutes into the countryside. Much like you there is a ridding school in between, although no issues with their run off.
We have dogs and have to pick up after them rightly so, otherwise the towns facebook group goes into meltdown, theres nothing worse than irresponsible dog owners, yet it seems horses dont follow the same rules, I see horse poo generally, on the road path, playing fields.
Is it a historical thing that horseriders are not made to pickup, cant be difficult to strap a shovel to their saddle to clear up as they go, I’m aware the horses diet their leftovers are not as toxic as dogs but sure a level playing field for all.Posted 7 months ago
Fresh horse shit is at the low end of offensiveness but it’s still shit. A manky mixture of muck washed onto a right of way sounds grim though.
Maybe approach the stable directly and tell them the issue. It might not work but its probably better than trying the authorities who will most likely do nothing.Posted 7 months ago
There’s some stables on our road so the road is routinely coated in horse crap.
I absolutely hate the double standard. If you don’t clear up dog poo, you’re scum! Yet there’s never even a suggestion that a horse rider should clear up their mess.Posted 7 months ago
Maybe ask if the horses could be trained to sit rather than stand.Posted 7 months ago
Dog crap is way more commonly encountered by people than horse crap, that’s why.Posted 7 months ago
as far as i’m aware there’s nothing in horse crap that makes people blind. dog crap on the other hand…
(dog owner BTW)Posted 7 months ago
Not sure but I think it’ll be better to ride another route,
Please don’t. That would be a really bad outcome.Posted 7 months ago
You could find out the contact details for your area rights of way officer (probably somewhere on your council website) is and email them a query.
FYI. Highways act 1980
F1131A Disturbance of surface of certain highways.
(1)A person who, without lawful authority or excuse, so disturbs the surface of—Posted 7 months ago
(b)a bridleway, or
(c)any other highway which consists of or comprises a carriageway other than a made-up carriageway,
as to render it inconvenient for the exercise of the public right of way is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
(2)Proceedings for an offence under this section shall be brought only by the highway authority or the council of the non-metropolitan district, parish or community in which the offence is committed; and, without prejudice to section 130 (protection of public rights) above, it is the duty of the highway authority to ensure that where desirable in the public interest such proceedings are brought.]
Horse poo is an order of magnitude less offensive than dog muck.
I am not a horse-ist. Or a
As for the situation in the OP, I can see how that might be annoying. A small change to the drainage would seem sensible – maybe engage with the owner of the stables. Although I’m more inclined to term it a nuisance than think of it as pollution or some sort of offence.
I’m far more bothered about the riders who take their barely controllable beasts out on the roads and then expect the whole rest of the world to pander to the fact that their beasts are barely under control.
Yes, I comply. Yes I do my best to avoid spooking their beasts. And yes, horses need exercise. But if you *know* your animal is only marginally under control on the roads then stable it somewhere you can exercise it away from roads. And yes, that may be hard. Or expensive. Fine with me – they chose to own it.Posted 7 months ago
Sounds pretty similar to what many drivers say about cyclists…Posted 7 months ago
historical thing that horseriders are not made to pickup
Imagine the size of the bags hanging in the trees!!Posted 7 months ago
Nothing in horse shit which is a significant zoonotic risk, they don’t carry Salmonella (unlike cows, birds or turtles), their parasites are not a risk to you (unlike those carried by dogs or cats). I know this as I frequently put my hand up their bottoms for a living (nice and warm there).
Smell wise most is quite peppery, some more pungent. Foal poo is most unpleasant.
Horse piss is quite high in protein and so has a lovely head when it is delivered (think Belgian wheat beer), and is less smelly than cat piss.
Can’t comment on legalities of muck heaps and watercourses or RoWs, just poo!Posted 7 months ago
as far as i’m aware there’s nothing in horse crap that makes people blind. dog crap on the other hand…
I think some people haven’t grasped the health risks of dog muck compared to horse muck.
When did it become compulsory to pick up after your dog? Not had one since late 80s and I don’t remember it back then.Posted 7 months ago
I know this as I frequently put my hand up their bottoms for a living (nice and warm there).
come for the technical knowledge, stay for the breadth. bless STW and all who sail in her. 😀Posted 7 months ago
Thanks all for the info.
The link from @qwerty was really helpful, and led onto Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, which seems relevant too.Posted 7 months ago
I think the contents regarding a few steaming piles of horse poo versus the OPs issue are a world apart. Slurry and run off that makes a right of way impassable without getting covered is more serious issue. I know of yards that have had to relocate their muck heaps to control run off… The only difference is that I think that relates to run off onto neighbouring property, whereas the right of way may be on the stable owners land.
Also they don’t need to hose stables out regularly, a fork is more than enough unless you are doing a deep clean.
On the other hand, I’ve ridden through a couple of dairy farms where the bridleway pasess the cattle holding area, and literally had to cycle through 4 inches of liquid poo, which isn’t particularly pleasant!Posted 7 months ago
Sounds pretty similar to what many drivers say about cyclists…
Not really. I admit there’s a bit of overlap.
But I’m yet to have my bike bolt off down the road at full sprinting speed with me as an unwilling passenger.
Might make a good Strava segment if it did.Posted 7 months ago
Barely controllable beasts? Wtaf?
You are an ignorant dick.
There maybe a minority who take their horse on the road who can’t control it but that’s a minority. Must horse riders just want the courtesy and respect from other road users. Just like we do on our bikes. Yes a horse can spook but most riders can control that. But if you behave like a cock in your car or pass to close at speed you can cause a serious accident.
And if a bit of mildly digested grass bothers you, scoop it up and put it on your roses.
To the op, that’s not pleasant but maybe a polite letter to the yard owner asking if they could control their effluent issue may help the problem.Posted 7 months ago
The yard will be liable, as any livestock farm, for effluent control. Tell the EA.Posted 7 months ago
I see horses on the road and that aren’t under control, without any bikes or cars around. You know the ones- the horses are going sideways spinning around, not pointing the right way.Posted 7 months ago
Up on the grass, then back on road- definitely a danger to everyone and it’s up to the cars and bikes to stop while the horse is being a prick.
Pour some bleach into it when the wind is blowing in the right direction. The resultant cloud of chloramine gas might make them change their minds about cleaning it up.
Edit: It has crossed my mind that this is probably illegal, but I’m not sure whether it’s the use of a chemical weapon or pouring bleach into the environment that’s going to get you into trouble.Posted 7 months ago
Dog crap is way more commonly encountered by people than horse crap, that’s why.
Plus it’s the single most disgusting deposit known to man. The stench is awful.
Reminds me we used to use a white road in Derbyshire for rallies that was generally referred to as “pigshit white” on account of the drainage from the adjacent sheds. Hit a big pool of it one night and thought the electrics had failed, ended up a little bank at the side of the lane, car completely covered. Still, didn’t smell as a bad as dogshit.Posted 7 months ago
The yard will be liable, as any livestock farm, for effluent control. Tell the EA.
Yes, an an ex environment officer that’s true. You have to contain slurry from loafing yards or any sealed surface where livestock are kept/congregate etc. SSAFO regs apply to how you are to contain and store it and it’s a criminal offence not to comply. See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/storing-silage-slurry-and-agricultural-fuel-oil
A combined approach from the local council rights of way/environmental health dept and the EA would probably be the best approach in this situation.Posted 7 months ago
pouring bleach into the environment
Also a criminal offence.Posted 7 months ago
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