There are different legal definitions for on land use for Agriculture and Equestrian, which many landowners are unaware of, but it is important to consider these before allowing horses on your land. If your land is classed as agricultural land, but you are using it for equestrian purposes, then you could be subject to enforcement action by the Local Authority.
Agriculture is defined in section 336 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as:
“horticulture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming, the breeding and keeping of livestock (including any creature kept for the production of food, wool, skins or fur, or for the purpose of its use in the farming of land), the use of land as grazing land, meadow land, osier land, market gardens and nursery grounds, and the use of land for woodlands where that use is ancillary to the farming of land for other agricultural purposes”.
This means that in order to have horses on your land and it fall within agricultural use, they must be dealt the same as if you were to have pigs, sheep or cattle i.e. to be working horses on the land (ploughing), or for grazing only.
This means that, if you do so much as to even rug your horse in the winter or provide them with additional hard feed or exercise them in any way in that field, then this will not constitute agriculture and a change of use of the land to equestrian use will be required.
If you are unsure or concerned about whether you may be using your land for equestrian purposes and it is agricultural land, please contact us for advice.