Peaceful gathering of horses and riders in Shouldham Warren

Local riders braved the wet weather recently to show their support for the #sorrynoquarry campaign

Riders both mounted and on foot gathered together on Saturday 26th October to add their voices to the campaign to save Shouldham Warren from the threat of a quarry.  The Warren is a popular place for riders with many travelling from outlying areas to enjoy the wonderful scenery.  It’s one of the few places in this part of Norfolk where riders can meet and ride together without worrying about having to navigate busy roads.

Vikki Muller a horse owner from King’s Lynn who attended with her family said, “We have attended this peaceful protest to show people how much we care about the Warren. We use it regularly to ride our horses in safety and also to walk our dog in this beautiful woodland.”

Sally McCall another horse owner said, “ I came because the Warren is an amazing place of natural beauty where I feel safe to ride my young horse without the danger of riding on the roads with fast traffic and lorries.”

Jenny Simpson from Brook Farm Liveries, who organised the event, said, “This is a beautiful place, full of wildlife and popular with riders, walkers, cyclists and families. It provides safe off-road riding for so many and it is unfathomable that this ancient woodland environment is under threat from the Norfolk County Council mineral and waste plan, particularly given the climate crisis we now face. We wanted to do something to add our voices to the campaign run by CATSS (Campaigners against two silica sites Marham/Shouldham), and so we are standing together with fellow riders to say ‘sorry no quarry’.  At a time where road accidents involving horses and riders are on the rise, protecting safe off-road public access spaces such as the Warren is so important. The fact that so many people came despite the awful weather just goes to prove how strongly we feel about preserving this place for the future.”

A British Horse Society Spokesperson said “It is vital that we are able to secure a safe and substantial off-road network for the future generations. Many equestrian routes are fragmented and can now only be reached using busy roads. Our research has shown that there have been over 3,737 road incidents reported to us since November 2010, which involved the deaths of 315 horses and 43 riders. Therefore the need for off-road places to ride has never been so important. The British Horse Society launched Project Jigsaw with the aim of enabling every rider and carriage driver to access a safe network of off-road paths. We are aiming to tackle the issue of our limited and fragmented routes, and connecting them to build a full and complete picture.”

The deadline for lodging objections to the inclusion of Shouldham Warren in the Norfolk County Council plan is 5pm at 30th October and it’s not too late to get involved. There is an online petition, an electronic objection form and several letter templates on the CATSS website along with lots more information.