Horses on Mardyke Valley rears its head again

FOLLOWING last year’s concerns about ponies and horses in the Mar Dyke Valley flood plain, Thurrock Council agreed with its tenant that grazing could only take place between the end of March and the beginning of November.

At the end of last month the council became aware that some horses were still present in the valley and informed the tenant they had to go as soon as possible.

A further check towards the end of last week revealed that although half the animals had been removed, around a half dozen were still present.

The council then wrote to the tenant instructing him to make “immediate arrangements to remove these horses and [to] ensure that the area is not grazed until 1 April 2015”.

The council offered to help if the ownership of the horses is unknown or if there are “difficulties” in removing them.

The letter adds: “The horses and any other grazing animals should be removed by Friday 14 November 2014, failure to do so could result in their forcible removal by the council of which we would seek to recover costs.”

And it continues to say that although the council wants to continue its “good relationship” with the tenant, it will look to take any necessary action to remedy the breach of agreement.

Chief Executive, Graham Farrant, said on Tuesday: “We had an agreement, but it doesn’t appear that it has been maintained. We have taken initial action and will follow up as necessary to make sure the animals leave the flood plain and do not return until next spring.”

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