Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is calling on all horse riders to act responsibly on its beaches.
The campaign follows reports from the public about horses galloping at speed close to other beach users at Whiterocks and East Strand in Portrush.
The council is urging horse riders to be mindful of other beach users, including those with young children and dogs, to ensure that beaches remain a safe and welcoming place for everyone.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Joan Baird OBE, said: “Our beaches are hugely popular attractions for both residents and visitors on a year-round basis, and are used by many people for leisure and recreation. All users have an obligation to act in a fair and responsible way to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.
“While horse riders are welcome on the council’s beaches, I would ask them to respect other beach users and help to create an inclusive environment for everyone.”
In keeping with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Management Policy for Horses on Beaches, horse riders are asked to:
o Behave in a way which is respectful and cognizant of other beach users.
o Be aware of the presence of children and dogs, especially at high tide, and reduce pace accordingly.
o Never gallop past other beach users, and leave plenty of room when passing
o Avoid disturbing wildlife and plants, and keep out of dunes
o Remove all horse manure.
Riders should also be aware that other beach users may not be able to hear a vocal warning from approaching riders. This could be due to a hearing impairment, wearing headphones or simply due to windy weather.
While the management policy only applies from 1st May - 30th September, these guiding principles should be observed by horse riders throughout the whole the year.
In addition to this, a council bye-law states that ‘A person shall not drive any vehicle, or ride any animal, in such a manner as to cause danger, annoyance or nuisance to any person’. The ultimate aim of the policy and bye-law is to create safer beaches for all.
Council officers are continuing to monitor the situation at Whiterocks and East Strand and the council would encourage members of the public to report any incidents of dangerous or irresponsible horse riding by ringing 028 7034 7234.