Horse invasion stops children using school field
Fourteen horses are preventing 200 children from using their new £16,000 school sports field in a Lincolnshire town.
And now the headteacher of Gainsborough's Benjamin Adlard Community School – who has twice cancelled sports day – has called on Lincolnshire County Council to take action.
Bernadette Glabus spoke out this week after repeatedly asking the council to prevent the horses, grazing on its land, from straying onto the primary academy's property.
"We've tried for years to find out exactly who owns the horses because they have traditionally been kept in adjoining fields.
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"They've frequently strayed onto our land through gaps and holes in boundary fences."
"Several years ago we abandoned sports day because the horses, which have no clear field boundary to keep them back, stampeded.
"They went onto the sports field while children were competing in races and their families were watching. It was a very dangerous situation.
"So, because of these problems and others caused by rabbits and moles, we decided to invest £16,000 on a fenced-off area large enough for a running track and a football field.
"But every time we try to approach it we are surrounded by the group of up to 14 horses.
"Apart from the fact that our field – for which we pay rates – is absolutely covered in horse manure and is never cleared, we can't allow anyone to go anywhere near the play area for safety reasons. So we have a £16,000 new sports field which is out of bounds to all our pupils.
"And every approach we've made to people arriving to feed the horses has been met with denials of ownership."
Eight-year-old Benjamin Adlard pupil Jake Lonsdale said: "We all miss not being able to come up to the sports field."
Council Chief Property Officer Kevin Kendall said the authority was making efforts to contact the owner. "We are looking at the best option to remove the existing horses as quickly as we can and prevent any more of them from returning – we don't want a repeat of the current situation."