21st August 2018
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Horse-riders’ Seafield fears receding

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CONCERN that a park used for horse-riding events at Seafield in Lerwick could be turned into allotments has receded following a meeting between the council and equestrian groups.

The search by officials for a suitable plot of land for town gardeners is now focusing on a nearby field next to the Sea Road, which is currently given over to grazing for horses.

Shetland Equestrian Association chairwoman Abigail Robertson said it appeared the council now preferred not to move the riders off the former Seafield hockey pitch and that it had a better appreciation of how important the site is to the equestrian community. If the grazing field nearby is chosen for allotments she said the council had identified a possible alternative grazing park nearby for Clickimin Open Riding Club to put its horses on.

Ms Robertson thanked the council for including the clubs in its discussions and listening to their views about Seafield. “We acknowledge the need for allotments but would be very disappointed if any equestrian facilities had to be sacrificed in order to provide them.”

The association has collected 178 signatures on its Save Seafield petition which it is to keep running until it is confident the threat has been lifted entirely. It met the SIC last Thursday along with members of the Clickimin Open Riding Club and the Shetland Equestrian Facilities Working Group.

SIC head of environmental and building services Stephen Cooper said the meeting had been an amicable one which had offered a potential solution. “This will require further investigation to ensure that any alternative land made available is suitable for grazing.”

Lerwick Allotments Association chairwoman Kathy Greaves said the group was waiting to hear what sites might be made available for its members and she expects a meeting to be arranged with council officials next month.

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