Around 2,000 protestors, from as far afield as Birmingham, Kent, Surrey and Cornwall, rallied at Wilverley Plain in the New Forest on Saturday to show their opposition to plans for the national park.

The New Forest National Park Authority is seeking comments on a plan for the national park which would mean horse owners gaining planning permission if they wish to “keep” (feed and rug) their horses.

Tina Cant, of pressure group Forest Uprising, said: “It was amazing. Both local MPs (Dr Julian Lewis and Desmond Swayne) came along and they were fantastic, really supportive.

“There may be only a few thousand of us making a fuss but out of the 17,000 people living in the New Forest it’s quite a large proportion.”

A petition against the plan has attracted more than 4,000 signatures.

Mrs Cant said protestors would be joining a question time panel on the proposals with NPA representatives at Brockenhurst on 12 October and on 15 October they shall make a presentment at the Verderers’ Court meeting.

Campaigners will also attend the NPA meeting on 16 October at Brockenhurst.

“The wider equestrian community seems to think that it will all blow over because the plans are so unworkable, but this is no time for complacency,” said Mrs Cant.

“If the plan is passed in the New Forest other NPAs may also think it’s a good idea.”

Anyone interested in the subject is asked to go to the www.forestuprising.org.uk website.