The British Horse Society has been invited to represent the equestrian industry on to the government’s new forum to help revive the rural economy
The BHS says it is delighted to have been invited to represent the equestrian industry on the government’s new Rural Affairs Forum.
BHS spokeswoman, Nichola Gregory, said: “It’s terrific we are being recognised at last as having a contribution to make . All the lobbyinghas paid off. It quite a coup and very satisfying.”
The equestrian industry is estimated to be worth around £2.5bn a year to the rural economy and equestrian tourism is now a growing industry.
The BHS believes that one of the effects of the FMD crisis was to prove that the rights of way network plays a key role in the economic health of rural communities.
“Hotels, pubs, shops and tourist attractions saw their businesses collapse as soon as the rights of way were closed, ” saidNichola.
The society believes that the forum will also be a good place for “networking” with the other 21 bodies on the forum.
The forum, which will meet several times a year, will be chaired by Rural Affairs Minister, Alun Michael.
Hesaid: “We are determined to work effectively with all those who want to see rural communities thrive.
” Foot and mouth has shown us all that we need to work together and the Rural Affairs Forum will provide a voice for rural communities and a wide range of players at the heart of government.
“It will actively engage with the key organisations to put rural issues high on the government agenda.”
Click hereto read about the effect FMD had on the equine industry.