British Horse Society commissions research in the Blackdown
British Horse Society (BHS) has commissioned a research project
aimed at identifying current levels of equine business activity
in the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
in order to explore its potential for economic growth. The Project
is funded by the Blackdown Hills Leader+ Rural Development Programme
and research is being undertaken by Masters Students from the University
of Plymouth, based at the Seale Hayne Campus in Newton Abbott.
BHS and the Blackdown Hills Rural Partnership is committed to improve
and enhance sustainable tourism and recreational activity within
the AONB, and horse related enterprises have been identified as
a potential area for growth. There are funding opportunities available
to support economic activity in the AONB, and having data to prove
that there is a market demand will help to access these.
The overall outcomes of the research may be used to develop the
Blackdown Hills AONB as a 'Centre of Excellence' for equestrian
activity, possibly promoting the idea of Black Beauty Country. There
is also the potential for an exciting European connection with Sweden,
which is keen to develop joint ventures.
chief executive, Kay Driver, said, "We are very excited about
this research and look forward to seeing the results. Everyone who
lives and works on the Blackdown Hills and is involved with the
horse industry, including leisure riders, will be encouraged to
complete a short questionnaire. Feedback and information is needed
from grooms, vets, saddlers, instructors, livery yards, riding schools,
trainers, breeders, feed merchants, farriers, horse 'B&B' providers,
rug repairers, clipping service providers, facility providers and
others in the area to make this survey comprehensive and fully inclusive.
are available now from local equestrian outlets, can be downloaded
from the Blackdown Hills website www.blackdown-hills.net or direct
from the Blackdown Hills Rural Partnership Office in Hemyock (Tel: