The Commons Advisory Panel (CAP) meeting of 5 December has recommended to the city council that a fallow period for horses should not be implemented on West Common in 2023. The dry weather over the summer, combined with the good condition of the sward (upper layer of soil covered by grass) has meant that there are no concerns going into the winter months. The drainage improvements around the horse feeding area by Roseberry Avenue have also helped reduce problem areas. This has allowed an early decision not to have a fallow period.
Separately, the Horse Association advised that the number of horses on West Common has fallen from circa 56 horses in 2020 to circa 40 horses in 2020.
What Is the Fallow Period for Horses?
Under the Act of Parliament covering the Lincoln Commons, horse owners can be requested to move their horses off West Common between 31st March and 14 May in any year if required. This “fallow period” allows the ground and foliage to recover from extreme winter weather. The Commons Advisory Panel usually takes this decision by February in any year. The decision is taken as early as possible to allow horse owners to plan any moves of horses when a fallow period is required. Many of them move to South Common which is generally under grazed.
For those who are not aware, grazing by horses plays a key part in maintaining important habitats for flora and fauna on West Common.