MORE than 4,000 people have signed a petition after a controversial clampdown on horse riding on Frinton beach.

Horses have banned from Frinton beach between Good Friday and September 30, while they will only be allowed to go on the beach until 11am in the winter months.

New signs have been installed by Tendring Council to reinforce the ban after “issues” were reported last season.

But Emma Overton, who regularly rides her horse on the beach, launched a petition against the move and it has now attracted more than 4,000 signatures.

She said: "We understand that some riders do not clear up horse muck, park their transport inconsiderately and use the beach as a race track which could potentially put other beach users at risk.

"But for some time now, we have been asking for a permit system, similar to the water bike users and kite surfers.

"We believe if this system is used, it would dramatically reduce the number of riders coming from away, and hold those who disregard the rules, accountable.

"We also suggested altering the bridleway, so it goes up more towards Holland Haven. This is a quieter beach and would mean less horse transport near the beach pathways.

"Tendring has a huge number of horse owners and riders. There are very few bridleways for us to use, meaning we often have to hack out on the road.

Roads are becoming more dangerous, and more awareness is needed.


Sign - new restrictions have been put in place

"The beach provides a safe place for horses to be exercised, and for riders to have some fun with friends. It is a cherished location, and one that is enjoyed by many of us."

They have called on the council to explain why the community was not consulted before the decision was made and for it to be reviewed.

Mike Carran, Tendring Council’s assistant director for leisure, said the step was not something the council has done lightly.

He said: "On a daily basis we were experiencing conflict between horse riders and other beach users.

“To reduce the risk of accidents we are therefore limiting access.

"As with all risk management issues this measure will be kept under review, but with visitor numbers forecast to be even higher than last year, this will be difficult to do before the end of the summer.

"Likewise we are aware of suggestions of a permit system, but again this is not something which could be implemented in the short-term if it were found to be viable.

“We understand this is a difficult position, particularly for the majority of responsible riders who would like to make use of the coastline.

"We do hope however that people understand the reasons behind this measure, and the differing views we are trying to balance, and this will be reviewed at the end of the season.”

To sign the petition, go to