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Unauthorised grazing

The grazing or keeping of livestock, including horses and ponies, on council-owned land is prohibited. This includes all areas of open space, parks, heathland and verges. 

We take unauthorised grazing seriously and employ the services of a specialist bailiff company to manage the problem on our behalf. Where necessary, the bailiff will carry out planned and targeted action against owners.  

Notices are placed at problem areas warning owners not to leave their animals on council-controlled property. In most cases the owners remove their animals after seeing these notices.   

Animals found illegally on council property can be impounded by the bailiff. We do not have facilities to keep livestock, so the bailiff will arrange livery for livestock while detained.  

The release of impounded animals can only be arranged after any damages and fees we’ve incurred are repaid in full. These include contractor's costs and vet's fees.  

Claimants must show they have legal responsibility for impounded livestock and complete a bailiff claim form. The period for claiming impounded animals will be shown on the impound notice. Animals that are not claimed will be sold and income received used to cover costs. 

Unauthorised grazing should not be confused with permitted grazing on nature reserves as part of our land management programme.  

We will not enter into agreement with individual livestock owners. 

Unfortunately, due to the behaviour of a minority of owners, we are unable to discuss the enforcement process, individual cases or the managing bailiff. 

Report unauthorised grazing and the information will be passed to the bailiff.