NPWS asking Tweed Byron riders to quit horsing around and stick to designated trails
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is encouraging horse riders in the Tweed Byron area to stick to designated horse-riding trails in national parks following an increase in horse riders entering prohibited areas.
NPWS North Coast Director Russell Madeley said that NPWS has provided several horse-riding opportunities in national parks in the Tweed Byron area in response to strong local community interest.
“Horse riding is a unique and special way to experience our region’s beautiful national parks,” said Mr Madeley.
“We are always looking to improve horse riding opportunities across the parks system, but only where it is safe to do so, and the conservation value of these important environmental areas can be preserved.
“With the support of the local community, we’ve created approximately 85 kilometres of designated trails for horse riders within Mebbin National Park, Mount Jerusalem National Park and Mooball National Park, many of which link to off-park trails like the 60-kilometre Misty Mountain Trail.
“Each of these trails are outlined in the Horse Trails of the Tweed Valley Guide and clearly marked in each park with blue track markers.
“Horse riding is not permitted in any other national park in the Tweed Byron area.
“Over the past 6 months, we’ve found increasing evidence of riders leaving designated trails, often accompanied by domestic dogs. We’re seeing trampled vegetation and ad-hoc short cuts and other trails being created through our park’s fragile ecosystems.
“We’re asking local riders to work with us and stick to the designated trails.
“By working together, we can minimise any potential impacts on our region’s wildlife and continue to offer sustainable opportunities for horse riding in our national parks,” said Mr Madeley.
NPWS has increased patrols in across the Tweed Byron Area. The penalty for persons taking a horse onto parks land that is not a designated horse-riding area is $300.
All recreational horse activities must be conducted in accordance with the Code of Practice for Horse Riding in Parks. It is the responsibility of riders to ensure they are riding in the correct locations.
The Horse Trails of the Tweed Valley Guide, prepared in partnership with the Australian Trail Horse Riders Association, Tweed Byron Trail Horse Riding Club, Queensland Endurance, Tweed Shire Council and Destination Tweed, has been made available at the NPWS Murwillumbah and Byron Bay Office and local horse-riding clubs.