HORSE owners who are riding on parks and playing fields are causing health and safety headaches for council bosses.
Kirklees parks chiefs are now so worried about the effect of horses churning up council-owned land they have issued a reminder to riders.
David Hosley, senior technical officer for parks and open spaces, said the recently implemented `right to roam' legislation applied only to walkers and not to horses.
Mr Hosley added: "Horses travelling across wet ground can cause a big problem.
"The holes made by their feet dry and can become dangerous and unsafe.
"Anyone can get their foot stuck in it so it is a health and safety hazard."
Mr Hosley said the vast majority of riders did not use Culture and Leisure Services land and added: "Most people stick to bridleways, roads and byways at all times.
"Horse riders' help in this matter is much appreciated."
New legislation, which came into force last year, meant walkers are now able to roam 6,250 square miles of mapped areas of heath, mountain, down and common land, much of which used to be off limits.
The move followed a campaign of more than 100 years to allow people to freely walk across mapped access land without sticking to paths.
The access area equates to 7% of England's total land and is equivalent to 1.6m football pitches.