Sand School Surface Conundrum
  • 14th Aug 2018
  • Article written by Emma Salmon
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Sand School Surface Conundrum

There is a growing concern for plastic waste being used in equestrian arena surfaces. The environment agency have warned riders of the dangers in using inappropriate materials. Those involved may be ordered to remove and dispose of the toxic plastic waste and, furthermore, face prosecution.

In a statement from the EA they advised: “Plastic granulate, derived from the recycling of cable sheathing and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and sold as an alternative surface for equestrian centres, could place horses and riders at risk, present a pollution hazard and lead to owners falling foul of the law,”

In essence, it is unlawful to use this plastic waste as a sand school surface unless an environmental permit is obtained. However, the permit would only be granted to licensed waste disposal facilities and, therefore, the only option for the yards who have installed this plastic waste to their sand school is to remove and dispose of the surface (which is a costly exercise).

We would strongly recommend that, prior to installing a new surface, research is undertaken to ensure:

  1. The company installing the surface is reputable; and
  2. The surface being installed is safe and lawful.

We fear that this issue may have affected a number of yard owners who have upgraded their sand school in recent years.

Please do not hesitate to contact Emma Salmon, a dispute specialist, if you have any concerns regarding a recent sand school surface installation or regarding a potential dispute.