HORSE riders are being urged to keep away from certain areas of common land near Bromyard as they are making it unsafe for walkers.

The Bromyard Downs Common Association, which looks after the downs just outside the town in east Herefordshire, said while it had been lovely to see so many people enjoying the area during lockdown, horses were causing problems.

Frequent wet weather over the winter has left the downs "very soft" and as a result horses are being blamed for "badly rutting" the tracks for walkers.

"We would just ask that due to the current very soft conditions that horse riders keep to the hard tracks to avoid damaging the ground," the association said.

"Several downs residents and walkers have voiced concerns that horses are churning up some of the grassed areas and badly rutting the usual walkers tracks, making it very difficult to walk safely.

"Hopefully spring isn't too far away, bringing better weather so we can all enjoy the freedom of walking or riding on the downs again.

"Thank you all for your continued support in maintaining the downs for all users."

The Bromyard Downs common stretches to 114 hectares and for for generations has provided an agricultural resource for the local farming community, as well as a place of recreation.