The sea starts in the paddock!

En stor brun häst med röd grimma och blått regntäcke i en hage. I bakgrunden finns en skogsdunge där flera träd har orangefärgade löv. En ung kvinna i långt hår, klädd i jeans och täckjacka, håller i grimskaftet och tittar på hästen. Hästen och kvinnan speglas i en vattenyta i förgrunden.

Vallentuna Riding Club has compiled a water management plan, including a pond that captures phosphorus from the paddocks.

Horses have an important part to play in Sweden, for both leisure and business pursuits. However, keeping horse can have an adverse impact on the aquatic environment as phosphorus from horse faeces flows with rainwater from the paddocks and down into rivers, lakes and the sea.

There are currently around 330,000 horses in Sweden. How much phosphorus from manure reaches our waterways depends on the nature of the paddocks, but it is estimated that horses account for between 5 and 15 per cent of the total phosphorus in our lakes and seas. This exacerbates eutrophication.

Many horse farms and riding centres want to improve their paddocks and protect the aquatic environment. One way of doing this is to develop a water management plan that provides an overall view of risks and appropriate measures.

For the sake of horses, paddocks and the sea.