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Knepp Exmoor Project and Permissive Horse Riding

The Knepp Exmoor Project (KEP) is a permissive riding group open to anyone in the local equestrian community who wishes to ride on the Knepp Estate (other than on public Bridleways).

Please note we are currently full, new applications will be put onto a waiting list.

Anyone wishing to use our network of riding routes will need to apply for permission below and abide by our simple rules. This enables users to enjoy extensive riding through this beautiful and unique rewilding project whilst allowing us to communicate quickly with important information that may affect rides on the estate.

Background

Knepp Estate is a pioneering rewilding project. As part of this project free-roaming Exmoor ponies were introduced to the estate in 2005 alongside other large herbivores to help maintain a diverse and rich mosaic of vegetation with their unique grazing behaviour, helping biodiversity to thrive.

To enable our rare bloodline Exmoor herds to live as natural a life as possible, they run as family groups, with entire males, mares and their young.  In other areas of Britain (e.g. New Forest, Wicken Fen, Exmoor, Dartmoor), where free-roaming herds live alongside riders, the equine community know that they must take care and use their own judgement when riding horses, particularly mares, in areas where stallions are present.  We hope that by encouraging our local equestrian community to use our routes, they will be supporters and advocates in our aspiration to grow this endangered breed, by tolerating and riding safely around them, thus helping them to breed naturally.

We currently run two herds at Knepp, a mixed herd in the middle block with entire males and an all-female herd in the southern block. We have plans to further expand and grow these herds soon. Through our own observations and input from KEP members, we will continue to monitor rider interactions with the herd to help inform our herd management. Aggressive individuals, if any, will be rapidly removed from the project.

Admission to KEP will be entirely at the discretion of the project management team, and subject to the following:

  • An admin fee of £50 per annum
  • Completion of a simple licence agreement
  • Proof of insurance
  • Adherence to the rules

KEP Rules

  • Stick to the designated riding routes
  • Give constructive and relevant feedback from your experiences
  • Don’t bring your horse on to the estate for at least 72 hours after using ivermectin based wormers (Knepp has a staggering variety of invertebrates, and we don’t want to poison them)
  • Help police the routes ensuring that only our supporters and members are using them
  • Give way to and act quietly around safari groups and the estate team
  • Enjoy quiet recreation in sympathy with our nature conservation objectives

Please make sure you are familiar with the full rules and regulations as well as guidance given by the British Horse Society on riding through cattle, horses (including stallions) and other animals on the estate.

Updates will be posted on the KEP Facebook page and via a private WhatsApp group.

Application Form

Our 12+ Policy

Knepp Wildland Safaris and campsite are all about the quiet and patient observation of nature.

Some of the species we are likely to encounter are shy or can be frightened by loud noises or sudden movements. Our campsite with open-air fire-pits, wood-burning stoves and an on-site pond is unsuitable for small children.

For this reason, our safaris, holiday cottages and campsite are suitable only for children of 12 and over.

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