Health and safety concerns reign in work on white horse

Health and safety officers have called a halt on work to North Yorkshire’s famous white horse due to safety concerns.

Kilburn’s renowned hillside etching had been maintained by a group of volunteers, but the Forestry Commission, which owns the land on which the king-size horse is painted, has stepped in to take over the work.

The limestone landmark will now be conserved by trained workers with access to specialist equipment.

Commenting on the change, Margaret Gomersall, the treasurer of the Kilburn White Horse Association, said: “I have mixed feelings about the decision. We’ve been doing it happily for a long, long time [but] we are quite an elderly group. Maybe it’s best for the sake of the horse.”

The limestone surface of the horse means it requires repainting on a regular basis.

The Forestry Commission was keen to stress that the safety of those involved in the work was paramount, but it was “grateful for the all hard work” the white horse association had undertaken.

A spokesperson said: “We have been talking with them for a while and we both recognise that times have moved on and agree that the work on the steep slope is dangerous, unless you have specialist equipment and appropriate training.”

If you have health and safety concerns about your place of work and require professional advice, speak to Mark Dalton today.