AN “abandoned” horse left on grassland in a Worcester housing estate has been moved after council officers served notice on its owner.

Concerns have been raised after three of the animals were spotted tethered on land in the Warndon Villages area of the city – a practice known as fly-grazing. 

Over the new year, notices were put up by Worcester City Council after one of the horses was found on the council’s land at Newark Green in the Villages.

This prompted its unknown owner to move it to nearby Chepstow Avenue where it joined the two other horses.

“There have been a number of issues over horses tethered in the vicinity of Cotswold Way and Wainwright Road over recent months,” county councillor Lucy Hodgson told a meeting of Warndon Parish Council.

“Events culminated recently with one of the horses being moved onto the green near Newark Green. The horse was finally removed but we are unsure by who.”

She stressed the animals appear well-fed and watered and said the RSPCA would only get involved should there be a welfare issue.

“This is very much a national issue and during a debate in parliament at the end of November it was clear that this is starting to cost councils across the country a lot of money.”

Sue Penny, who set up Penny Ha’Penny Horse and Pony Rescue in Malvern, says she makes regular visits to check on them.

“I have been going down regularly to see them,” she said.

“The problem is escalating. They are being looked after and moved around.

“But I don’t understand how it’s being allowed to continue. We’re getting a lot of calls about them.”

Worcester City Council says it has served a notice at Newark Green for the removal of an abandoned horse.

“The notice requires that the horse be removed within two weeks,” said a city council spokesperson.

“If it is not removed we can seize it and sell it at auction.

“The horse was removed from Newark Green within a day of the notice being served, but was then taken to Chepstow Avenue, where there are also two other horses.

“We are now talking to colleagues at Worcestershire County Council and the police to consider our next steps.”

West Mercia Police said it was working with the city council and Worcestershire County Council to find a permanent solution to the issue.