Pack animals in the UK - access rules?

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SaraR

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Mar 25, 2017
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Perusing the internet, I came across the intriguing concept of 'pack goats', which got me wondering: where would you be allowed to go hiking with a pack animal in the UK?

Horses are fine on roads and bridleways, but what about on commons and public access land?

And what about donkies (same as horses?), llamas and goats? I know llama trekking is a thing, but not sure how they operate - I assume they'll have agreements with land owners in place. Goats are livestock though, right, so can you take those on bridleways that aren't on your own land without a bunch of permits?

At least with dogs, they're allowed on most footpaths and they can carry stuff as well.
 

Broch

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I may be wrong, but I seem to remember UK law does not allow dogs to be used as 'beast of burden'. I'll have to try and find the reference.
 

SaraR

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I may be wrong, but I seem to remember UK law does not allow dogs to be used as 'beast of burden'. I'll have to try and find the reference.
Really? Interesting p And what's the definition of beast of burden in that case? Most dogs would only carry limited loads and not as their sole purpose. And how about dog sledding and bikejouring etc? That's certainly done with dogs in the UK
 

Nice65

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I may be wrong, but I seem to remember UK law does not allow dogs to be used as 'beast of burden'. I'll have to try and find the reference.
Not as a beast of burden, but I know a few people who have panniers for their dogs to carry their own water, food and bedding.

I honestly don’t think anyone is going to do anything other than be interested to meet a donkey or goat accompanying someone on a path. As long as it’s not overloaded and cruel, it’s an attractive way to transport part of the load.
 
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TLM

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Nov 16, 2019
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I've already got a Welsh one, but I think one husband is enough. ;P
You would make a lousy feminist Madame. :)

There are some companies using pack horses for commercial trekking here. Reindeer could be used for that too but pack reindeer are seldom used here. I understand that llamas were used as pack animals by the Incas, that would be an interesting experiment.
 
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Article in the Grauniad:


If I recall correctly a chap involved with Free Rein Riding holidays, based in Clyro, Powys, started a packhorse trekking holiday company. I think that's the one mentioned in the article above. He may be able to help with questions.
 
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TLM

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Copied from the article:
"Welsh mountain ponies were traditionally used to transport goods to market, plough fields and work as pit ponies in the mines, not for riding. Their once widespread use is the reason thousands of miles of bridleways were cleaved across the countryside, creating a network of rights of way that exist to this day."

Is that true? Is there a map of the old ways?
 

SaraR

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You would make a lousy feminist Madame. :)

There are some companies using pack horses for commercial trekking here. Reindeer could be used for that too but pack reindeer are seldom used here. I understand that llamas were used as pack animals by the Incas, that would be an interesting experiment.
"Strong, independent woman" is more my aim, but I guess that's my Scandinavian side showing.

I spent lunch reading about pack goats and pack llamas in the US. Apparently popular with hunters.
 

SaraR

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Copied from the article:
"Welsh mountain ponies were traditionally used to transport goods to market, plough fields and work as pit ponies in the mines, not for riding. Their once widespread use is the reason thousands of miles of bridleways were cleaved across the countryside, creating a network of rights of way that exist to this day."

Is that true? Is there a map of the old ways?
Must be, somewhere. You can see current bridleways on the OS maps though and they are very common, although not necessarily linking up in any meaningful way.
 

Broch

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Is that true? Is there a map of the old ways?
Yes; though rights of way change over time. You have to consult what is called the 'definitive map' of the area in question that shows the various levels of rights of way from passage by foot only, horse (bridleways), and motor vehicle.

GLAS (Green Lane Association) has a member's only database of all off-tarmac routes that are open to vehicles - we trek those through mid Wales and will quite often drive for hours without seeing anyone :). Because a lot of these old routes have been tarmac'ed over, to do any reasonable journey, you have to join together the green lanes with sections of normal road.

As an example Google the 'Wayfarer Track" or look at
- though that one is unfortunately over-used.
 
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TeeDee

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I'm just wondering how one would stop Goats from stopping constantly and munching the hedgerow.

My experience of them growing up is that they will eat e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g in sight , do they muzzle them??


Always the Monowalker ( or more likely DIY version ) if you fancy ease of kit transport without the Beastmaster skillset.

 

Broch

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I'm just wondering how one would stop Goats from stopping constantly and munching the hedgerow.

My experience of them growing up is that they will eat e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g in sight , do they muzzle them??
Agreed; it must take all day to do a 100m :)
 
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Broch

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My sister bought two goats to keep the nettles down in a large overgrown garden - they ate everything apart from the nettles :)

And, to add insult, you couldn't set foot in the garden without them butting you!
 

TeeDee

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My sister bought two goats to keep the nettles down in a large overgrown garden - they ate everything apart from the nettles :)

And, to add insult, you couldn't set foot in the garden without them butting you!

Historically Combining Goats and Pigs is the way to calm and claim back wild over grown land.

And yes , Goats are quite 'butty'.
 

SaraR

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I'm just wondering how one would stop Goats from stopping constantly and munching the hedgerow.

My experience of them growing up is that they will eat e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g in sight , do they muzzle them??


Always the Monowalker ( or more likely DIY version ) if you fancy ease of kit transport without the Beastmaster skillset.

From what I read today, they do stop to nibble at thinks and then catch up with you. A bit like dogs by the sound of it! Obviously a fair amount of training goes in to taking any animal out like that.
 
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Erbswurst

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My brother had a couple of different goats. If he called, always one goat came faster than the dogs. It was also the nettle eating specialist. There is a trick somehow. Who knows the trick can eat the nettles.

They all behaved like pets. But I can't imagine to use one of this kind as pack goat. Goats do what they want, worse than a cat.

I think a dog can only carry what he needs himself. Some water and dry food, a blanket perhaps. In a German forum somebody shortened an MOD bivvy bag for his dog and it worked fine.