Submitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 15:05
The GCC PRoW Officer hopes to open up two obstructed-with-stiles restricted byways to equestrian use - riders in the first instance, as we think there are no carriage drivers in the area. These are MPA 57 and 140 (see also under "Obstructions" ) Would you ride these? If so, we need to hear from you, please! e-mail
Forest of Dean Greenway
Submitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 14:57
Congratulations to the FoDHR&CDA! - the official opening of the Greenway and circuits took place in July - pictures on the BHS Equestrian Access Groups Facebook page.BHS Gloucestershire has made a donation, from the profits of the last two years' events, towards the purchase and installation of two route information boards adjacent to the Huntley A 40 crossing.
Forest of Dean Greenway
Submitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 17:55
The proposed Spine route crosses the A40. A Pegasus crossing near Huntley had been mooted, but would have been too expensive. An alternative crossing, near a disused railway line, has also been considered, but GH is being cautious about this, although this crossing point is used by walkers. The FoD Group is therefore proceeding to develop and publicise four loops, two north of the A 40 and two south of it, and suggesting (but not promoting) the spine route as an optional link between the loops.
Submitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 17:51
The Stroud/Stonehouse/Nailsworth track – the G H Asset Manager has identified work he thought necessary before opening to equestrian use, including widening and installing drainage ; estimated cost between £7,000 and £15,000. The BHS/MCT&TG thought extra notices (which MCT&TG offered to fund) and some clearance work by volunteers would suffice. The AM assumed that users/would-be users would find 50% of the costs, the remainder to be match-funded by GH or GCC. However, the GCC legal dept.advised that the Authority would not match-fund. Ownership of the track is apparently unknown.
Submitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 17:32
We were consulted over a proposed upgrade of a footpath to bridleway, with an extension to link it to a junction of two unsealed roads, near Horsley. This was part of a GCC project dating from 1998, it has just come to light that the legal process hadn't been completed. Walking the proposed new bridleway, it was clear that the whole length of it is already in use by horseriders. But sadly, it disgorges the rider onto a busy B road, with no option but to turn either left or right and continue along it for at least 600 metres.
Submitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 17:22
As a result of the landowner applying to divert a public footpath, it has been discovered that the route is shown on the Definitive Map as a footpath, but described in the Statement as a bridleway. Rather than try to untangle this, the landowner has kindly opted to apply to divert it as a bridleway. Although it includes two quite steep gradients, if confirmed, this new route would add a useful link of over a mile from a quiet lane to a junction of two other bridleways.
Submitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 17:18
The final Inspector's Report in respect of the Penn Wood claims (ongoing since the 1990s) was at last received, and confirmed the bridleway claim. It was shortly followed by an application to divert the new bridleway!
Submitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 16:57
Sue Ellis, of Mid Cotswold Tracks & Trails Group, assisted by William Reddaway, wrote a very comprehensive report on the possibility of opening up the Stroud/Stonehouse/Nailsworth track. We were invited to a site meeting, which included representatives of GCC Rights of Way, Gloucestershire Highways, a local cycling group, a District Councillor...the non-equestrians expressed varying levels of concern on opening the track up, whilst the equestrians were extremely interested to discover that it is not officially a cycle track.
Submitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 16:48
We've been approached by riders concerning a non-definitive path which has reportedly been ridden for the last at least 30 years, access to which has just been fenced off. We've liaised with the Parish Council's Chair of the Rights of Way Subcommittee over this issue; it is highly likely to turn into a claim for a definitive bridleway based on user evidence.
Forest of Dean Greenway
Submitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 16:43
The Forest of Dean Horse Riders and Carriage Drivers Group has succeeded in getting some funding for the Greenways project - £75K from the Forest of Dean Local Action Group, and £15K from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust – this totals just £1K short of 50% of the projected implementation cost. The Group is going ahead with part of the project, and is hoping to raise further grant money from other sources.
Submitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 16:40
In line with a current BHS initiative, we wrote to every possibly relevant person/body concerning equestrian access on cycle tracks. Favourable responses to this general principle were received from the Gloucestershire Local Access Forum, from the Head of the GCC Public Rights of Way team, and from the Gloucestershire Highways Asset Manager. However, in respect of the one track which has so far been identified as potentially useful to horse riders – the Stroud /Stonehouse/ Nailsworth track – the Asset Manager has produced a raft of reasons why he thinks equestrian access to be inappropriate.
Submitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 16:28
Anyone who rides in the Withington area may like to know that, thanks to the generosity of the landowners, there is a new permissive bridleway at Upcote Farm, it links two existing bridleways and runs along a headland to the south of the hedge next to the Thorndale training gallops.
Forest of Dean Greenway
Submitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 16:25
We had the chance to see the preliminary maps for the Forest of Dean Greenways project, which is envisaged as a long linear route or spine – The Heart of the Forest Greenway - from just north of Lydney to just South of Dymock, with circuits, some suitable for carriage drivers as well as riders, coming off it. It is hoped that the Heart of the Forest Greenway might eventually be extended northwards to meet the Sabrina Way somewhere in or near the Birtsmorton area.
Paths 4 Communities
Submitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 17:11
The “Paths for Communities” (P4C) grant scheme (first described as ‘2 million pounds for new bridleways’) is up and running.The criteria include that the path must be a newly-created bridleway or byway, or the upgrade of a footpath; of demonstrable economic value/benefit; the landowner(s) and Parish Council(s) must be in agreement with the creation/upgrade, and it’s supposed to be a ‘community group’ which applies to Natural England for grant funding under this scheme.Here’s the link:http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/access/rightsofway/p4c.aspx
Submitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 16:17
We heard of a landowner in the North Cotswolds, who was reportedly willing to dedicate a length of field headland as a new bridleway link – unfortunately, it transpired that he had been given the impression that he could simply swop a public footpath that he wanted to get rid of for this new bridleway. Once informed that the only way to get rid of the footpath would be by an Extinguishment Order (at a cost to him of at least £2,000.00) he didn’t want to proceed.
Your comments are welcome here on any news item or on other access issues