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Gully across r.byway nr Clapton-o-t-HillSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 15:53
The restricted byway KSH 1 was obstructed by a deep, deliberately-dug gully, with a tiny lip at one end so walkers could squeeze round it, if they didn't mind brushing through the hedge. Some ridden horses might jump the gully, but the recreational rider hacking out should never be expected to have to jump anything on a bridleway or byway, and this is on the route of the Sabrina Way, the county's only named equestrian route. The PRoW Officer said the landowner had done this to prevent illegal access by motor vehicles. He agreed to require the landowner to fill this illegal obstruction.

Proposed diversion, Hyde MillSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 15:45
it is proposed that the bridleway HMA 3 should be diverted off of part of the drive near the Mill House, and be routed through a field. Although the application describes the proposal as 'no less convenient to the public' it would involve users having to negotiate two extra gates, and a field which could contain livestock, possibly horses. That's two reasons why the proposals would be less convenient to riders at least, so BHS Gloucestershire has officially objected to the proposal.

Proposed diversion, Penn WoodSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 15:38
A length of new bridleway, the result of a very protracted claim, is already the subject of a proposed diversion. Unfortunately, the Inspector's final report left a bit of a loophole, which would allow the landowner to enclose the claimed bridleway to a width of only 2 metres, and he has threatened to do this if the proposed diversion does not go through.

Newland - foundrous unsealed roadSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 15:32
Congratulations! to the rider who achieved, after over four years of trying, to persuade Gloucestershire Highways to drain and resurface an unsealed road, which provided a valuable link onto the bridleway network, but had become foundrous. This achievement is surely much appreciated by all the local riders, and a number of walkers too.

Windrush MillSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 15:23
There are proposals to divert part of the restricted byway KWR 2 (and some footpaths). It is known that a number of local people are upset by the thought of losing part of an historic route (Mill Lane).We've had to explain that when BHS is consulted about a possible diversion, we can only comment on its suitability as an equestrian route. A local rider reported this proposed route as unrideable, but we have test-ridden it and found no problem.

Cranham - possible diversionSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 15:16
There is an application to divert part of bridleway MCR 26. The proposed route passes through one adjacent field, with a new bridge into the next field, and would avoid the area of slurry which collects in the dip. Subject to certain assurances about the new gates and bridge, BHS Gloucestershire has no objections to this proposal.

new routes
Steanbridge Lane/PainswickSubmitted 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

new routes
Forest of Dean GreenwaySubmitted 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.

Problematic Bridges
Unsafe bridge, Painswick valleySubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 14:36
A rider reported concerns about the narrower of the two bridges on bridleway MPA 76. It's an earth covered bridge, but has developed holes on both sides. In the course of a site visit to look at this bridge, a number of other problems were discovered, including overgrowth narrowing the bridleway to less than 1 metre along a length next to a permanent fence which could be electrified. All problems have been reported to the PRoW Officer.

Problematic Bridges
Substandard bridge, Daglingworth/BagendonSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 14:30
The bridleway BDH 4 through Oysterwell Woods, becomes BBA 3, has a narrow, substandard gated bridge. It is possible to ride it in one direction, but not the other, though our BHS Regional Access Officer for the South West, having seen photos, opined that no-one in their right minds would ride it in either direction! During negotiations regarding the proposed diversion of part of BDH 4, the PRoW Officer promised to replace the bridge with a culvert wide enough to allow riders to turn to close the gate.

Problematic Bridges
Bridleway / byway bridges - generalSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 14:22
There are a number of difficult / impossible bridges. In Andoversford, the stepped & gated bridge on r.byway KAN 5 is impossible to ride or drive. The bridge on bridleway AGO 27 near Woolstone Hill Farm is impossible to access - fortunately, the farmer lets riders use his farm track instead. The bridge on bridleway KEA 6 is gated at both ends - one end has an earth ramp, but the other end has two 10" x 10" concrete steps - urgent alteration need reported 2010!

Blocked byways, Steanbridge/PainswickSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 13:47
Mid Cotswolds Tracks and Trails Group flagged up an obstructed restricted byway, MPA 57, which at two points has stiles as the only crossing of field boundaries. These obstructions may have been reported to the PRoW team 6 or 7 years ago, when the track's status changed from RUPP (covered by Highways) to r.byway (covered by PRoW). A site visit & walkover proved that the linking r. byway MPA 140, is similarly obstructed. Believing there to be no local carriage drivers, BHS Glos has pledged some of the profits from the last two years' events towards opening up these two byways to riders.

Obstructive parking, Wyck RissingtonSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 13:34
A rider has reported ongoing problems of vehicles parking in a layby across the access onto bridleway HWR 12, and hence blocking it. For riders in this village, which is not well-served with equestrian routes, this bridleway offers an important link to the better provision across the A424. The PRoW Officer has promised to install bollards to keep the access clear of parked vehicles.

Difficult & dangerous gate, WestonbirtSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 13:25
The gate off the A 433 onto restricted byway NWL 19 has been a problem for a long time, slightly improved with a new hinge a few years ago, but subsequently dropped further, became overgrown, and is too close to the busy A road. Grateful thanks are due to the Mid Cotswold Tracks and Trails Group, who donated funding towards a replacement gate, inset from the road. At the same time, the PRoW Officer also had the linking bridleway NBL7 drained and resurfaced.

Wire, ClimperwellSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 13:17
Access onto the bridleway BBR4 was obstructed at its Climperwell end by a spiral wire stretched between two new posts. Wire should never be used across an equestrian route. The PRoW Officer was informed of this illegal obstruction, went to have a look, and reported back that he'd left a couple of messages asking the landowner to phone him back, but he hadn't.Fortunately, it is possible for walkers and riders to squeeze around the outside of one of the posts.More recently, the wire is still there, but looped up to the closed end post, rather than stretched across the access.

Narrow gate, SappertonSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 13:10
For a number of years, what is now the bridleway BSA 28 was a permissive alternative to the definitive route, which passed through the adjacent five or six small fields. It was officially diverted onto the present route in about 2002, but the narrow gate near the Sapperton end was not replaced (should be 5' between gateposts.) It was becoming more and more difficult to negotiate on horseback, due to the bridleway being enclosure being completed, the overgrowth, and the ground erosion. After a site meeting, the landowner agreed the gate was now redundant, and had it removed.

Foundrous b/way, Highnam/ChurchamSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 12:37
Foundrous surface, Highnam/Churcham bridleway. The PRoW Officer has agreed to install drainage, and improve the surface at the north end of the bridleway DCH 60 becomes DCH 7 becomes GRU14.

Steps, Wotton bridlewaySubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 11:18
A rider newly-returned to Wotton-u-Edge complained about the steps on CWE 27. It's part of the Cotswold Way, with steps installed to benefit walkers. The lowest four were of pedestrian dimensions (quite high and close together) with badly eroded treads. An eventer or hunter-trialler might have jumped up them, but recreational riders hacking out should never be expected to have to jump something on a bridleway or byway.At a site meeting, the PRoW Officer and the Cotswold Way National Trail Officer agreed that these steps would be demolished, and rebuilt to appropriate dimensions.

Padlocked barriersSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 10:48
A query was received from a carriage driver who wanted to use a particular restricted byway, but both ends of it had been obstructed by barriers which were padlocked. Both barriers were installed such that there was a narrow gap next to one upright, so walkers, cyclists and horseriders could bypass the barrier to access the track.It transpired that the GCC PRoW dept had sanctioned the barriers and padlocks to prevent illegal vehicular use and fly tipping; and both PRoW and the landowner had keys. The PRoW Officer agreed to provide the carriage driver with keys for the padlocks.

OvergrowthSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 10:39
A rider asked for help with a badly overgrown bridleway, which is near a housing estate and had been popular with local walkers too. Overgrowth from the side, and low branches, are the responsibility of the adjacent landowner(s) and Parish Councils have the power (but not the duty) to ask landowners to keep all highways, including rights of way, clear. It was suggested that she might try contacting the P C in the first instance, pointing out that the bridleway had been quite well used before becoming obstructed - she later reported that the P C had arranged to have it cleared.

Letter from a CouncillorSubmitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 10:33
A rider reported a letter from a Councillor to her Yard proprietor, stating that horses were not to be ridden around a new housing estate. Horses count as vehicles, and can be ridden on any highway where cars are allowed (other than motorways) unless there a bylaw is displayed which is specific to that highway, banning this. In general, riding on the grass verge of a highway is permitted (though if the householder carefully mows the verge, it's considerate to keep off it) but it is against the law to ride on a footway or pavement, which is there to keep pedestrians safely separate from traffic.

Northleach/EastingtonSubmitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 19:40
A gate on public bridleway KNE 16 had been hung so it opened uphill, such that when the gate was opened as far as possible, the gap was so narrow, it was impossible to get a horse through, even if the rider dismounted and untacked.With the help of the Parish Council, we tracked down the tenant farmer, who very kindly had his lads rehang the gate so it opened downhill, they also did some clearance along the bridleway, and replaced a 'dismount and wrestle' gate on a nearby bridleway. Thankyou!

Eastleach impassable bridlewaySubmitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 19:33
We asked for help with an impassable bridleway, KEA 2, north of Eastleach Downs Farm. It looked as if it was once a road, as it's just possible to see the enclosing walls, and estimate it's about 20' wide, but it was badly overgrown, including with blackthorn. Even if a rider dismounted, it would be impossible to get a horse along it, because in some places a walker had to go on hands and knees to get under the overgrowth! It's been cleared - we aren't sure if by GCC PRoW contractors or by Cotswold Wardens, but we're very grateful!

Eastleach gated bridleway bridgeSubmitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 19:26
We've reported the gated and stepped bridleway bridge on public bridleway KEA 6 north of Eastleach as an obstruction, as it's impossible to negotiate without dismounting. The concrete steps are of pedestrian dimension; a rider can't reach the latch without dismounting, as the steps are in the way; the bridge is too narrow to offer manouevring room, but the gates are not two-way opening; the latch - apart from being broken - is of a design intended for pedestrian gates, not bridleway gates. The bridge should be approached through a gated 10' box and up a ramp.

new routes
Forest of Dean GreenwaySubmitted 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.

new routes
Cycle tracksSubmitted 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.

new routes
HorsleySubmitted 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.

new routes
RedmarleySubmitted 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.

new routes
Penn WoodSubmitted 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!

new routes
Paths 4 CommunitiesSubmitted 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:

new routes
Cycle TracksSubmitted 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.

new routes
Charlton KingsSubmitted 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.

new routes
Forest of Dean GreenwaySubmitted 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.

new routes
Cycle tracksSubmitted 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.
new routes
WithingtonSubmitted 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.

new routes
Forest of Dean GreenwaySubmitted 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.

new routes
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.

Forestry Access
FREE Riding Access to SW ForestsSubmitted by: bhsaccesssouthwest 07 05 2013 17:21
You no longer need a permit to ride in Forestry Commission Forests in the SW. Riding will be unrestricted in Commission owned woodland. Riding is not permitted in leasehold woodland at Boconnoc, Clinnicks, Largin, Dunmere and East Wood. Carriage drivers will still require permits as they are taking a vehicle into the forest; event organisers should contact

Wind Turbines
Wind Turbine GuidelinesSubmitted by: bhsaccesssouthwest 11 02 2013 22:24
The BHS has very clear guidelines in its leaflet on the siting turbines.See However the guidelines are not mandatory and planners seem reluctant to follow them. Check with your local council that they are aware of these guidelines and the implications for horses and riders

Forestry Access
Protecting Forests Submitted by: bhsaccesssouthwest 01 02 2013 16:18
DEFRA has announced that a new public body is to be established that will will protect forests for future generations.

Forestry Access
The Independent Panel on ForestrySubmitted by: bhsaccesssouthwest 17 11 2012 15:30
In July 2012 The Independent Panel on Forestry.has presented its report. The panel recognises that the quality of access to the public forest estate is unrivalled and that this should be secured for the nation for the long term. This appears to be good news if the government takes note and follows it through.

Self Closing GatesSubmitted by: bhsaccesssouthwest 12 11 2012 10:56
Self Closing Gates (and especially one way opening) continue to be of great concern to riders. Fast closing times and difficult approaches and exits often make it impossible to get your horses through without being guillotined or bashed from behind by the gate. Please report all incidents with gatesto . Your feedback on gate issues is also welcome via this page's forum.

All Forum Items - in reverse date order - Click on a heading to see all items for a topic