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Essex Bridleways Association
Update Spring 2018
Inside this issue... BHS Award for EBA
• 2018 Rides Schedule • Byways Assessment • Access News
Published by Essex Bridleways Association Charity number: 801530
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Contents 3 4 5 6 8 10 12 14 16 17 18 20 22 23 24
ON THE COVER
A note from the Chair Michael Clark Volunteer Award EBA receives BHS Access Award The latest EBA news AGM report Missing out on our emails? 2018 rides schedule Behind the scenes at Epping Ride Countdown to 2026 Essex Police Extra Eyes campaign Essex byways assessment Claims: the 20 year rule part 2 Why membership matters Join us – membership benefits Contact details
Claire Venner and her horse Vinnie ©Helen Mathias/EyeContact Photography
Helen Mathias Call: 07958 962024 facebook.com/ eyecontactphoto
EBA is a member of: • Affiliate member of BHS • Open Spaces Society • Hundred Parishes Society • National Federation of Bridleway Associations
EBA also has regular contact with Hatfield Forest Riders Association and Epping Forest Riders Association.
By Katie Jerram-Hunnable, EBA Patron
I was so pleased to hear that the BHS has presented Essex Bridleways Association with the 2017 Access Award. Such accolades may not be the aim of the group’s volunteers but they certainly boost morale and acknowledge the hard work that EBA does on behalf of us all. And it is such important work now, as our towns spread outwards and our once quiet country lanes are used by an increasing number of motorists - who often fail to understand that very few riders are lucky enough to have good access to bridleways. Horse riding is a great way to get out and enjoy the countryside and hacking is important for mental and physical health for us and our horses! The equestrian industry also makes a significant contribution to the economy so we do deserve to be considered just as much as cyclists and walkers. So please show your support for EBA and become a member of this award winning campaign group.
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The Chair A note from
By Julia Wilson, EBA Chair
017 was definitely a year of recognition for EBA. We secured part funding from the British Horse Society to improve a section of bridleway at Weald Country Park; made a successful bid to Stansted Airport’s Community Fund which paid for hi-viz tabards; and, to round off the year, EBA was presented with the 2017 BHS Access Award in acknowledgement of the Association’s tremendous hard work over the years.
Such recognition and success gives us a real boost in our commitment to improve riding conditions in Essex. My New Year’s resolution was to “do something about it!” We are all too quick to moan about things but then either forget, or lose the impetus, to act. This year I am not going to leave it to someone else to report that fallen tree or report that driver passing too close etc. With the technology we have now it is so easy to act quickly. Keep those websites bookmarked ready to run off a quick email - it doesn’t have to be long: simply identify the problem and ask someone to contact you. Just two weeks in to the New Year, I
had logged three issues with different contacts. Two have been resolved and the other is progressing. This is one resolution I will try hard to keep. This year heralds the start of another venture for EBA. We intend to use our funds to pay for a Project and Funding Officer who will identify possible funding opportunities and assist with projects in the county. Bridleways projects often cost huge amounts of money but there are funds out there that we can apply for to pay for improvements to our RoW network. You will see our centre spread detailing all the rides planned for 2018 and I hope to see you there, either riding or marshalling. Please consider helping us this year, even if just for a few hours it makes so much difference to the rides organisers. If you are not a member then do consider joining EBA, as numbers really count when campaigning and the funds help to improve our precious network of off-road riding. Wishing you all safe and enjoyable riding in 2018.
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EBA MICHAEL CLARK VOLUNTEER AWARD
Regular readers of the Update may recall that EBA was the recipient of a £3,000 donation from the estate of the late Michael Clark, who died in 2015. In order to commemorate Michael’s kindness and generosity, EBA Trustees have set up the annual Michael Clark Volunteer Award, which last year was presented to our trusty team of cyclists from the Collier and Purse families, who kindly remove the orange marker tapes after every single ride. Anyone who
has been involved in organising and running one of EBA’s fundraising rides will understand that this additional help is always extremely welcome at the end of what is a long and busy weekend for our volunteers.
Winners of the 2017 Michael Clark Volunteers Award in festive spirit for the EBA Epping Forest Christmas Ride: (left to right) Steve Collier, Stan Collier, Hayley Purse, Joanne Collier, Basil the dog, Keith Purse, Jake Collier, Joe, Sid Collier.
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EBA honoured by British Horse Society By Julia Wilson, EBA Chair
© BHS/Stuart Howat
he fact is, the letter had arrived several days earlier and I had ignored it. The logo on the envelope showed that it was from the BHS, so I assumed it must be my membership renewal. You can imagine my surprise and delight then, when I opened it and read: The Trustees of the British Horse Society are proud to present Essex Bridleways Association with an Access Award for excellent service by an organisation in furtherance of enhanced equestrian access. Woo hoo! I was so excited I ran to the top of the garden shouting and waving the letter at my bemused husband: such an accolade, such an achievement, recognition by the largest equestrian organisation in the country. Not only had EBA been nominated but we had won! We were invited to the BHS Annual Awards Ceremony on 24th November at Saddlers’ Hall in London, where we would be presented with the award by BHS President, Martin Clunes. We were asked not to publicise any of this until after the ceremony - oh my goodness, I had to get through the AGM without saying a word! The Trustees were all sworn to secrecy and Jan Arthur, EBA Vice Chair, and I were chosen to attend. Saddlers’ Hall is certainly an impressive place, with many historic treasures including
saddles made throughout the ages. We were among many recipients, with categories covering safety, welfare, education, fundraising, long service - the list goes on. We were all shown into a beautiful hall where we sat and waited for our turn to be called up on stage to receive our award. The event was compèred by the wonderful Mike Tucker, which was weird as we usually only hear him from behind the camera - I kept expecting him to start commentating on a round of cross country at Badminton. He announced each award along with a short description of what the achievement entailed. It was quite humbling to be among
so many talented and dedicated people. Jan and I were actually called up first, which was a little daunting, and I confess to feeling a bit star struck to be shaking hands with Martin Clunes. I have to say it was one of my proudest moments since I started working with EBA. I was there to represent the Trustees and the many volunteers who give up their time and who work so hard to raise the profile and improve access to off-road riding in Essex. We could never have done it without them. The award, and our day in London, will remain a happy memory for many years to come.
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Get well Katie
EBA’s rustees would like to wish our Patron, Katie Jerram-Hunnable, a speedy recovery from a schooling accident which left her with a fracture on the C2 vertebra in her neck. Katie said, “The horse did nothing wrong. We’d just gone over a few trotting poles and I leant forward to give him a pat when he stumbled and fell. It’s just one of those freak accidents but I’m well on the way to recovery and driving everyone mad on the yard.” Katie’s husband, Chris Hunnable, her head girl, Jo Jack, and the rest of the team have been keeping the yard running and getting the horses fit and ready for the forthcoming show season.
Thank you Colne Valley RC
Colne Valley Riding Club generously donated £50 to EBA funds in recognition of all the good work the association does in the Colchester area. Such contributions are a tremendous help and it is heartening to know that EBA’s work is appreciated.
Full house for EBA’s reps We are delighted to report that three volunteers have stepped forward to join the EBA ranks as Area Representatives. As a result, all areas of Essex now have someone who can help and advise on bridleways issues. Our reps can offer support and guidance but they are still unpaid volunteers, so please muck in and don’t simply expect them to do all of the work for you. And do get in touch if you wish to join the team yourself – we always need more help.
Last November South Essex Insurance Brokers asked its customers to nominate UK registered charities with the aim of them winning a £50K grant. Of course, we appealed to you all to vote for EBA, knowing the grant could be put to good use improving surfacing and drainage on several bridleways in Essex. In January we found out that EBA had enough votes to go through to the next stage. We had to submit a project within a very tight timescale, which we managed. Shortly afterwards however, we learned that our project had not been successful and wouldn’t go through to the final stage. Although this was very disappointing we were extremely proud that so many of you had voted for EBA in the first place. We certainly won’t let this put us off, if anything it makes us more determined. Thank you all for voting.
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EBA website relaunched
© Helen Mathias/EyeContact Photography
The AGM was the perfect opportunity to show off EBA’s newly redesigned website. A strong digital presence is hugely important in today’s world and Hilary Clifford (pictured right) has worked hard on this project over many months, discussing ideas and proposals with the Trustees and liaising with the designer. The new website has been extremely well received and presents a professional image that reflects the serious nature of EBA’s campaign work. As well as those allimportant ride dates, the website is packed full of useful bridleways information and the latest EBA news. You can also join EBA or renew your membership online and read past issues of the Update. Thanks must also go to web designer Nick Claydon of Unicorn Designers, who has kindly provided his services to EBA at favourable rates for many years.
Stansted Airport Donation The Committee would like to express their thanks to the Stansted Airport Passenger Community Fund who generously donated £300 to EBA for the purchase of hi-viz vests. EBA Chair, Julia Wilson, applied for funding in August and, by the time our AGM came around in November, the hi-viz had been bought and paid for, ready to hand out on the night. Louise Fuller and Alison Craigmile model the high-viz paid for by Stansted Airport’s Community Fund.
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BAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual AGM in November was a great success with an excellent turnout; helped no doubt, by our high profile speaker, Alan Hiscox, BHS Director of Safety. The EBA Committee hosted the evening and our researchers, Sue Dobson and Chris Tout, were kept busy answering questions, as was Malcolm Lees from the Open Spaces Society. EBA Trustee, Hilary Clifford, also came along to show off the newly improved EBA website (full story on page 7). With the formalities out of the way, Alan gave a hugely informative talk about the BHS Dead Slow campaign and how we, as riders, can help keep ourselves safe on the roads. Having served for
26 years in the Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch and 14 years as equitation officer at the Metropolitan Police Training School, he is well
qualified to lead the BHS drive to improve all aspects of road safety for equestrians. Importantly, Alan also spoke about how horse riders can
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be perceived by others and how we must build good relationships with our fellow road users if we are to make progress. He particularly encouraged us to thank and smile at our fellow road users (rather than shouting and gesticulating); which does make sense if you consider how defensive people can become when faced with aggression. Once again, there was plenty of tea and cake to enjoy with more than ÂŁ110 being raised from refreshments and a further ÂŁ224 from our excellent raffle. Thank you to everyone for their generosity on the night. Thanks to the following companies for kindly donating raffle prizes: Equisafety, Jumpers Horse Line, The Mark Todd Collection, Sean Gooding Horseboxes, Gladwells Pet & Country Store, StableKit and Likit Products.
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Are you EBA 10
e are aware that some people are not receiving EBA emails for one reason or another. We understand how frustrating this must be and have made as many changes as we can to ensure that they arrive. However, some of the problem is beyond our control and emanates from the security software of service providers such as Hotmail or Gmail etc. The security software on your computer or mobile device and within your email application could also be stopping our emails from getting to you. It seems that due to the increased fear of hacking, everyone is increasing the level of security checks to the point where it is very difficult for
By Lesley Gillman, EBA Rides Organiser organisations such as EBA to send bulk messages to their membership. Read on to find out how you can help. Ride start sheets As soon as you enter a ride online our system will automatically send you a start sheet which acknowledges your entry with your start time and directions to the event. If you do not receive your start sheet within a few hours of entering a ride please check your spam folder. If you still havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t got the start sheet, then contact the rides entry secretary, Denise Dillon: email@example.com
Common causes for missing emails: The email address we have for you is wrong, either because it has been entered onto our system incorrectly or you have not advised us if you have changed your email address. Solution: Contact our membership secretary Alison Craigmile via firstname.lastname@example.org and ask her to check and, if necessary, amend your email address. The email goes straight to your junk/spam folder Solution: Always check your junk/spam folder after you
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missing out on emails? enter a ride and add our email address email@example.com - to your contacts and also to your safe sender list and safe mailing list (you can do this in your email settings). This actually worked for me so please do it. You don’t check your emails regularly. Start sheets get sent to you as soon as you enter a ride which could be up to a month before the ride date. By the time you look for the start sheet you may have many more emails in your inbox or may have even deleted it. Solution: As soon as you enter a ride look for the start sheet and print it and keep in a safe place. Other EBA emails About a month before each ride date we will send an email to advise you that the ride is open for entries. EBA may also occasionally send you other, more general, emails*. Because we have over 600 members we use bulk mailing software called MailChimp. Sometimes these emails will be blocked or will be sent to spam/junk by the security
checks mentioned on page 10. How to avoid emails going to spam • Emails sent from MailChimp come from Lesley Gillman’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Please add this email address to your contacts and also to your safe senders list and safe mailing list (you can do this in your email settings). • If you find EBA emails in your junk folder, click on the ‘not junk’ icon at the top of your screen. This moves the message from junk to your inbox and hopefully teaches your system that EBA emails are not junk. Unsubscribing from our mailing list If you do not want to receive any emails from us, please message our membership secretary, Alison Craigmile email@example.com asking her to remove your email address from the EBA system. Think about this carefully, because it means that you will not receive start sheets if you enter a ride, nor will you receive notification when a ride is open for entries. Please
do not just hit the spam button because your action not only affects messages coming to you but potentially stops other members from receiving emails from us (service providers log how many times EBA gets marked as spam and eventually add us to a blacklist and block us). By law, we have to provide an ‘unsubscribe’ link but using this also counts against EBA and means that our emails get blocked for everyone. Instead, please contact Alison, as described above, to ask that she remove your email address from EBA’s system. Hopefully this information will help resolve the issues that some members have encountered but, if there is an IT expert out there who can give us any more advice on what can be done to alleviate the problems, please get in touch. * EBA only uses its mailing list to contact members with relevant information. We do not share your details with third parties.
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Sunday 15th April
Middlewick Farm Livery Yard, Southminster, Essex CM0 7JQ
Sunday 6th May
Berwick Farm, Berwick Lane, Chipping Ongar, Essex CM5 9PY
May 11th - 13th Members Only
Holkham Beach Holiday
Saturday 9th June
Elgins Car Park, Hatfield Forest, Takeley, Essex CM22 6NE
Sunday 1st July
The Stag, Little Easton CM6 2JE
Saturday 28th July
Bury Road, Chingford Plain, Essex E4 7QJ
Sunday 19th August
Finchingfield, Essex CM7 4NL
Sunday 9th September
Writtle Park Estate, Highwood, Essex CM1 3QF
Sunday 7th October
Brocks Farm, Twitty Fee, Danbury, Essex CM3 4PG
Saturday 1st December
Bury Road, Chingford Plain, Essex E4 7QJ
Other dates for your diary: Thursday 8th November
EBA AGM, Keene Hall, Watchouse Road, Chelmsford CM2 8PT
3rd - 6th May 2019
Thetford Forest holiday (members only)
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dule Details Very flat with some lovely grassy tracks around Middlewick Farm. A few minor roads with little traffic. Some optional jumps. A choice of 3, 7 or 10 mile routes.
A mixture of bridleways, byways, headland tracks and minor roads that all join up to provide a lovely 12 or 9 mile ride in the countryside with some fine views.
Sorry, this members-only ride is already fully booked but if you want to go on the waiting list email firstname.lastname@example.org. A chance to ride in this wonderful ancient forest on wide grassy clearings and tracks between the trees. The shorter 8 mile ride is contained within the forest; the longer 11 mile ride includes some minor roads.
Starting and ending at a pub we ride across open fields on this lovely hack in the Essex countryside. BBQ available at end. A completely different route to our winter ride using some of the unsurfaced tracks.
A lovely ride over the estate grounds and farmland of Spains Hall. All on grass headland and farm tracks (except for 500 yards on very quiet country road). Choice of 7 or 11 miles. A varied route including woodland, bridleways, and long canters on the wide grassy tracks round Fingrith Hall and Howletts Hall.
This is our most popular ride so we couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t leave it out. 12 miles of tracks, bridleways and some minor roads with a shorter option available. We will also be able to use the cross country course at Riffhams (optional).
This is our members-only Christmas ride on surfaced tracks in Epping Forest with Xmas fancy dress, mulled wine and mince pies.
To enter any of our rides please visit our website:
www.essexbridleways.co.uk Rides open for entries about a month before the ride date.
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Behind the scenes of an
EBA RIDE E
ach autumn the EBA Committee decides which fundraising rides will be held the following year and when. Between us we agree who will be responsible for organising each ride and, because it is my riding area, I have the Epping Christmas ride. The Epping ride has many busy road crossings, so a high number of marshals are needed. During October I find the previous year’s paperwork and create a contact list of people that have helped before. Those people are then sent an email asking if they are available to help at the forthcoming ride. People’s circumstances change each year so I wait anxiously to see how many positive replies I get. In November, with only three weeks before the ride, I am still looking for helpers. Notes placed around Keene Hall on the night of the AGM yield good results. I now have sufficient marshals and can plan their allocation.
By Denise Dillon, EBA Rides Organiser
All is going well until the week before the ride when we discover that we are unable to use a part of the planned parking area. After a hasty meeting on site with the parking marshal, we decide we will need another person to help here. I make a quick rearrangement of the marshals’ allocation plan and then the final details can be emailed to all the volunteers. On the day before the ride six of us meet at High Beach to collect bags of orange EBA tape and we each mark a section of the planned route. Then I get a telephone call. The company delivering the portable toilet cannot get to the parking area because the road is closed!
My ever-helpful husband is despatched to assess the problem. It is a major concern that the road will not be open to allow access to horse transport the next day. Lesley Gillman checks with Essex Highways and then uses email and Facebook to contact all entrants explaining how to avoid the road works.
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At 7.30 the next morning I meet the Forest Keeper who will open the gates to the parking area for us. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a dry day. Not too cold or windy. Lesley arrives with the trailer. The paperwork is sorted out for the marshals to record the ridersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; numbers. The volunteers begin to arrive. The parking marshals are first, soon followed by the other marshals, who are directed to their positions. Two local riders have set off early to check that the marker tapes are still in place. It is not unheard of for these to be removed. The riders begin to collect their numbers and set off. The marshals are told of the last number allocated. When all the riders have passed them they make their way back to the trailer where hot mulled wine and mince pies are waiting for them. They have all enjoyed themselves. Many have been chatting with other users of the Forest. As the last riders return and our team of cyclists follow having collected all the marker tapes, we can pack up the EBA trailer and head for home ourselves. The day has been a success and it is a great sense of achievement to have helped make it so.
A huge thank you must go to all the volunteers, without whose help the EBA could not run these fundraising rides.
Photos by Helen Mathias/EyeContact Photography
Fancy Dress Winners Left: Jane Thornton with daughter Hannah. Right: Eliza Cowell
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Countdown to 2026 -
STAKE YOUR CLAIM
Rotary Club Ride This year’s Chelmsford Rotary Club Ride is scheduled for Saturday 21st April 2018. This event is not organised by EBA, although information will be posted on our website as and when we have it.
In past issues of the Update we have emphasised the need to act promptly if all unrecorded or mismarked bridleways are to be claimed before the 2026 deadline. Researching and submitting a claim is a complex and lengthy process, which is why EBA Trustees originally decided to fund its Historic Research Officer, Chris Tout. Chris does a fantastic job but she still needs your help, so whether you ride a route that is not on the Definitive Map; have historically ridden a route that is being claimed; or if you are making a claim yourself; it is hugely important that you share any information with her to ensure that the strongest claim possible is submitted. * Contact details for Chris Tout appear on the back page of this Update * The Definitive Map can be found via the access pages on ECC’s website - please take time to check that the routes you ride are recorded for future generations.
Countdown to 2026 – success story Former EBA trustee, Helen Chester, has lost none of her drive and determination since she moved to Norfolk, where she continues to lobby for improved equestrian access. Now BHS County Access & Bridleways Officer for the area, Helen was recently the force behind a successful claim to have a footpath upgraded to a bridleway. Working with fellow equestrians who had previously ridden the route, the claim used historical evidence backed up by the 20 year rule. Thanks to Helen’s hard work in pulling the evidence together, the Definitive Map was amended. Helen says, “With the 2026
News in Brief
deadline rapidly approaching it is essential that as many people as possible get involved in claiming lost routes. It may seem daunting at first but it does get easier. My suggestion would be to get a copy of ‘Restoring the Record’ by Phil Wadey and Sarah Bucks, go on a BHS training course and, if possible, ask someone with experience to read your application before you submit it. The most important thing is to give it a go. The hard work is worth the effort when you get a route added to the map.”
Rights of Way reporting - just a click away Check out the Essex County Council website for all things relating to Public Rights of Way, including a user survey* which gives you the opportunity to explain what you would like done to improve PRoW in your area. http://www.essexhighways.org /getting-around/public-rightsof-way.aspx *survey available at time of going to print
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Road safety – caught on camera
orse riders who wear action cameras whilst hacking will be pleased to hear that there now is an easy way of bringing examples of poor road craft to the attention of Essex Police through the Safer Essex Roads Partnership* (SERP). In December 2017, SERP launched the Extra Eyes campaign to encourage road users to submit video footage showing dangerous behaviour on roads across Essex, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock. Essex Police review the footage and, where appropriate, contact the person caught on camera to explain the potential consequences of their actions. Alternatively, the offender may be offered a driver retraining course, or in serious cases face prosecution with the footage used as evidence. Matt Hine, from Essex Police Operational Tasking Unit, said:
By Carol Allison, EBA Update Editor “We’re very pleased with the initial response from the roadusing public to Extra Eyes. Almost 50% of the video clips we’ve received have led to action against drivers who hopefully will understand that their behaviour could have led to disastrous consequences and will modify their behaviour going forward.” During the first full month of the Extra Eyes campaign... • 100+ videos were uploaded • 33 notices of intended prosecution (NIPs) were sent out for careless driving • 1 NIP issued for dangerous driving • 11 letters issued by police warning road users about their behaviour • 7 videos showed road traffic collisions and were passed on to the Essex Police CRASH team
Find out more on the SERP website: www.saferessexroads.org/ extraeyes *The Safer Essex Roads Partnership has brought together the three local authority areas of Essex County Council, Southendon-Sea Borough Council and Thurrock Council to provide a road safety service across Greater Essex. The other SERP partners are Essex Police, Essex Fire and Rescue Service, Highways England, The Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust, The East of England NHS Trust and The Safer Roads Foundation. Riders should also report incidents to the British Horse Society website via the Safety and Accidents page on the BHS website. The section also contains a host of useful advice for riders: www.bhs.org.uk.
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THE BYWAYS OF By Louise Fuller, EBA Treasurer
yways are ancient roads forming part of our Public Rights of Way network; they are highways, open to all traffic (including motorised vehicles) but are usually unsealed surfaces and not maintained to the same standard as tarmaced roads.
Consequently, the condition of many byways has deteriorated to the point where they are effectively impassable to anyone. Some, in contrast, are a joy to use and enable us all to access the depths of our countryside in one way or another. Essex County Council
is responsible for byways maintenance but not surprisingly, does not have enough funds to keep all of them in the condition that everyone would like. As well as looking at the surfaces and the vegetation, ECC takes into account wildlife considerations and the general nature of the lane. Many byways suffer particularly badly in the winter months and ECC has previously placed seasonal restrictions on some of them, preventing vehicular use to see if this would help reduce damage. Naturally the closures were not universally popular - especially when routes appeared to be in good enough to carry vehicles â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so ECC felt that a more evidential approach to closures was needed. The Essex Local Access Forum (a statutory advisory group on PRoW to ECC and other bodies) arranged a day out last August to look at some byways in order to seek a way forward. Sue Dobson and I went along as members of the LAF. We were driven by members of the Essex Land Rover Club. Whatever people may feel about vehicles using byways, they are legally entitled to do so, and members of the Essex LRC are responsible users. They follow a Code of Conduct when they
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ESSEX are “green-laning” (as they call it) and do not use routes when it is clear that the conditions are unsuitable. Unfortunately, there are other drivers who do not take such a responsible attitude, and their activities can make byways unusable for all. We followed a circular route which took us along 13 byways, from Chelmsford, west to Willingale, north to Dunmow, and east to Great Waltham. Some were very badly rutted and many were overgrown: at one point the driver had to jump out with a saw to cut our way through. Others were clear and wide with a good surface.
Near Dunmow, we were shown what happens when vehicles go off-piste and cause a lot of damage to the surrounding area, sometimes creating obstacles and features to drive over. Surrounding fields had been used without the landowner’s permission, and unfortunately, this anti-social behaviour tars all users with the same brush. People’s opinion of the condition of the byways can vary quite widely – a 4x4 driver might be happy with a particular surface that a motorcyclist would not consider driving along. Views can vary even within the same discipline – there was one byway which Sue said she would be happy to
ride, although I felt differently. Some of the byways would need quite major works to bring them back into a useable condition. For others, simply improving the drainage and cutting back vegetation would make them passable. We only saw a small sample of the Essex byways and there is still plenty of work to be done to survey their condition. ECC has made a start by setting up a Byways Working Group. It will never be possible to satisfy everyone but at least we have begun a process. I found the day very interesting and quite an eyeopener. Although I don’t think I could be a convert to greenlaning, the group that took us out were very pleasant people who clearly enjoyed their hobby as much as we enjoy horseriding, and I felt I understood their point of view better. Hopefully they also gained a better appreciation of the needs of equestrians. Photo: Oli Cutmore Media
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Bridleway claims the 20 year rule (part 2*)
By Jan Arthur, EBA Vice Chair
et’s assume that a claim has been made for a bridleway and it has been submitted in the proper way to the County Council (see part 1 of this article in the 2017 Autumn Update). The Council has considered the claim, gone through the correct process and made a judgment on whether it can be “reasonably alleged” that a right of way subsists – all of which will be explained in a letter sent to the claimant. If the surveying authority (ECC) refuses to make the Order, the claimant has a right to appeal by submitting a Letter of Objection to the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), who can potentially direct the authority to make an Order. The Letter of Objection must put forward
reasons for the appeal using evidence to highlight perceived flaws in the ECC decision. Even if successful, the making of the Order isn’t necessarily the end of the process. The DMMO (Definitive Map Modification Order) must be advertised and anyone can object. If no objections are received then the Order can be confirmed and the path will be shown on the Definitive Map. If objections are made, then the Order has to be determined by an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State. Only then, if the Inspector decides that on the balance of probabilities the existence of the path has been shown, is the Order confirmed and the Definitive Map amended accordingly. This is where an Inquiry or
Hearing, or in some cases by Written Representations, will be set up by the Planning Inspectorate, Rights of Way Section (PINS). There is a time scale for all this which must be followed. Inquiries and Hearings Before the Inquiry a Statement of Case must be made. This is a written statement containing details of the case a person proposes to put forward (excluding supporting documents) and will be circulated to all those taking part in the Inquiry. The ECC and any other objectors must also make a Statement of Case. Just before the Inquiry, a Proof of Evidence must be submitted: a written statement containing full particulars of the case a person proposes to put forward at the hearing or inquiry. It includes copies of any supporting documents
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which that person intends to refer to or put in evidence, plus a list of those documents. In this instance the documents will mainly be the Evidence of Use forms of riders who have used the route being claimed. At the Inquiry or Hearing, evidence is presented by persons supporting or objecting to the Order. It is conducted by an Inspector, whose views are neutral, and who hears the evidence in an open, fair and impartial manner, applying the legal requirements set out in legislation (based in this instance on DMMO criteria under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, User Evidence) to reach clear conclusions from the evidence presented. User Evidence under this
legislation can take the form of written or spoken statements by witnesses, or legal declarations by users about how and when they used the route in question. Four or five witnesses should attend the Inquiry to give their evidence and be prepared to answer questions. These witnesses should be selected carefully and, if possible, include people who cover the 20 year period on which the claim is based. Evidence will be considered and witnesses questioned. Be ready to argue your Statement of Case and to ask and answer questions yourself. You may give a closing statement. To get an idea of the process it may be helpful to attend an Inquiry for another route before your own case is
heard. The Inquiry will last one or two days. The Inspector may also make a site visit. After the Inquiry a judgement will be made within 36 to 45 weeks. Hopefully, all this hard work will lead to a positive outcome. For advice and support you can contact EBA and we will do our best to help. Keep us informed of any claims you make and any successes you have. Every success in claiming bridleways helps future Essex horse riders. References: Guidance on procedures for considering objections to Definitive Map and Public Path Orders in England. Available from: The Planning Inspectorate. Room 3/25 Hawk Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN. www.planningportal.gov.uk/ countryside.
*Part 1 of this article appeared in the 2017 Autumn Update which is available on the EBA website.
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Why EBA membership matters By Louise Fuller,
© Helen Mathias/EyeContact Photography
ast year the “star” letter in my Ramblers’ magazine was headed Hidden Benefits. The writer spoke of how she had let her membership of the Ramblers lapse as she felt she was not using it; having established her own network of walking pals, she had no further need of the Ramblers’ organised walks. However, on browsing an issue of their magazine, she realised she had totally missed the point. The valuable work that the Ramblers does in challenging PRoW closures, working to establish new routes, promoting the use of PRoW and generally working to defend and enhance routes throughout the country were hidden benefits which were just as important to her as access to walking companions. She swiftly rejoined and felt a renewed sense of commitment. This letter struck a real chord with me as it could have applied just as well to Essex Bridleways Association. How often do I hear a rider say “I didn’t renew my membership as I no longer go on the rides”? But EBA is about much more than the rides we
organise. Of course these are a lot of fun, they are a great way to get riders out into our lovely countryside and they raise valuable funds to support our activities. But our trustees, area representatives and our Historic Researcher and Bridleways Development Officer are very busy behind the scenes, working hard to make sure the interests of horse riders are taken into account on our Public Rights of Way. This work includes: • Lobbying for equestrians to be given consideration in the planning authorities’ Local Plans and the highway authorities’ Rights of Way Improvement Plans • Carrying out historic research to claim “lost” routes • Following up maintenance issues with Essex County Council • Organising clearance parties to open up overgrown bridleways • Responding to proposals to divert or extinguish bridleways • Getting involved in developments and planning applications where benefits to horse riders can be gained
• Negotiating for new routes which horse riders can use safely. All this activity is for the benefit of every horse rider, now and in the future, not just for those who go on our rides. The more members we have, the greater our potential impact. So next time you hear someone say they didn’t bother to renew their EBA membership, remind them of all the good work we do, and make sure they re-join straight away. At time of writing EBA had around 650 members – a mere fraction of the horse owning population of Essex. Through all the hard work mentioned above, we are making ourselves heard but we are still a tiny organisation in the eyes of those in power. Things will only get worse on our roads for the horse riders of Essex and we must demand more consideration from the authorities. None of us want to ride on the roads so please, encourage your fellow equestrians to join EBA and support the volunteers who are shouting loudly for change and Better Bridleways in Essex. Just £15 a year is surely a price worth paying? And of course, if you would like to join our ranks and play your part, then please get in touch. See pages 23 and 24 for membership and contact details.
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write to Alison Craigmile, EBA Membership Secretary, 40 The Chase, Romford, Essex RM1 4BE. Save our resources: Choosing to renew your membership automatically via PayPal or by standing order cuts administration and reduces EBA print and postage costs.
© Helen Mathias/EyeContact Photography
EBA needs your support to fight for safe off-road access for horse riders. Membership costs just £15 a year and is free for under 16s.
How to join:
by cutting down on administration and saves EBA money.
2. By post Log on to www.essexbridleways.co.uk and on the ‘join us’ page you can find links to join online, renew your subscription or download a membership form. Joining online helps us
Ask our membership secretary to send you a membership form, download from our website or pick one up at our rides. Contact: email@example.com or
• Up to £5 off EBA rides entry fees. • Priority entry to some EBA events, including EBA holidays. • EBA Update magazine delivered to your door twice a year. • Email notifications of news and events. • Access to EBA’s Ride & Share Scheme. • Help with bridleways issues and claims. • Up to 10% on new insurance policies from South Essex Insurance Brokers. • 10% discount from John Griffin Trailer Training. • 10% discount from Sean Gooding Horsebox Hire during 2018. • 30% discount on your first BHS membership - join by phone or paper application, state that you are an EBA member and give your membership number to receive your discount. This action cannot be done via online applications.
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Essex Bridleways Association Contacts List Chair
Rides Entry Secretary
Rides Marshal Coordinator
Ride and Share
Historic Records Officer
Publicity/ EBA Update Editor Carol Allison
Bridleway Clearance Coordinator Brenda Hatch
Petra Studholme 07784 024106
Contact us: we need more volunteers to help fight for Better Bridleways for Essex
EBA Area Representatives Basildon
Michelle Woodall 07809 439383 Mandy French 01371 850215
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Brentwood & Havering
Heather Brady 01992 578072 Liz Hollingsworth 07855 329059
Rochford & Southend
Sarah Hodgson Sarah Moss
07871 169406 07966 994367
Essex Bridleways Association, PO Box Association 12014, Chelmsford CM1 @EssexBridleways 9UD www.essexbridleways.co.uk Essex Bridleways Twitter www.essexbridleways.co.uk Essex Bridleways Assoc Twitter @EssexBridleways