Essex Bridleways Association Update Spring 2019

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Essex Bridleways Association



Update Spring 2019

Inside this issue... • • • •

2019 Rides Schedule 40 years of EBA success Meet the Volunteers Children’s pages Published by Essex Bridleways Association Charity number: 801530




EBA News


Putting the ‘fun’ in fundraising


AGM Report


EBA president, Deirdre Graham


2019 Rides Schedule


We love our volunteers


EBA success in pictures


Children Welcome!


Join Us


Spains Hall Ride near Finchingfield ©Helen Mathias/EyeContact Photography

Helen Mathias Call: 07958 962024 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

It seems incredible that Essex Bridleways Association has been around for 40 years. Looking at how our county has changed during that time, it makes me think that EBA founder and president, Deirdre Graham, and her fellow equestrians, were ahead of their time. In reality though, they were fighting for the same causes as today’s bridleways groups: claiming lost or mismarked Rights of Way and creating and preserving safe off-road access where riders could escape motorised traffic. If there was such a need 40 years ago, then goodness knows Essex horse owners certainly need EBA now, so please, spread the word and get involved in helping protect access rights for future generations.


The Chair A note from

By Julia Wilson, EBA Chair


his year marks EBA’s 40th birthday: a true milestone and worth celebrating. All started by Deirdre Graham, our president, in 1979 the Association has grown in support, with currently over 700 members. Our work and campaigning is recognised across the county and we have built great relations with the BHS, ECC PROW team and others. Of course, none of this would be possible without the amazing commitment and loyalty of

all the volunteers we have seen over the years. On a personal note, I first started attending EBA rides in 1999 when only 2 or 3 a year were organised. In 2007 my daughter and I booked onto an EBA holiday at Courtyard Farm in Norfolk. We had such a fabulous time - our first experience of riding on the beach. This was where I met the infamous Lesley Gillman. Her enthusiasm for EBA’s work was infectious and, before I knew it, I was volunteering to marshal at the Danbury Ride. I must confess I loved it, seeing everyone’s smiling faces gave me a real buzz. Following that I marshalled and marked several more rides and very quickly I was asked to join the committee. I took over as Chair in 2012

from the fantastic Julie Pryer; a hard act to follow. I certainly wouldn’t still be here now without the support of the other Trustees. It’s real team work and that team stretches to all our Area Reps and regular volunteers past and present. I love the job, though it can be a rollercoaster of emotions. I have made lifelong friends and met so many interesting and dedicated people along the way. To mark our birthday we are planning a special Ruby Ride in September. Katie JerramHunnable, our patron, is kindly hosting the ride at her farm in Aythorpe Roding so look out for that. Also, I would like you all to save the date of our AGM this year (14th November) as we are planning a party to celebrate our birthday and we want you all to come along to make it a night to remember, so get it in your diary now! I hope you enjoy reading the Update. We have put together a collection of memories depicting the hard work and achievements, past and present, which make EBA the remarkable organisation it is today.



EBA News

Emergency First Aid Training



indful that, with our programme of rides and that, horses being horses, accidents can happen, twelve EBA Committee members and Area Representatives have now completed the FAA Level 3 First Aid at Work Course. For some of us this was a refresher of previous First Aid training but for others it was a new experience. We completed a full day’s training under the tutelage of Dawn Fitzhugh, BHS Instructor and First Aid Trainer. Dawn delivers First Aid Training through Medi-K Training and EBA had chosen this provider owing to the equestrian-specific nature of the training, designed to reflect the risks riders face on a daily basis. The course covered a wide range of First Aid

By Sally Crone, EBA Trustee emergencies, with a view to enabling all participants to deal with an emergency situation with confidence in a prompt, safe and effective way. It was emphasised that First Aid is “the help given to a sick or injured person until full medical treatment is available”. However, knowing what to do in an emergency can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved, so perhaps undergoing a basic First Aid course is something that all riders should consider. Being an EBA event, there were copious amounts of delicious, home-made cake and biscuits to keep us going during the day. Undergoing the training in this supportive and friendly environment also

involved a few laughs along the way - particularly with regard to the participants demonstrating the Heimlich manoeuvre!

Membership on the rise We are delighted to report that EBA currently has more than 700 members: the highest figure in the group’s 40 year history. Numbers are incredibly important when it comes to EBA’s work, so can you help to make our numbers swell even further by recruiting your friends and family? Membership is only £15 a year for adults and free for under 16s. See page 23 for full details and benefits.

EBA News

EBA Celebrates 40 Years


his year marks EBA‘s Ruby Anniversary and we are in the mood to celebrate, with so much achieved in that time, thanks to the foresight of our founder and president, Deirdre Graham (interview on pages 811) and our volunteers, past and present. So much has changed in the past 40 years, and continues to do so, making the work of Essex Bridleways Association all the more important if we are to secure safe, off-road routes for future generations of horse riders. EBA is constantly working with ECC’s PRoW team The changing face of EBA and planning department, looking at possibilities for new and improved routes, especially those linking bridleways, or those which help create circular routes: for example, Thorndon Country Park, where the North and South Parks are now linked. Nags Head Lane link and Boyles Court to Dark Lane in the Brentwood area have proved invaluable, and also the completion of improvements to the Flitch Way, a linear route following the former Bishops Stortford to Braintree Railway Line, which now extends to 16.4 miles. In addition, we are fast approaching the 2026 deadline, whereby any “lost” routes that are not already on the Definitive Map will be gone forever. Never, in all of its 40 years, has EBA’s work - and your membership and support - been more important.

EBA VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR EBA’s press secretary, Mary Balch, was announced as Michael Clark Volunteer of the Year at November's AGM - much to her surprise. The Committee unanimously selected Mary in recognition of the work she has carried out for the charity. Having become involved with EBA in its infancy, she has taken on a number of roles, including writing our regular column for Essex Rider magazine. Find out more about this worthy recipient of the award on page 15.


EBA News

Clay Lane Clearance Thanks go to Lesley Gillman, Sarah Hodgson and Tim Kirby, who kindly spent a couple of hours clearing a stretch of bridleway at Clay Lane, Little Dunmow, for the benefit of all users.

PUTTING THE ‘FUN’ IN FUNDRAISING EBA Projects & Funding Officer, Mary Pengelly, has come up with some excellent ideas that allow you raise funds for EBA, without even trying. Here’s how...

6 Amazon Smile Just switch to shopping through Amazon’s alternative website called Amazon Smile - it is exactly the same and run by Amazon. The only difference is that EBA will receive a 0.5% donation from Amazon. It takes less than two minutes to switch, so please do it today and EBA can start receiving free money for all your purchases.

Easyfundraising Registering with easyfundraising takes two minutes: choose to support EBA and then, next time you want to buy something online, log into the easyfundraising website first and click on the retailer you want to shop with. You’ll then be taken to their website where you can continue to make your purchase in the usual way. Crucially, because you visited easyfundraising first, EBA will get a donation. There’s no catch and no cost to you. The website’s 3,300+ retailers include big names such as John Lewis, M&S, Boden,

Expedia, Amazon, eBay, all the major supermarkets, holiday operators, insurance providers, plus a wide range of smaller and more niche online shops and stores. The amount donated to your chosen cause varies but will be anything from 0.5% to 10%. There are lots of promotions available too, which donate more for a limited period, or if you introduce a friend, or on certain products.

Give As You Live This works in the same way as easyfundraising you register and select EBA as your chosen charity. Then shop via the Give As You Live website with all the big name retailers (they have over 4,100 stores available) and raise between 1% and 10% for EBA on your purchases.

PayPal EBA will also be signing up to the Paypal Giving Fund shortly, so you’ll be able to donate through PayPal as well. Look out for information on our Facebook page: Essex Bridleways. If you’re having a problem using any of these websites please contact Mary and she will try to help. Call: 07786 322088 or email

EBA News


ore than fifty people braved the chilly November night for our AGM and were rewarded with a hugely informative talk by Julie Springett, Fire & Rescue Fire Prevention Officer and BHS Herts Chair. Simon Taylor from ECC PRoW team kindly joined us again this year to answer questions, alongside EBA researchers, Chris Tout and Sue Dobson, and Malcolm Lees of the Open Spaces Society. This annual event is a great time to catch up with everyone and it was particularly good to see Mick Brash, who has done an enormous amount to support EBA during its 40 years and has an extraordinary depth of knowledge when it comes to RoW matters.


AGM Raffle Special thanks to Baileys Horse Feeds, Ingatestone Saddlery, Jumpers Horse Line, Likit Products, Mark Todd Collection, Equisafety and Brentwood D-Livery, who donated prizes for the EBA raffle which raised an impressive ÂŁ215. Stud Muffins also gave a pack of their treats to everyone who joined us on the night.

EBA 40th Anniversary

EBA Founder, Deirdre It was a pleasure and a privilege to spend time recently with Deirdre Graham, one of the founders of EBA and our current president. I visited Deirdre at the historic home she has lived in for some 60 years. Her friend, Jenny Mann - EBA Rep for Thurrock - also joined us for tea and a chat. I was able to explain to Deirdre some of our recent successes and initiatives, and also to advise her that we now have over 700 members. She was delighted to hear that EBA continues to go from strength to strength from its small beginnings.


eirdre is now 96 years old but retains her passion and zeal for EBA. The vision of safe offroad riding for the horse owners and riders of Essex remains very close to her heart. Deirdre has had the most fascinating and in her words “an amazing and happy life.� She kindly agreed to answer some questions about her life and the history of EBA.


Did you grow up in Essex and were you always involved with horses? No, I was born in Morocco. I arrived in the world as Mother made her way on the long journey from England to Borneo to join my father who was working in the tin mining industry there. One can only imagine how arduous that trip must have been, with two small children and then the County Hall 2001 - Dierdre Graham left.


By Sally Crone, EBA Trustee

arrival of another baby en route! On returning to England, we moved to Windsor, overlooking Windsor Castle and the Park. I think watching the Royals exercising horses in Windsor Great Park ignited my interest in horses, as no-one else in the family rode, my siblings being more interested in art and music. Fun was had, riding on Blackheath, charging up and down the craters and ravines on the Heath (being left in the aftermath of quarrying and also bombing during the war). I later trained as an architect, married and moved to south Essex with my husband, who was a town planner and heavily involved in the creation of Basildon New Town. Continued over page

Above: EBA work before, and right: after


EBA 40th Anniversary Riding Life and the Birth of EBA


Settled in Essex, I bought a pony which I kept in the field opposite my home. There were no bridleways in or out of the village but there was the Thurrock Riding Club (Jackie Firmin), the Pony Club (John Stevenson) and the Foxhound Riding School, so the Thurrock Riding Rights Committee, a small group, was formed. Together, the group assessed the bridleway provision – abysmal - and mounted a publicity campaign, writing to local authorities and government departments, and raising money by organising rides. Everyone was very willing to help once they learned of TRRC's existence. Gradually,

the group became more focussed, set up a group in each District and meetings were held in Castle Point. Elizabeth Kirk, a founder of the Byways & Bridleways

Trust, whose husband Peter was Member of Parliament for Saffron Walden area, was also key in the early days and was able to promote the cause at national level. With working horses being such an integral part of English farming and transport history, how did so many bridleways and byways become lost and was there a catalyst that prompted the group to take action?

Protest 2001 - EBA riders make the headlines

It was more a sense of injustice: everyone was being provided for except riders. During the 1939-45 war all Public Rights of Way signs were removed, so that if the Germans were parachuted into Britain they would not know where they

were without signposts. It seems silly now but we took ALL precautions (large parts of Essex, including the coastal parts and the River Thames, were closed and we had to have special passes to get to see our parents if they lived in those areas) and when the war finished, the Ramblers Association claimed all the Rights of Way as footpaths. What would you say was your biggest achievement during your time with EBA? The creation of the Mardyke bridleway from Bulphan across the fens towards Purfleet. This bridleway runs along the Mardyke River, through the valley and adjacent to the ancient Mardyke Woods. The creation followed a Public Inquiry with fierce opposition from a local land-owner. He claimed in his

11 evidence that he was wildlifefriendly but a young clerk from the Council whispered to me that he had a photograph to disprove this. Did I want him to run and get it? Yes! He must have had

wings on his feet because he was back so quickly with a photograph of about five dead animals/birds strung up on a cord between two posts – an old method used to scare wildlife away. The farmer never forgave me. The scheme cost Thurrock Council more than £350,000. It’s the route EBA have used for a ride. We wanted to get it right to the coast but the Council simply did not have the money and I think it has been built upon now. What was your own personal favourite place to ride? I don’t ride anymore but I always loved riding through Langdon Hills Country Park.





Starting From

Sunday 31st March


Middlewick Farm Livery Yard, Southminster, Essex CM0 7JQ

Saturday 27th April

Epping Forest Spring Ride

Bury Road, Chingford Plain, Essex E4 7QJ

Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May Members Only

Thetford Forest Holiday

Little Lodge, Santon Downham, Brandon, Suffolk IP27 0TX

Sunday 26th May


Ashfields Carriage & Polo Centre, Great Canfield, Essex CM6 1JU

Saturday 22nd June

Hatfield Forest

Elgins Car Park, Hatfield Forest, Takeley, Essex CM22 6NE

Saturday 6th July Lead Rein Ride

Weald Park Children’s Ruby Ride & Picnic

Weald Park, Brentwood, Essex CM14 5QS

Sunday 28th July New Venue

Ramsden Heath

Barn Farm, Ramsden Heath, Essex CM11 1LZ

Sunday 18th August


Brocks Farm, Twitty Fee, Danbury, Essex CM3 4PG

Sunday 15th September

EBA Ruby Anniversary Ride

Aythorpe Roding, Near Great Dunmow Essex

Sunday 6th October


Writtle Park Estate, Highwood, Essex CM1 3QF

Saturday 30th November Members Only

Thorndon Country Park Christmas Ride

Thorndon Country Park, North Car Park, The Avenue, Brentwood, Essex CM13 3RZ

Thursday 14th November

AGM & Special 40th Anniversary Celebration

Keene Hall, Near Galleywood Chelmsford CM2 8PT

Friday 17th - Sunday 19th April 2020 - Members Only

Holkham Beach

Whitehall Farm, Holkham, Norfolk

Other dates for your diary:

EQUINE INFLUENZA Please check the EBA website for the latest Rides open for entries about a month before the ride date. updates on the Equine Influenza outbreak To enter any of our rides please visit our website:

Details Lovely grassy tracks (with some optional jumps) and just a few quiet, remote roads. Includes 3 mile shorter route. The route will depend on ground conditions but we will try to use some of the softer tracks.

Sorry, this holiday is already full - to be added to the waiting list please email

Back by popular demand. A lovely ride starting out from this superb venue.

A chance to ride in this wonderful, ancient forest on wide grassy clearings and tracks between the trees.

A 3 mile gentle group lead rein ride, all within the forest.

A new ride for us, exploring the bridleways around Ramsden Heath and South Hanningfield.

12 miles of tracks, bridleways and some minor roads with a shorter option available. Also includes the optional cross country course at Riffhams. A special ride to celebrate EBA’s 40th Anniversary, hosted by our Patron, Katie Jerram-Hunnable.

A varied route which takes in the wide grassy tracks of Howletts Hall and Fingrith Hall. Oh so many canters. This is our Members-only Christmas ride, mainly on surfaced tracks around the park with festive fancy dress, mulled wine and mince pies.

Come and join us for the evening to find out more about EBA's work and to celebrate our 40th Anniversary A long way off but something for EBA members to look forward to.


We love our volunteers increased to our current nine or ten as we have found other routes and venues to host them. I remember that we got EBA Rides Organiser very excited when our Lesley Gillman has been a membership numbers increased notable force within EBA for to 300 but as our profile and around half of the Association’s the number of rides increased, 40 years. so did our membership which She and Katy Haines (who sadly now stands at over 700. We moved out of the area) were didn't have a website, there instrumental in developing was no social media back then EBA’s amazing annual schedule and our newsletter was just one of fundraising rides that now A4 piece of paper folded in fund the group’s work and pay half. Communication nowadays for three part-time researchers. is so much easier. Always involved behind the Another significant difference is scenes with everything - from that the roads are so much organising rides to clearance busier making our fight for work - we felt it was time to more safe off-road riding even find out what drives Lesley to more important. People also devote so much time to the have less time and, like many cause. other organisations, we are finding it harder to get Q: How and when did you first volunteers. get involved with EBA? A: Hmm, that was a long, long Q: What do you think have been the most significant time ago, around about the changes since you joined the time that Julie Pryer took over committee? as Chair, possibly about 20

Lesley Gillman


years ago. I remember that I A: By far the most important wanted to start doing some of the EBA rides so I tracked down EBA and then saw that they wanted a secretary to help do the minutes so I volunteered. My role just escalated from there and consumed my life and, ironically, now I don't even get to do the rides. Q: What changes have you witnessed during this time? A: In those days we only ran three rides a year. I think these were Mashbury, Danbury and Epping. This has just gradually

change has been the ability for us to fund researchers. The extra income from running more rides has enabled us to pay for three part-time people. Chris Tout to do the historical research on lost ways, Sue Dobson to liaise with the “powers that be” to ensure that horse riders are not forgotten in planning issues, and Mary Pengelly to manage various projects for us and seek funding. The committee all work very hard but having these people with the time to dedicate to our work has made an amazing difference.

Q: Who, in your eyes has made the biggest impact over the years? A: Certainly all our Chair people: Deirdre Graham, Julie Pryer and our current Chair, Julia Wilson, have made a huge impact and during their time as Chair they will have found their lives consumed by EBA. Another person that springs to mind is Katy Haines. During her very long spell on the committee Katy ran the rides and through her work as an ECC Rights of Way Officer ensured that horse riders were

well catered for. So often I think - oh yes Katy did that for us. Mick Brash is another longstanding helper who, although he no longer comes to our meetings, still keeps his eye out for us and has a wealth of knowledge. And of course there are many, many more Area Reps and Committee members (past and present) who have contributed so much. We do have John Heginbotham to thank for the more professional style of the Update which Carol Allison has carried on for us.

Q: Why do you do it? A: The honest answer is, I don't know why, but something inside just drives me. I do enjoy finding new places to ride and then showing others. Maybe that’s it? Taking people to the beach who have never ridden on a beach before is always very rewarding as this is often helping them make their dreams come true. Our committee is very friendly, we have a laugh and we are all good friends. Why not join us?

Mary Balch 15

EBA Press Secretary

I have been an EBA volunteer since 2001 at least; prior to that I was a member but not particularly active unless called upon to do my duty. My good friend, Jane Feather, was very active for many years, leading us into countless bridleway claims in the Rochford district, as well as acting as membership secretary for some while. In the early days, EBA’s president, Deirdre Graham, was very good at getting people to assist her in what was, to all intents and

purposes, a 'one man band' (or lady, actually), so I was called upon to give evidence at a local public inquiry relating to a proposed bridleway closure. There were a number of people dotted around the county whom Deirdre relied upon for support, whilst she supplied the 'brains'. Early in the new millennium, I retired from full-time work and started to do some admin/typing to help Mick Brash, who was doing masses of work for EBA, helping with

bridleway claims, providing the legal knowledge many of us lacked, and also playing a part in the Local Access Forum. Somehow, I moved on to writing articles for Essex Rider in 2004. I

also used to marshal our rides regularly once the great pairing of Lesley Gillman and Katy Haines started to create loads of fundraising rides for EBA members and friends.

EBA 40TH ANNIVERSARY EBA 40th Anniversary

2016 Presenting the EBA petition to Councillor Eddie Johnson


The Vera Road Claim - a long, hard-fought battle

2016 EBA's Committee and supporters outside County Hall in Chelmsford


© BHS - Stuart Howat

EBA 40th Anniversary

2014 Katie Jerram becomes EBA Patron

2017 EBA receives BHS Access Award


2014 Volunteers man the EBA trade stand at Essex Young Farmers Show

2014 Weald Park Opening Ceremony

EBA’s sumptuous ride rosettes

We love our volunteers

Liz Hollingsworth EBA Epping Forest Area Rep.

I joined the EBA in 2011 to take part in that year’s Hatfield Forest ride. I’d had Cara for a year and, having started her myself, I needed to get her out and about - as we all know the EBA rides are perfect for beginners (horses and people). I went on to do the Thorndon Park ride that year but at the time I didn’t have my own transport and Cara wasn’t too good at loading.


In 2012 my husband retired so I procured some of his lump sum and bought myself a small box. I spent the winter sorting out Cara’s loading issues and then really got going in the summer. When EBA started the Ride and Share scheme, I volunteered to escort riders around Epping Forest - that’s when I started to meet up with EBA Chair, Julia, and other members of the Committee for rides in and around Essex. It wasn’t long before noises were being made about me helping out more, I was already

on the Epping Forest Riders Association Committee so I resisted for some time but then Julia offered me a free T-shirt and that clinched it. I became joint rep for Epping Forest. Fortunately it’s not too arduous: I receive the occasional email requesting help with bridleway problems and, depending on the nature of the problem, I suggest how to report the issue or, if it’s a little more involved, I will meet with the complainant to look at the problem and to see how it can be resolved - always with the support and advice of those

Hilary Clifford EBA Website Administrator

When I moved to Essex almost 8 years ago, I didn’t know anyone and most of my fellow livery owners hacked, either locally around the woods for an hour or so, or schooled their horses at the yard facilities. Of course I enjoyed doing both of those things but I also wanted to get out and see the countryside and get to know the area. I knew nothing really about the history or the future of bridleways, I just wanted to explore the region. I chanced upon EBA whilst on Google and when I read about the Ride and Share scheme I had to join. What a brainwave, not only for me but for the people at EBA who put this together. My

Volunteer opportunities... more competent than me within the Association. I’ve also helped EBA researchers who need to call on local knowledge to save their time and deal with issues more efficiently. The EBA does a fantastic job in promoting horse riding in Essex and a lot of work happens unseen that improves hacking in the county. The picture is of Cara and me at last year’s Highwood ride. We both love this ride because we can canter for ages around the lovely grassy headlands.

Colchester Area Rep We are looking for someone to take on the role of EBA Area Rep and become our point of contact in the Colchester area. No previous experience is necessary and you will have the full support of the EBA team, with training given where required. You could even share the post with a friend.

EBA Update Editor first ride was with Liz Hollingsworth and her lovely mare Cara, around Epping Forest. Such fun. I then went on to ride with Lesley and Dalgo and we got lost for a few hours around Hatfield Forest having a super time. I was hooked, not only on the hacking but on the EBA and, from being a new member, I then became a trustee. EBA has been here for 40 years and what an achievement. It’s a well recognised voice for protecting bridleways and safer horse riding in Essex. With over 700 members it organises a full programme of rides throughout the year and these are so important. They

certainly increased my knowledge of the area, boosted my self confidence as a rider and have given me enormous fun with my horses. However these rides, and our membership, also fund important work, researching and lobbying for change and improvements in our bridleways in Essex and generating a voice for horse riders in the area so that politicians, planners and local authorities listen. EBA has achieved an awful lot through the energy and commitment of volunteers working together and riding together. It’s a real force for good and I am delighted to have found it and to be part of it.

This post involves planning our twice-yearly News Update magazine with help from the EBA Committee, then gathering and collating editorial content and images, working with our designer in overseeing the layout, and proof-reading the finished copy. Full support will be given during the handover, so get in touch if you would like to give it a go. If you feel able to help EBA with these roles, or can spare a few hours to volunteer in other ways, then please contact Julia Wilson


Children Welcome!


er riders es young m o lc e w EBA ut on a always p y to e th d n a it comes w when good sho This group all ss. fancy dre gether on our to t came ou stmas Ride, ri h C g mile Eppin e short 6 th g in y autiful enjo e b r u ugh o ro th te u ro – great ntryside Essex cou all concerned. for exercise

Did you know... Children under 16 years of age can join Essex Bridleways Association for free. We will send you a copy of the EBA Update twice a year. You can also get discounts on our rides entries – see page 23 for details

HALLOWEEN Lead Rein Ride

A few brave souls ventured into the deep, dark forest for our spooktacular Halloween Lead Rein Ride last October, but luckily everyone came out smiling and pleasantly surprised. Ride organiser Denise Dillon had been out early in the morning, attaching ghosts, bats and spiders to the trees so that the children could look out for them, but without frightening the ponies. Everyone had made a huge effort with their Halloween costumes and they all looked fabulous. One pony even had a gold spider sprayed onto her shoulder. We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day and the children really enjoyed their trek round Epping Forest. It was a pleasure for them to ride somewhere a bit different in a safe environment and the route was even kind to the adults walking with the ponies, as it was fairly flat. We had hoped that a weekday in half-term would attract a good number of riders but sadly this was not the case. However, those who did come had a great time and it was worth all the effort just to see their smiling faces when they got back. Check the rides schedule on pages 12 and 13 for details of this year’s EBA lead rein rides.


Where it all began

Extracts from the record of EBA’s first meeting...

An inaugural meeting of the Essex Bridleways Association was held on Monday, 26th November 1979 at the Day Centre in Billericay.

EBA Christmas Ride These brilliant fancy dress costumes at our annual Christmas Ride certainly raised a smile. Well done to Jane Thornton riding Boxer (pigs in blankets with brussel sprouts) and Ruth Gedalovitch on Hansel (turkey and carrots) for putting in so much effort – right down to the hand-crocheted carrots and sprouts.

EBA is working hard to create and protect off-road access for future generations to enjoy - why not get in touch to find out how you can help us make a difference.

From 1982: Bridleway 62 (Green Lane). An example of the problems we face

Rights of Way Panel at Stoneleigh. During this period riding rights are being lost. Roads are cutting riding routes, farmers are obstructing and ploughing up bridleways, and the County Council is closing areas like Norsey Woods and Langdon Hills. We urgently need a strong persistent and vocal body of riders to support each other by riding existing bridleways, clearing overgrown ones, familiarising themselves with the laws affecting them, and watching local papers for Public Notices regarding rights of way. No one person can do it in any area.

© Helen Mathias/EyeContact Photography


Mrs Graham took the Chair and opened the meeting by explaining the need for the new Association. She is bridleways officer to the Essex Riding Clubs Liaison Committee to which all BHSaffiliated Riding Clubs may send a representative to look after the interests of their members. As this Committee has become mainly occupied with competitive riding, it will support and encourage a separate body devoted to bridleways and associated matters. There is a British Horse Society County Committee, which was formed about five years ago with responsibility for bridleways, but two years ago a serious rift developed between the BHS Headquarters and County Bridleways Officers which led to the resignation of the Essex Bridleways Officer, the Chairman of the Eastern Region Rights of Way Panel and the Chairman of the


Join us!

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

Members’ benefits:

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.

1. Online

2. By post Log on to 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: 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. • 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.


Essex Bridleways Association Contacts List Chair

Julia Wilson

07795 818856

Vice Chair/Publicity

Jan Arthur

01277 650985


Louise Fuller

01245 421614


Lisa Guy

07792 166591

Membership Secretary

Alison Craigmile

07956 318502

Rides Organiser

Lesley Gillman

07768 103910

Rides Entry Secretary

Denise Dillon

07545 213056

Rides Marshal Coordinator

Sandra Deeran

07958 909319

Ride and Share

Julia Wilson

07795 818856

Historic Records Officer

Mick Brash

01621 740966

Historic Research

Christine Tout

07946 789757

Bridleways Development

Sue Dobson

01245 227083

Projects & Funding

Mary Pengelly

07786 322088

EBA Update Editor

Carol Allison

07803 135275

Website Administrator

Hilary Clifford

01279 792447

Bridleway Clearance Coordinator Brenda Hatch

01277 899541

Press Secretary

Mary Balch

07759 601271


Petra Studholme 07784 024106


Sally Crone

01992 572566

EBA Area Representatives Basildon

Jan Arthur


Michelle Woodall 07809 439383 Mandy French 01371 850215

07813 905022

Brentwood & Havering

Linda Hobbs

Castle Point

Alison Power


Sue Fincham

01245 440795


Cheryl Damen

07876 552662


Epping Forest

Heather Brady 01992 578072 Liz Hollingsworth 07855 329059


Joy Thorpe

07984 410242


Caroline Cowell

07941 471508

Rochford & Southend

Geoff Box


Pat Cooper

01255 880296


Jenny Mann

07909 787881


Sarah Hodgson Sarah Moss

07871 169406 07966 994367

01708 229055

Essex Bridleways Association, PO Box Association 12014, Chelmsford CM1 @EssexBridleways 9UD Essex Bridleways Twitter Essex Bridleways Assoc Twitter @EssexBridleways