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Essex Bridleways Association
Update Autumn 2017
Inside this issue... • • • •
Latest bridleways news Dates for your diary BDO & HR reports Reporting bridleways issues
Published by Essex Bridleways Association Charity number: 801530
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Contents 3 4 6 8 9 10 12 13 14 16 17 18 20
A note from the Chair EBA news and updates Joint Effort at Weald Country Park Equisafety Equiprocam members’ offer EBA new website EBA funding facts Dates for your diary EBA AGM BDO report HR report My Favourite Ride Reporting bridleways problems Claims: the 20 year rule
ON THE COVER
An autumn hack ©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.
SUPPORT THE CAUSE
By Katie Jerram, EBA Patron
It is hard to believe that we are already heading into autumn but the evenings are drawing in, which makes things increasingly difficult for those who have to fit riding in around work or school. It is good therefore, that the British Horse Society is doing more to improve road safety for riders, and their talk at EBA’s AGM should offer plenty of food for thought. Of course, in an ideal world, horses and cars would not have to share the highways but with cuts to Council budgets and a general lack of thought for equestrians, we are not at the top of the political agenda. This doesn’t mean we should just accept the situation however, and the team at EBA does a great job in campaigning on our behalf so it is important that we support them wherever possible, even if only by paying the annual membership fee of £15. As our roads get busier, there is no doubt that we will be increasingly grateful for each and every gain made by EBA’s hard-working volunteers and researchers.
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The Chair A note from
By Julia Wilson, EBA Chair
f you are reading this you are most probably a rider and more than likely enjoy a hack. I am probably biased but I consider hacking to be, by far, the best of all riding disciplines. It offers so many benefits to you and your horse both physically and mentally - a time when you and your best friend bond, each knowing what the other is thinking, enjoying the thrill of riding on stubble, the cool shade of the forest and the peace of the open countryside. The trust you build and the connection you feel are all enhanced by hacking. If you feel like me then you will appreciate just how
important it is to improve the available hacking in Essex by increased access to off-road riding, preserving existing PRoW, improving access to box and ride (and parking) and, most importantly, road safety. EBA is working very hard to address all these points and whilst we can’t move mountains, we are moving lots of molehills. When you read through the Update you will see all the good work being carried out by our volunteers. Our membership and fundraising rides mean that we can continue to pay for the research and development work carried out by Sue and Chris, offering long term benefits in Essex. However, our significant equestrian population is being placed under intense pressure as Essex becomes more urbanised. I would therefore urge anyone reading this who is not a member to at least join. We need our membership to grow if our voice is to be heard. At the time I write this we have run 8 of
our 12 rides. All have been a huge success, despite what the weather throws at us. The rides cannot take place without the continued help and support of all our volunteers. Some regulars turn up at most rides, while others may help at just one: all are very important to us. EBA’s Trustees work tirelessly to ensure the rides run smoothly, from advertising, entering, arranging and marking the route, to clearing up at the end of the day, so if you could offer a few hours to help please let us know. This year’s AGM will focus on road safety and we are delighted that Alan Hiscox, BHS Director of Road Safety, is our guest speaker. This will be an opportunity to learn what the BHS is doing to raise the horse rider’s profile on the roads – further details on page 13. The AGM is the perfect place to meet fellow riders, raise concerns and find out more about EBA and our cause. Please join us for a fun evening with plenty of tea and cake. That just leaves me to say a huge thank you to all our members, volunteers and Trustees. Enjoy the Update.
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New life for Paslow Bridleway
EBA Trustees – along with many horse riders, no doubt were extremely pleased to see a positive outcome for the Paslow Common bridleway after EBA committee member, Sally Crone, flagged up the fact that it was heavily waterlogged and overgrown. As a result of her persistence, the RoW has now been drained and resurfaced, with adjacent vegetation severely cut back to leave a clear, wide, open track. Speaking after the work was carried out in May, Sally said: “It is a wonderful example of what can be done with determination, and by making your case and not giving up. I worked closely with EBA’s
Bridleways Development Officer, Sue Dobson, and we were both delighted and grateful to see the fantastic work undertaken by ECC to refurbish this bridleway and make it serviceable once again.”
NEW BRIDLEWAY LINK IN LITTLE By Lesley Gillman, EBA Rides Organiser It can be quite depressing to see so many new houses being built on our lovely Essex countryside but there can be opportunities to gain new access for riders, if you keep your eyes on local planning applications. This is exactly what happened in Little Canfield when a new application came in for houses to built on a strip of land between the Flitch Way and the old A120 (now the B1256, a 30mph road). A request was made for a
bridleway link through the development and this was subsequently included in the housing plans. This new bridleway is only about 150 yards long but runs from opposite Bluebell Wood to Priors Green housing estate, allowing riders to reach Jacks Lane (a restricted byway) and other bridleways to the north, opening up a variety of routes for horse riders. This also gives local residents safe access to the Flitch Way, so is great
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16 at High Ongar
EBA worked in partnership with Essex County Council and High Ongar Parish Council via ECC’s Local Highways Panel in order to get the work done. Sally’s pictures, taken after a dry
CANFIELD news for horse riders, walkers and cyclists alike. The Flitch Way is a disused railway that was made into a bridleway several years ago and runs in a straight line between Bishops Stortford and Braintree (with a gap in the middle at Dunmow). There are not many access points along the route so you can end up turning around and just going back the same way as you had come, which is never ideal - especially with young or nappy horses - so additional links such as this are always welcome.
summer, show the serious and persistent drainage problem on the route, which had also become very overgrown. The bridleway is now unrecognisable and offers lovely hacking through
to Paslow Hall. Turn to pages 18 & 19 for tips on how you too can tackle bridleway problems for yourself.
Thurrock area gets connected EBA’s Thurrock Rep, Jenny Mann, has teamed up with some of her fellow EBA members to organise monthly meetings for riders in the area. Usually held on the 2nd Monday of the month, the meetings are designed to help riders work together and discuss local matters affecting equestrians. You do not have to be an EBA member to attend, although hopefully you might consider the annual £15 subscription worthwhile once you find out how much work goes on behind the scenes on your behalf. As we say so often, horse owners in our increasingly overcrowded county must work together so, if you ride or keep your horse in the Thurrock area, do please get involved as it is so important to get input and participation from all of our happy hackers. Contact Jenny Mann on 07909 787881 for information.
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Joint effort benefits all at Weald Country Park 6
n May, EBA formally re-opened a section of bridleway which was previously plagued by waterlogging. The track at Weald Country Park, Brentwood, had been virtually inaccessible to walkers, cyclists and horse riders alike but repair work has now been carried out, with the cost of £5,500 being shared by the British Horse Society and Essex Bridleways Association. Bridleways are important multiuser routes, and
horse riders, dog walkers and cyclists attended the opening, along with representatives from the British Horse Society and EBA. Also present were ECC PRoW Officer Laura Dunnell, and Lauren Hull, the Senior Ranger and Site Manager for Weald, whose help in facilitating the work was invaluable. This is not EBA’s first involvement with Weald Park. In 2013 we opened a circular bridleway route after securing approximately £90,000 worth of funding from DEFRA’s Paths for Communities Scheme.
Area Reps Required We have vacancies for EBA representatives in Harlow, Thurrock and Castle Point. Area Reps act as contact point for their district and have the full support of the EBA team. If you are able to give even a little time to help our cause then do please get in touch – you could even get together with friends to share the experience. For more information contact EBA Chair, Julia Wilson (details on the back cover of this Update).
Chelmer Bridge Rotary Club Thank you to Chelmer Bridge Rotary Club who have again presented EBA with a most generous cheque for £500. The donation came from money raised at their annual ride which took place in April. As in previous years, the Committee was extremely grateful to the Club for this significant boost to EBA funds.
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BHS GOPRO LOAN SCHEME The British Horse Society has a number of GoPros available for BHS volunteers to loan out. These video cameras can be used whilst out riding, either with a head or chest strap, and offer a way to provide proof of some situations that horse riders encounter which could be dangerous or difficult. For example, BHS Access and Bridleway Officers in Sussex filmed six quad bikers trespassing on bridleways just outside Arundel, which had been an ongoing problem, and have been able to pass footage recorded on the GoPro to Sussex Police. The cameras also offer a way of showcasing the challenges some people negotiate when riding out, such as difficult to use gates. BHS volunteers and Gold Members of BHS Affiliated Equestrian Access groups can apply to loan a GoPro, initially for a period of one month, by emailing email@example.com
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Caught on camera Exclusive EBA Discount Code
By Nicky Fletcher, Equisafety MD
s a result of our busy roads and intolerant motorists there has been an increased demand for head cameras - sadly, 181 horses have been killed on our roads in the past 5 years, and probably countless near misses - but, if you have to use your camera video for evidence in a court of law, it is advisable to be able to show the video from the start of the hack. Just the accident or incident will not be good enough, due to a number of issues. Ellen Shaw, Barrister at Lincoln House Chambers, explains: "Video camera footage can be crucial both for an effective investigation into any incident and as evidence at trial, whether that be in a criminal or civil case. The video is most helpful if your entire ride is recorded - providing only partial footage means it could be suggested that the footage of the incident has been edited or partially deleted." Equisafety carried out a social media survey that involved 1,500 riders and found that: 41% of riders hacked out for 1½ to 2 hours. When asked how long their hat-camera’s battery lasted, 28% said up to 120 minutes, 30% said up to 90 minutes and 25% up to 70 minutes. Research found that short battery times could mean that the video would only show a small section/part of the incident and not the hack before or after, and therefore would be of limited use.
Equisafety is offering EBA members 15% off the price of an Equiprocam* between 1st November and 5th December 2017. Just go to the Equisafety website and order online using the following code: EQUICAM15 The Equisafety Equiprocam has been designed specifically for horse riders. Features include: • GPS - for exact evidence of your ride • 4k Video and 20 MP for excellent quality photos and video • 160 minutes of battery • GYRO – Advanced video stabilization • 158g in weight and 2.5” in height • Voice control • 170-degree wide angle lens RRP: £149.99 A two month payment plan is available on purchases made through the Equisafety website. *This offer can only be used between 1st November and 5th December 2017 via the Equisafety website. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for terms and conditions.
Howletts Hall Livery Yard Full, part and DIY livery Private off-road hacking 20 x 40 floodlit manège Schooling and working livery available 5* bespoke livery for your horse Howletts Hall, Chelmsford Road, Blackmore, Ingatestone CM4 0QA
Tel: Lauren on 07827 737471 Kind supporters of EBA’s Highwood ride.
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Our new website! By Hilary Clifford, Website Administrator
n our fast moving world, EBAâ€™s website has become an important tool that enables us to communicate quickly and efficiently with members, and to share information as we campaign for Better Bridleways for Essex. Our current website has served us well but earlier this year the Committee agreed that it was looking a bit dated, and that we needed to make it more user-friendly for mobile devices. We are therefore delighted to announce that, after some months in the planning, our new, upgraded site is due to go live in the very near future. This exciting development means that the website will be adaptable for all technology platforms, so, whether you are using a smartphone, tablet or PC, it will have the same
level of functionality - in future, if you want to book a ride on your mobile device, you will be able to do just that. We also needed improved scope to update the website with news and articles relating to our campaign work and it will now be linked to our social media content, pulling together our online activity in areas of common interest. Of course, EBAâ€™s core work is all-important, and the new site will hold past and current issues of the EBA Update, alongside regular news and updates on our campaigns, and a growing library of material which you can use to lobby local councillors and MPs. For further news on these exciting changes, come along to our AGM on Thursday 9th November (see page 13 for details).
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EBA funds where do they come from
s a general rule, the majority of EBA’s income comes from the rides and holidays we run. For instance, in 2015/16, we raised £21,267, which was about 69% of our total income. Our membership subscriptions in that year were £7,830, about 25% of our total income, which as you can see is just over a third of what we take on the rides. The income from rides does fluctuate from year to year, depending on which rides we run and how popular they are. Other sources of income include donations, often from members, and
notably the Rotary Club of Chelmer Bridge which generously donates £500 to EBA from a ride it runs in the spring. Occasionally we receive significant one-off amounts. For instance, a couple of years ago our sister charity, Essex Bridleways Trust, was wound up and the remaining funds of just over £48,000 were transferred to EBA. This year, we were gratified to be remembered in the will of Michael Clark, and received a legacy of £3,000. We have also been granted £3,000 from the British Horse Society to go towards the
reinstatement of the bridleway at Weald Country Park. The expenditure is a bit more varied. In 2015/16, our major expenditure was £16,520 on our Historic Research and Bridleways Development Officers. This was about 41% of our total expenditure of £30,906. The work done by these two people is invaluable and absolutely worth the money we spend on them. The next biggest expenditure was on the rides - £9,516, which was 24% of the year’s outgoings. It is quite interesting to look at the profit made from the rides. Some are more expensive to run than others, depending on factors such as whether we have to pay a licence fee or similar to the landowner, whether we have
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and where do they go? By Louise Fuller, EBA Treasurer to pay for a portaloo etc., and of course with holidays, we have to pay for the accommodation. Some are more popular so we get a higher number of riders. The rides profit in 2015/16 was £11,751, but the year before it was £16,767 so you can see it can be quite variable. We spend money on various other things, of course. In that year we paid for legal advice and representation at the Public Inquiry into the Southway claim – well worth it as the claim was successful. In the past we have given grants to other organisations – for instance, £5,000 to the Friends of Flitch Way. This group is trying to join up the “missing link” of the Flitch Way at Dunmow, with a route that will be available to horse riders as well as walkers
and cyclists. This year we have also paid £2,500 (to add to the BHS’s £3,000) for the reinstatement of the Weald bridleway. Our publication, the EBA Update, costs about £3,000 for two editions a year, including printing and posting out. This is the main channel we use to communicate with our members and to spread the word to Councillors and beyond, so the price we pay is very good value for the quality of the magazine. Sometimes we run bridleway clearance work parties, and we have purchased tools to help us with this. Some are normal hand tools but we have a petrol-driven longhandled hedge trimmer which is most useful for reaching those otherwise inaccessible bits that need cutting back.
Our website is crucial to our operation, not only for telling the world about what we do and about bridleways in general, but also for taking membership applications and renewals, and ride entries. These days, most people use the website for such purposes and it saves us a huge amount of administration. Obviously, the website, and everything that goes with it, is highly specialised (we are horsey, not techie!) so our internet business is handled by Unicorn Designs who are very helpful in keeping their charges as low as possible. If you are interested in our finances and would like to know more, come along to our AGM on Thursday 9th November. I will be happy to take questions – I don’t guarantee to know all the answers straight away, but I will get back to you afterwards if necessary.
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DATES FOR YOUR DIARY... Thursday 9th November
Essex Bridleways Association AGM
Our AGM is a great opportunity to meet the EBA Committee, Trustees, Area Reps and Researchers and to find out more about our work, as well as giving you the chance to discuss any Rights of Way issues you might have. After the formalities, we will welcome Alan Hiscox, British Horse Society Director of Safety, who will talk to us about the BHS road safety campaign.
Raffle prizes kindly donated by... Sean Gooding Horseboxes
Saturday 2nd December 12
EBA Epping Forest Ride (EBA members only) Our annual Christmas ride is a wonderful way to end our season of fundraising rides. We will have prizes for the best fancy dress, plus mulled wine and mince pies to get you in the festive spirit. The surfaced tracks in Epping Forest offer excellent going at this time of year so be sure to join us, and donâ€™t forget your tinsel.
Great gift idea Why not treat a friend to EBA membership? At just ÂŁ15 for a year, it is the ideal present for the horse rider who has everything and they will benefit from discounts on EBA rides and more, so it really is the gift that keeps on giving.
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Essex Bridleways Association
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Thursday 9th November 2017 Keene Hall, Galleywood, Nr Chelmsford, Essex CM2 8PT Doors open 7pm for a 7.30pm start Agenda: Arrive, get yourself a free cuppa, buy a raffle ticket, have a chat, grab a seat
7.30pm Apologies for absence Approval of 2016 minutes Matters Arising Chair’s Report Treasurer’s Report & Appointment of independent examiner of a/cs for 2018 Appointment of Trustees (nomination forms available from email@example.com or via the news page at www.essexbridleways.co.uk) Other matters at the discretion of the Chair Note: Only members aged 18 and over may vote at the AGM
8.00pm Short break
Alan Hiscox, BHS Director of Safety Alan Hiscox is the strategic lead for the implementation and management of the British Horse Society’s charitable objectives regarding safety for horse riders. He is also responsible for assessing current and potential opportunities to develop all aspects of safety within the equestrian sector. Alan served 26 years in the Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch and 14 years as chief equitation officer at the Metropolitan Police Training School. Alan’s presentation will cover: • Current statistics regarding incidents involving horses and vehicles • The BHS ‘Dead Slow’ campaign: Safer Drivers, Safer Riders, Safer Horses • The next steps – driver education, influencing driver behaviour.
9.00pm Raffle winning numbers announced and a chance to meet your Area Reps, mingle and chat to the Committee and other EBA members
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Bridleways Development Report
Frustrating attitudes and I
By Sue Dobson, EBA Bridleways Development Officer
© Helen Mathias/EyeContact Photography
t’s been another very busy year for me. There is so much going on in Essex - along with other, national consultations and projects - that keeping abreast of it all is very time-consuming. There are several major infrastructure projects on the go in Essex at the moment - the A12 and A120 upgrades, the new Tilbury Port, the new Lower Thames Crossing – in all of which I have an involvement, attending meetings and responding to consultations where necessary. This is all in addition to the flurry of Local Plans currently being prepared – Colchester, Tendring, Braintree, Harlow and Uttlesford are all being consulted upon at the time of writing, with several others expected towards the end of the year. In all of these I concentrate my responses on asking for equestrian access to be written into the policies as, once adopted, they are the rules by which the planning applications for development are determined – so if access is specified then it
should become part of the scheme. I am now a member of the Essex Local Access Forum and have been a member of the Thurrock LAF for some time, so I am now in a good position to have some real input to the Rights of Way Improvement Plan reviews that are under way. Much of my work involves raising the profile of the needs of equestrians, and how they can be catered for when major developments or roads are
planned. I have a good relationship with Highways England, which now has the safety of vulnerable road users written into its policies: for example, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders must be included when planning for such schemes. In my discussions at the A12 and A120 forums, I always try to emphasise the need to ensure that any new crossings over major roads must be multiuser, and the message seems to be getting through, which is a good thing. However, with every success story there is a disappointment and nothing more so than a local scheme which would have given equestrians around 23km of safe off-road riding. I am talking about Wallasea Island and the anti-horse stance that the RSPB
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multiply’ if someone causes their horse to spook doesn’t really help, even if you feel it is deserved. When I am riding on the road, I always try to smile and thank drivers for slowing down, as many do, but there have been countless times when I have slowed down to pass a horse and rider whilst driving and have not even had an acknowledgement from them that I’ve done so. That said, there are many drivers and cyclists who don’t give a damn about passing slowly and
carefully but, with the system as it is - where cyclists are catered for at every opportunity - horse riders do need to up their profile and probably think twice about speaking their mind (however much it may be deserved) as well as making sure they thank drivers when they slow down. For more on this particular topic, do come along to our AGM in November to hear the views of Alan Hiscox, BHS Director of Safety (see details on page 13).
© Helen Mathias/EyeContact Photography
have taken on the basis of perceived conflict between pedestrians and cyclists (who are already included in the scheme) and horse riders. In short, a planning application was submitted altering the restoration scheme for Wallasea Island, and was an ideal opportunity to seek equestrian access as part of the plans. After several letters and submissions to ECC, the stance of the RSPB remained intransigent. The application went to the ECC Committee at the end of July and I addressed the committee, stressing the need for access and the fact that all users share every byway and bridleway in the country without such conflict, and the fact that, for a scheme funded by public money, it was inherently wrong that a significant user group should be excluded. The debate that followed brought home to me how the Councillors making this decision had such ingrained prejudices against horse riders. One Councillor commented that horses and cyclists cannot share the same paths as when cyclists whizz past horses it startles them. Another comment came from an RSPB member who said that, on another path, a horse spooked at his camera and tripod and the rider concerned came out with a barrage of foul language. Needless to say, the application was approved without modification and equestrians have lost out. So how do we change such prejudice? I guess that we, as riders, need to make sure we don’t give our group a bad name – telling people to ‘go forth and
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Historic Research Report
Riders must give us evidence By Chris Tout, EBA Historic Research Officer
ur research continues to identify potential “lost lanes” as we try to ensure that routes are recorded on to the Definitive Map before the 2026 deadline. Sadly, ongoing cuts to ECC budgets means that the time it takes to receive a decision on our claims is growing and, once a decision is received, any objections to it further extend the process. But at least we have claims submitted and the potential to add to the network. We are currently waiting for decisions on five claims and hoping for a successful outcome to the Sears Lane, Chappel bridleway claim that is presently before the Planning Inspector. People often say, ‘What can we do to help improve the
bridleway network’ or ‘I would like to help but I haven’t got the time’ but you can do little things which have a large impact. For example, if we make an
Is this the oldest horse on an EBA ride? Meet Bob, who is now 35 years old. Jenny has owned him since 2001 and rides him out most days. They do several pleasure rides during the course of a year and she says that Bob is always enthusiastic and not content to walk. We think he must be the oldest horse to take part in our rides but please get in touch with our editor if you have a golden oldie who still enjoys hacking out.
appeal for information on a specific route or ask if anyone rides it, or has previously ridden it, then please do get in touch and take action. Requests often elicit a good response with comments on Facebook or emails but this initial response usually doesn’t culminate in actual user evidence forms being completed, or much needed information being forwarded on to me. While claims can sometimes be made based solely on historic evidence, the fact that the route has been, or is being, ridden also helps our case. Likewise, the more user evidence forms we receive the better when submitting this type of claim. So please, don’t just leave it to someone else – if you think you can help in these cases please follow it through by getting in touch.
Spotted in Australia – if only…
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f, like me, you have always dreamt of galloping on a long, golden beach, then you need to head to Holkham in North Norfolk. This is one of my favourite places of all time for riding and I never tire of the exhilaration, freedom and beauty of this amazing beach. Holkham is rideable all year round and, while you need to check the tide timings, it doesn't have any restrictions. The horses seem to love it too; although they may be a little wary at first, they can soon get into a rhythm and quite often settle well if they are with an experienced mate. The beach at Holkham is so big that if you head away from the main entrance, you can have it all to yourself - no need to worry about running into anyone and you could go for several miles if your horse is fit enough. If the tide is not out too far, you can ride along the water's edge or, if feeling brave, take your horse in for a paddle (with care!). Coming from Essex, it is quite a distance for a day trip, so why not make a weekend of it, or at least an overnight stay? There are several horse-friendly B&Bs in the area but a favourite is Whitehall Farm, where they provide a
RIDE By Lisa Guy, EBA Secretary
substantial breakfast and very comfortable accommodation. The horses are adequately provided for with an option of a stable/ turnout or just turnout if you fancy a break from mucking out. Those with living accommodation in their horse boxes can stay on their vehicles or, if you prefer to camp or glamp â€“ then hookup and facilities are available.
You can hack from Whitehall Farm (map provided) which takes about an hour and is a good warm up for the beach activities, but you can also box up and park at Lady Anne's Drive where you can just walk your horse down to the beach. You might also like to spend a day on the beach even if you are staying in Thetford, it's approximately an hour and a half drive to
North Norfolk from that area. The beach itself is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with some areas roped off for wildlife preservation. Its long golden sandy expanse can rival any beach in the world. So, if you are looking for an amazing experience with your horse, try Holkham - I promise you will not be disappointed.
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Reporting bridleways By Sally Crone, EBA Trustee
hen you experience Rights of Way problems, it’s no use just moaning and expecting others to do the work for you. EBA is certainly here to help with bridleway matters: we can give advice and support but we are volunteers so please, do your bit by taking a few preliminary steps: 1. Take a selection of photographs that clearly show the problem.
2. Report the problem to ECC – see self-help guide on page 19. 3. Track its progress here: http://www.essexhighways.org /transport-and-roads/tellus/track-it.aspx If you see a statement that ECC has inspected the problem and the matter doesn’t presently warrant action, do not give up. 4. Report it to your EBA Area Representative and ask for assistance in taking the matter further – contacts are on the back of this Update and on the EBA website. Please be aware that sometimes, people’s expectations are unreasonably high, and the Area Rep may consider the PRoW is perfectly adequate and might
decline to take it further. 5. Some problems might be too big for the normal ECC maintenance system to deal with. In this case, if EBA feels it is a problem which may be resolved through the Local Highways Panel (LHP) process, liaise with EBA’s Bridleways Development Officer, Sue Dobson as she knows the process, protocols and people whose support is needed: firstname.lastname@example.org 6. Be willing to help by working with Sue and doing the legwork – lobbying the relevant Parish Council and the County Councillor and by seeking support for the project. You will need the support of the Parish Council to have the matter taken
forward to the LHP, and your County Councillor’s support is also very important as many projects are bidding for a relatively small pot of funds. It really helps if you live in the parish where the bridleway is situated and can raise it with the Parish Council and attend their meetings (or can find someone who does and who is willing to speak up for you). 7. If there is a positive outcome, take photos, highlight the work and say “thank you” to those who have contributed. Please feel free to email details of your success to the EBA Update editor via email@example.com
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problems A self-help guide By Louise Fuller, EBA Treasurer
Here is an easy guide to online reporting of problems on Rights of Way. It looks like a lot of instructions but just follow it step by step. Essex County Council is the authority responsible for maintaining Public Rights of Way. • Go to http://www.essexhighways.org/transportand-roads.aspx and scroll down the page till you see a heading What would you like to do next?. • Underneath this heading, click on the pictogram Tell us about something. • A map comes up – click on approximately the right area. Precision is not required at this stage. • A page with 14 pictograms comes up. Scroll down to the bottom left hand and click on the Public Rights of Way pictogram. • Now you see eight pictograms of types of problems – click on the appropriate one. • Even more pictograms! Again, click on the relevant one. • A map comes up, where the idea is to click the map to place a marker at the site of the issue you want to report. As it says, you can either enter a post code (without spaces), or a town or road name. An alternative is to zoom in on the map to find the spot. The zoom tools (+ and -) are on the top left corner of the map. • You have to zoom in a long way before the map allows you to click and place a marker. If you see the message in a box which says zoom in further to see house numbers and reported issues, then you haven’t gone far enough. • When you no longer see that box, then you can click on the place where the fault is. Bridleways are coloured green with little lines across them, and byways are brown with arrows on them. Restricted byways are blue with opposing
arrows. There is a key at the bottom of the map. • If the fault has already been reported, there is a little purple diamond at the location. If you click on the diamond, you can see the detail of the issue that has been reported. • Assuming your issue has not already been reported, when you click on the location on the map, a message comes up There are currently no issues being investigated at this location, please select the option below. Click on the green button which says Report an issue here. • The map sometimes seems to jump about a bit so you might need to have another go to get exactly the right place. • An information box comes up with the PRoW number and a description. If the marker is in the correct position, click the green box Confirm location. Keep a note of the PRoW number (including the name of the parish). • You’re nearly there! You now enter the details of the problem. In the first box, give precise information about where the problem is (if you can give an Ordnance Survey grid reference, that is very helpful). • In the second box, say what the problem is e.g. a tree across the bridleway or whatever the issue is. • You can add up to five photos but they might not be accepted if they are too large in megabytes (MB). • If you want to keep a record of what you have reported, cut and paste the text into your own word file. • When you are happy with what you have entered, press the green button Submit. • You will get a reference number for your report; keep a note of this as it will enable you to follow the problem up in the future. With thanks to Katherine Evans of The Ramblers, who wrote the instructions on which these are based.
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Bridleway claims the 20 year rule By Jan Arthur, EBA Vice Chair
f you have ridden a route regularly for 20 years or more without permission or being challenged by the owner or occupier, it may be possible to claim it as a permanent Right of Way. There are certain criteria that must be met and it will require some effort but it could mean that the route is secured for both yourself, and future generations. So how do you go about it? Firstly, be prepared to give up some of your time and remember that a successful claim is well worth the effort. The application is made through Schedule 14 applications and, hopefully, results in a Definitive Map Modification Order made under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Get the right documents Go to Essex County Council’s home page, select Transport and Roads. Go to Information and Applications, select Public Rights
of Way. Click on the Definitive Map pictogram then select Mapping Errors at the bottom of the page. Scroll to the bottom of the page and there will be a grey box with, Documents: Application Form – Guidance; Forms A, B and C, and an Evidence of Use Form. These can be downloaded. Make use of the Guidance provided and only deal with one path in each application. You must: 1. Complete Application Form A 2. Mark the exact route of the way clearly on a map (ideally an Ordnance Survey map) with a thin, coloured line (not with broad felt tip). 3. Send all of the evidence you have to support your claim, together with Application Forms A & C, to: Essex Legal Services (address at the end of this article). It is important you enclose all the paperwork as late evidence will not be accepted. 4. Send a completed copy of Notice Form B, along with a copy of the map showing the route claimed, to every owner and occupier whose land the route crosses. If you are unable to identify who owns the land, Essex Legal Services may be able to advise you or give permission for notices
to be posted on site advising of your application. 5. Send the completed Certificate Form C with your claim to Essex Legal Services. This certifies that you have served the notice on the Owners and Occupiers affected. Keep a copy of everything you send to ECC and send it all by Recorded Delivery.
Evidence of Use Forms Evidence of Use forms must be completed by all witnesses who have used the route over a 20 year period. It is not necessary to have a huge number of witnesses, but evidence must cover the 20 years prior to the moment the route “came into question” – i.e., when the route was blocked, or a user challenged by the land owner. Each Evidence of Use Form should be completed by the individual witness and must be specific as to the frequency and period of use. It should also have a copy map attached with the route in question clearly marked. It is vital that people record if and when they have been turned back or challenged on the path, or if and when it was obstructed. Witnesses must also clearly state the number of years they used the path before this happened.
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Each Evidence of Use Form should only deal with one path. The witnesses should each draw the route they use on an otherwise unmarked Ordnance Survey Map which should be attached to the form. It is important to get the Evidence Forms completed and the map prepared correctly but without leading the witness. Visits are a good idea if you have the time.
Rules Under Section 31 of the Highways Act 1980, a Public Right of Way can be presumed to exist if there is evidence of use by the public for 20 years but the following rules must all apply: • The use must be “as of right"; so use must not be in secret, by violence nor by permission. • Use must be by “the public” and not merely by one or two
individuals. There must be sufficient regular users ready to speak up at any Public Inquiry on the issue in order to determine that that the public at large have used the way. • The way must not be one where simple use by the public could not give rise to presumption of dedication by the owner as a highway. For example, public parks and promenades are provided and open for public use but not intended to be highways so, for instance, a path used for 20 years over such land will not generally be a Public Right of Way. • There must be no open evidence of “intent not to dedicate”. For example, a notice on site at any time during the 20 years indicating No Public Right of Way. • The period of 20 years must end at a date when the public's right is “called into question” by the owner or tenant. For example, turning someone back, blocking the route, or putting up a Private notice. • The use must be without interruption. This means without physical action, such as locking a gate across the way to prevent public use. You do not have to prove use for every day
of the 20 years but must show regular public use so that the conclusion can be drawn that the Right of Way has been enjoyed by the public for the whole period. The County Council will then investigate your application and decide whether to make an Order to change the Definitive Map. If the claim is rejected you will have a right to appeal. If the Council decides to make an Order and valid objections are received the decision may go to Public Inquiry. You will need to do your best to see that, if necessary, people who submitted evidence forms attend the Public Inquiry. That’s the next stage of making a claim and will be dealt with in the Spring Update. Contacts: Essex Legal Services, Seax House, Victoria Road South, Chelmsford CM1 1QH Jake Murray, Essex Legal Services 0333 013 6683 Essex Legal Services Helpline 0333 013 9993 Environmental.TeamDuty@essex. gov.uk Your local EBA Area Rep.
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Thanks to Ken McDonald, secretary of The Hundred Parishes Society, for these interesting facts regarding the humble post box – something to look out for when you are on a hack perhaps – and read on to find the equestrian connection…
were cast. Many are still in use but, as far as I’m aware, there are no ER VIII boxes in the Hundred Parishes. * Following the 2012 Olympics, pillar boxes in the home towns and villages of gold medal winners were repainted in gold, the first occasion in modern times when the colour of a “live” box changed from the traditional red. In Elsenham, an EIIR pillar box, dating from our present monarch, celebrates the show jumping gold medal won by Ben Maher.
Ken says, “When you are out and about, I encourage you to see how many different types you can Tiny wall box at Roast spot. And do leave Green, Clavering feedback on our website if you find a VR or ER VIII that I was not aware of.” * Britain’s first roadside pillar www.hundredparishes.org.uk boxes were installed in 1852 in St Helier in the Channel Islands. Wall boxes were introduced in 1857 and boxes attached to lamps in 1896 to serve more rural communities. * Queen Victoria was the first monarch to have her royal cipher, VR, displayed and each monarch since has had their own design. At least fifteen VRs are still in service around the Hundred Parishes, all in our Essex parishes. As far as I know, we have Wall box in own brick surround, Finchingfield. no round, standalone Victorian pillar boxes. All are wall boxes, built into a wall, including a tiny one at Roast Green, Clavering. Gold box in Elsenham * Even during the brief reign of Edward VIII, 161 pillar boxes
Healing hands EBA volunteer, Dian Van Eyck may be familiar to some readers as she is studying Equine Shiatsu, so a number of Essex equines have been benefiting from her healing hands. To help further her studies, Dian is now looking for horses with stomach ulcers or unexplained digestive or back issues, as well as those that windsuck or crib bite. If you are interested in talking to Dian, she can be contacted on 07772 642244.
Cut it out When it comes to putting on our fundraising rides, the EBA team needs to be super-organised and highly practical. This year’s Ashfields Ride was a case in point, as they discovered several areas of significant overgrowth on the planned route when they went to mark it up the day before. Ever prepared, the volunteers set about cutting it back, leaving the bridleway nice and clear for EBA riders and local users alike.
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Join Us How to join: 1. Online
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 by cutting down on administration and saves EBA money.
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.
• 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.
2. By post Ask our membership secretary to send you a membership form, download from our website or pick one up at our rides. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 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.
• 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.
© Helen Mathias/EyeContact Photography
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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
Brentwood & Havering
VACANT - contact EBA Chair Julia Wilson if you could fill this role
Heather Brady 01992 578072 Liz Hollingsworth 07855 329059
VACANT - contact EBA Chair Julia Wilson if you could fill this role
Rochford & Southend
VACANT - contact EBA Chair Julia Wilson if you could fill this role
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
Published on Oct 17, 2017
Published on Oct 17, 2017
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