Essex Bridleways Association Update Spring 2017

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EBA Update Spring 2017 final 27/02/2017 14:43 Page 1

Essex Bridleways Association


Update Spring 2017

Inside this issue...

Published by Essex Bridleways Association Charity number: 801530

• EBA 2017 Rides Schedule • Better Bridleways for Essex • Canewdon Safety Campaign • Weald Country Park Update

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Contents 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 12: 14: 16: 17: 18: 20: 22: 23: 24:


A note from the Chair AGM report News Canewdon Safety Campaign Model Village? Better Bridleways Campaign 2017 EBA Rides Schedule Bridleways Development Weald Country Park Essex Records Office Epping Forest Fancy Dress Make yourself seen Equine Shiatsu Join EBA EBA Contacts


Riders enjoying the sunshine at EBA's 2016 Harolds Park Ride. ©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.

Why EBA needs your support

By Katie Jerram, EBA Patron

As we all go about our daily lives it is often easy to complain about things that worry or irritate us and equally simple to imagine that someone else will actually deal with these problems, so we don’t have to. This can be the case with bridleways issues – well, we do have Essex Bridleways Association, don’t we? It is true that such groups are there to fight our cause but it should never be forgotten that they are run by people just like us – busy folk, with jobs to do and families (and animals) to care for. These people are volunteers who have chosen to give their time because they, just like the rest of us, are worried about the increasing traffic on Essex roads and the impact that this, and ongoing development in our county, is having on horse owners and riders. In return, EBA needs our support – so please, become a member, help out and offer just a little of your own time. Not only will this lighten the load, it will help us make the authorities realise just how many passionate horse owners we have in this wonderful county and that we deserve their consideration.


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A note from

The Chair By Julia Wilson, EBA Chair


017, another year full of challenges and expectations. Our work never stops and, if anything, it gets harder and harder. With ECC budgets being cut and new development on the increase, PRoW in Essex are under real threat. The recent announcement by Government to build millions of new homes by 2020 on both brown and greenfield sites literally sent shivers down my spine, and not in a good way! Housing development means more highways, more traffic, less space and often more conflict. But not all is lost. Whilst we cannot prevent development - it is going to

happen whether we like it or not - we can work with developers to ensure equestrians are not forgotten. EBA is currently working on many projects. We have put forward comments on all Local Development Plans; we are members of the ‘Non Motorised User’ groups for both the A12 and A120 schemes; and we are involved with large housing schemes around Essex. We must ensure that any development, be it housing or highway, includes Rights of Way to link into the current network, create new routes and keep villages linked. We need you to do your part: you cannot complain if you have done nothing to make a difference. There are surveys to complete, online petitions, public consultations and MPs to write to. We try to keep members aware of what is happening and what they can do, so keep an eye on our emails, website and Facebook page.

Much great work is being carried out by our BDO, Sue Dobson, and our Historic Researcher Chris Tout. This work is funded by EBA membership and rides entries. So, if you are reading this and you are not a member, please consider joining. For just £15 a year you could be contributing to all the good work EBA is doing to improve bridleways in Essex. I hope you enjoy the Update. We try to include all the work we are doing, our successes and frustrations. This time we have our usual centre spread of fundraising rides organised for the year. I think you will agree that we have something for everyone. We have included a couple of novice rides again, for riders still on the lead rein but needing to get started. They are a great opportunity for children and adults to get a feel for hacking in a safe environment. I hope 2017 brings a year of safe and happy hacking for you all. Please take time to help us make a difference, together we can do it.



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ur AGM on Thursday 10th November was a great success with an excellent turnout once again. Attendees could have been forgiven for thinking they had stumbled upon a Great British Bake Off Challenge, since all the usual maps and bridleways paraphernalia were backed up by a wonderful array of cakes and even biscuits in the shape of the EBA logo. Well done to all the Trustees, Committee members and helpers who worked so hard to put together such an enjoyable evening. It was good to see a display by Britain’s oldest national conservation body, the Open Spaces Society, who are campaigning alongside EBA and other like-minded groups to improve the national Rights of Way network and to ensure that all possible ‘lost’ paths are claimed before the 2026 deadline. Their representative, Malcolm Lees, also regularly

assists us by marshalling on EBA rides, so extra special thanks go to him. Guest speaker, William Reddaway, spoke about his travels with a lovely big bay horse called Strider: their story was engaging, amazing and entertaining. We heard how the pair set out to travel 2,700 miles around England, visiting 30 cathedrals on their journey. William did not avoid cities and busy roads, believing that he needed to reach the masses in order to achieve support for his charities, the Family Holiday Association and the Wormwood Scrubs Riding for the Disabled Group.

As usual, the evening saw a splendid array of raffle prizes and everyone dug deep into their pockets to raise an impressive £181 for EBA funds. Thanks to Baileys Horse Feeds, Likit Products, Equisafety, Jumpers Horse Line, Stud Muffins and The Mark Todd Collection for supporting us yet again.

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EBA News

Thank you Michael BHS Ride Out UK The British Horse Society’s annual Ride Out campaign (formerly Access Week) will this year run for the entire month of May, with riders being encouraged to support their local BHS and affiliated access groups. On its website, the BHS says, We dedicate May to the UK’s equestrian routes; raising awareness of off-road riding and applauding the fantastic efforts of the BHS’s UK-wide volunteer team, local authorities and other partners who work to protect, restore and repair all of these networks so that we can enjoy them for many years to come.

The EBA Committee is hugely touched that Michael Clark, who sadly passed away in 2015, very kindly remembered EBA in his will, leaving the organisation a legacy of £3,000 to support the essential work of obtaining Better Bridleways for Essex. Many of you will remember Michael as an active supporter of EBA who frequently helped with the parking on our Danbury ride. His kindness will ensure that future generations have improved access to safe, off-road Rights of Way.

Better Bridleways – the work goes on This time last year EBA launched the Better Bridleways for Essex campaign to promote the need for

Little Baddow:

Can you help?

We are looking for riders who have ridden a route known to some as Heather Hills in Little Baddow. The route runs between Tofts Chase and Spring Elms Lane and goes from corner to corner across the field. If you have ridden this route over the past 20 years we need you to complete an evidence form as we are hoping to make a user evidence claim if sufficient people come forward. Contact EBA’s Historic Researcher, Chris Tout, for forms and information:

improved off-road access for equestrians in the county. Whilst we had a great response to our petition and the online survey, this campaign is far from over so, if you haven’t done it already, please write to your local councillors and MPs: tell them about your own experiences and explain why you need Better Bridleways in your area. Please make this a priority and encourage others to do the same. Contact details and advice are in the 2016 Autumn Update and on the EBA website. We are all deeply concerned about the increasingly fast traffic on our busy Essex roads and things will only get worse. As horse owners we must work together to make our collective voice heard because, rest assured, no-one else is going to do it for us. Turn to page 8 for more information.


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EBA News

Canewdon Safety Campaign


questrians in Canewdon have set up the Larkhill Campaign to petition for speed reduction from 60mph to 40mph, vehicle activated speed signs, and hedges to be trimmed on blind bends. The campaign was started after a shocking road accident on Larkill Road on 17th November 2016, which resulted in two horse riders being taken to hospital, one horse injured and one horse sadly put to sleep. Five horses have been injured on this same piece of road in recent years. Claire Lilly and Dawn Mander formed Canewdons Equestrian as a Facebook discussion page and organised a hack into the village to engage the local residents and collect signatures. The petition

Photo: Equuis Photography


secured more than 300 signatures from residents and a further 148 from horse owners that stable in Canewdon. Ironically, disaster nearly struck on the way home, as the riders were overtaken by a driver on a double blind bend, highlighting the extreme need for safety measures to be put in place. Dawn said, “We are committed to making this road safer for all vulnerable road users and would like to

mention the amazing support we have received from The British Horse Society’s Director of Safety, Alan Hiscox. We have also got the support of the Secretary of Rochford & Castle Point Rambling Group, the Chairman of Southend Wheelers Cycle Group, RSPB Wallasea Wetlands, HRSA, the Rt. Hon. Mark Francois MP, District Councillors George Ioannou & Laureen Shaw, Canewdon Parish Council and local farms and businesses. “We have canvassed every single resident in Canewdon which produced an amazing response. We now have a huge pile of letters to present to our MP and Local Highways Panel. Our aim is to get the Larkhill/Canewdon Road made safer for everyone, before any more accidents occur.” Contact and follow the Canewdons Equestrian page on Facebook.

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Model Village? I

t is very easy to criticise planners and developers but just occasionally something happens to make you realise that, given the right approach from both sides, there can be a positive outcome that goes beyond the need to meet house building targets. Such is the case at Beaulieu Park on the outskirts of Chelmsford. From an early stage, EBA’s Bridleways Development Officer, Sue Dobson, got involved and put forward the case for including equestrian access in the infrastructure of this substantial development. As a result of this open dialogue, and thanks to a forwardthinking development company, riders can now enjoy a number of new bridleways which have all been designed so that they can link up to the existing network. This approach is to be applauded and the wide tracks and open spaces that


have been incorporated into this development will enable horse riders and other vulnerable road users to escape the traffic and benefit from their shared environment.

For more on this and other progress being made by Sue Dobson, see page 14.

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The Campaign continues...


© Helen Mathias/EyeContact Photography


By Jan Arthur, EBA Vice Chair

Photo by Oli Cutmore Media

ur 2016 EBA publicity drive has borne some fruit: as reported in the Autumn Update, we presented a petition to ECC and had a constructive meeting with ECC Councillors to raise our profile. We have compiled useful statistics from our online survey. Many of you have written to MPs and Councillors to help make our voice heard; thank you very much for that. If you haven’t done this yet, please look at the Campaign page on our website. We cannot be complacent. We must keep up the pressure. This is happening behind the scenes thanks to EBA volunteers and researchers but we need more support to drive this forward. Cyclists seem to be having it all their own way with

Government backing the National Cycling Strategy and we must make sure that horse riders are also considered. EBA has been talking to ECC about making some cycleways

open to horse riders. What else can be done here; why are bridleways open to cyclists, when cycleways are not open to horses? We have to maintain and build on this momentum, so please, step forward and help us. If you are not a member of EBA, please join our ranks and encourage your friends to do the same. If you have ideas and would like to get involved, then let us know. Over 2,500 people signed the EBA petition and 1,000 people took the time to complete our online survey, yet EBA has less than 600 members. Membership costs just £15 a year for over 16s – that’s less than 30 pence a week, and all in a good cause.

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We can make a difference By Sue Dobson, EBA Bridleways Development Officer In its strategy the Government misses the point that, like cycling, horse riding contributes to a healthy lifestyle (with a nil contribution to air pollution) and that, economically, the horse economy (at £4.3bn) is more significant than the cycling contribution (£2.9bn). Both EBA and the BHS believe that any new routes that are created should, wherever possible, be accessible to all user groups. In our response to the Walking and Cycling Investment Strategy consultation EBA has asked that all new routes provided are fully inclusive as a default,

rather than solely for walkers and cyclists as is now the case. Many thanks to all those who responded to this consultation: your input has made the Government look again at how this strategy can go forward. It demonstrates that responding to these seemingly impersonal consultations does have the desired effect. No doubt there will be more in future as we continue to lobby Councils and Central Government for equestrian inclusion alongside other user groups – so please have your say – it really does make a difference.


© Helen Mathias/EyeContact Photography


n May 2016 the Government carried out a consultation on its new Walking and Cycling Investment Strategy to which the EBA and the BHS responded in detail, objecting to the fact that equestrians were yet again being ignored, despite recent Government statistics showing that many more equestrians (4,052 hospital admissions) than cyclists (2,820 hospital admissions) were injured last year in vehicle-related accidents on the roads. The BHS also used the magic of social media to spread the word, resulting in over 3,600 horse rider responses nationally and forcing the Government to re-think their strategy. Many new cycleways are being brought in under a different planning process than other Public Rights of Way and are not subject to the same rules. They can exclude other users pedestrians, disabled people and horse riders - forcing them to continue to endure the risks associated with using busy roads. Often, cycleways are proposed instead of bridleways because of the perception that the use of them by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders causes conflict, although this is not supported by hard evidence.

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Road improvements: have your say

By Hilary Clifford, EBA Web Administrator



he purpose of the EBA is to protect, preserve, improve and develop the network of equestrian Rights of Way for the benefit of the horse riding public. There are many challenges facing us in achieving this aim and EBA’s volunteers and researchers are working hard to preserve and maintain existing bridleways, as well as lobbying for new bridleway creations and looking to restore lost or mismarked Rights of Way for inclusion on the Definitive Map before the 2026 deadline. Essex is such a busy, fast growing county and many of our rural areas are being lost to development. The A12 is currently at capacity and Highways England has pledged to spend around £250m on improvements. The initial consultations will be closed by the time we go to press but please keep an eye on the following websites, or sign up for email alerts, as there will be public exhibitions and further

opportunities for consultation as the schemes progress: A12 fordA120widening A120 As members of EBA and horse riders who care about Better Bridleways for Essex, we can all contribute by participating in these events wherever possible. We also have letter templates on the EBA website and information to help you contact your Councillors and MPs. It doesn’t take long and it’s an important way of making the planners and decision makers aware of horse riders’ needs and ensuring they can be met alongside those of other vulnerable road users. In the meantime, EBA will use its website and its Facebook page to notify you of further opportunities so please, ‘like’ our page, share and comment on our posts and help us spread the word.

What’s happening elsewhere EBA is not alone in actively campaigning for improved off-road access for horse riders. Access groups across the country are increasingly challenging and working with the authorities to ensure that equestrians are given equal consideration to walkers and cyclists, proving that progress can be made: The Peak District National Park Authority has included horse riders in its Recreation Strategy and Trails Management Plan. Peak Horse Riders also has 2 members on the steering group. West Berkshire Council has included horse riding in its Active Travel Strategy which promotes walking, cycling and equestrian activities in its plans to encourage physical activity, reduce congestion on roads and improve air quality within congested areas. As yet, Essex County Council’s Active Essex initiative currently has no such representation for equestrians, although this is something EBA hopes to nurture going forward.

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Mixed Messages By Carol Allison, EBA Update Editor


received two emails on the same day in January. One was from the BHS regarding the hike in business rates facing many of our riding schools and livery yards which comes in to force in April, with yards in the South East apparently facing increases of up to 356%. We all know that keeping horses isn’t cheap and running a yard is a tough financial challenge so, at the very least, this will push up the cost of keeping Essex’s significant equine population. At worst some yards will close, to be replaced, no doubt, by more houses, more people, more cars, more pollution and more agony for the remaining riders who already face serious daily challenges on our roads through lack of suitable offroad access. The other email was Essex County Council’s Health and Wellbeing newsletter, packed full of useful activities to get the population moving as part of the Active Essex strategy. Ideas include 20 minutes walking a day, taking the stairs instead of the lift (regular stair climbing can reduce your cardio risk by more than 30% and help build muscle tone) or trying a range of activities, including squash and lacrosse. Apparently, we all need to do a

EBA's Vice Chair posted this notice at the AGM highlighting the opposing quotes of two ECC Councillors.

minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity a week to stay healthy. Well, as I had just unloaded and stacked 30 bales of hay and would later be going about the other daily duties involved in horse care, I feel that my daily exercise needs are already catered for. The other great thing about horses is that you have to get out there every day, come rain or shine; no skipping class because you can’t be bothered. So what really puzzles me is this: if the Government is so keen to get us on the move, why are they jeopardising the very equestrian establishments that are already doing just that? Why is Sport England funding the Hoof initiative to get more people riding, when

equestrians are so frequently left fighting for bridleways to be maintained, or ignored when it comes to new multiuser routes? Anything that encourages activity is to be applauded and, as Essex becomes increasingly urbanised, it is essential that people can escape the concrete jungle and experience a bit of fresh air and the joys of our beautiful countryside. But while there appears to be ample funding for walking, cycling and setting up all these organised activities - plus the undoubted cost of marketing this ‘get active’ message - cuts to PRoW funding are penalising those that have long enjoyed horse riding and horse ownership as a healthy lifestyle.


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EBA2017RidesSche Date


Starting From

Sunday 2nd April


Middlewick Farm Livery Yard, Southminster, Essex CM0 7JQ

21st - 24th April Members Only

Thetford Forest Holiday

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

Sunday 7th May

Berwick Farm

Berwick Farm, Berwick Lane, Chipping Ongar, Essex CM5 9PY

Saturday 3rd June

Hatfield Forest

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

Saturday 17th June

Hatfield Forest Lead Rein Ride

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

Saturday 1st July

Epping Forest

Bury Road, Chingford Plain, Essex E4 7QJ

Sunday 23rd July

Spains Hall

Finchingfield, Essex CM7 4NL

Sunday 13th August


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

Sunday 10th September


Writtle Park Estate, Highwood, Essex CM1 3QF

Sunday 8th October


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

Saturday 21st October

Epping Forest Lead Rein Ride

Bury Road, Chingford Plain, Essex E4 7QJ

Saturday 2nd December Members Only

Epping Forest

Bury Road, Chingford Plain, Essex E4 7QJ


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To enter our rides visit Entries open about a month before the ride date

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. Our popular Thetford holiday weekend. Stay in the centre of Thetford Forest and ride out each day on the lovely grassy tracks between the trees. On the Sunday there is the chance to drive 1hr 15 min north to ride on Holkham beach. 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.

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.

A chance for children and beginners to ride in this wonderful ancient forest. Riders must be led. Mainly in walk with one or two short trots if the group all agree. Optional Nature Hunt.

13 A completely different route to our December ride as we will take in some of the softer grassy tracks.

Ride on the estate grounds and farmland of Spains Hall. Grass headland and farm tracks with only 300 yards on a quiet lane.

Back by popular demand. Starting from Ashfields Carriage and Polo centre, you get to ride on some of their private headland tracks and local bridleways.

A varied route which takes in the wide grassy tracks and optional jumps of Howletts Hall and Fingrith Hall. Lots of places to canter. Choice of 13 or 9 mile routes.

Our most popular ride. A variety of hilly tracks through the woods, country lanes, surfaced bridleways and field edges. Includes optional cross country jumps at Riffhams. Choice of 8 or 11 mile routes.

A chance for children and beginners to ride on 3 miles of surfaced tracks. Riders must be led. Mainly in walk with one or two short trots if the group all agree. Optional Nature Hunt.

A fun Christmas Ride with fancy dress, mince pies and mulled wine. The surfaced tracks offer excellent going at this time of the year. Don’t forget your tinsel.

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hings have been very busy for me over the last few months, as many district councils are compiling their Local Plans and I have been responding on behalf of EBA. These are detailed documents that need a good deal of background reading, so they take up a considerable amount of my time - it is also useful for people to keep an eye on what is going on in their own area and to respond to the public consultations where they can, emphasising the need for more off-road access. Several long-term projects are progressing well and I can report a few success stories as follows:

Sandon Quarry, Chelmsford


Many Chelmsford members will know of the huge quarry area and large voids next to the A12 in Sandon, and this area has been the subject of a planning application to restore the site over the next 10 years. I have been heavily involved in this

process, as one of the opportunities that the operators, Bretts, are keen to exploit, is public access on the restored site. I am pleased to report that I have negotiated a bridleway network over the site and this will be accessed via a private lane which will be upgraded to bridleway status. This will be on a permissive basis with a Section 106 legal agreement on the operators to maintain the bridleway surfaces to a good standard and ensure access is open for 25 years. Whilst definitive access would have been preferable, this was not possible but at least the access has been secured for the community to use. The planning application was unanimously approved at the end of January, so the long process of restoration can now commence.

Northern Gateway, Colchester Members in the Colchester area will be aware of the huge sporting development north of the A12 near the new stadium, and I have been involved in the planning of this over the last year or so. Colchester Borough

Council are keen to see that all sports are being catered for and it is intended that an equestrian track be provided around the perimeter of the whole site, for the bridge over the A12 at Severalls to be upgraded to be horse-friendly, and the aim is that we can link this area with High Woods Country Park. This will provide links for riders north of the A12 to access the park. This is still in the planning stages and I will give updates as the scheme progresses.

Beaulieu Park, Chelmsford I have previously reported the new network being created as part of this huge development, and recently I attended a progress meeting with the planners and Countryside, and a site meeting to view the new routes. This is progressing well and will be an excellent network once complete, with new open spaces being created as part of the scheme. I am looking to see how this can be further enhanced by linking with the wider bridleway network. See report on page 7.

Bridleways Development Report By Sue Dobson, EBA Bridleways Development Officer

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Local Plan Hearing, Maldon I attended the Examination in Public and I had the opportunity to speak at the hearing. The Inspector was most interested in the lack of any mention of a whole user group who contributed considerably to the local economy. I informed the Inspector that I felt that the Plan was one of the worst that I had come across in terms of provision for equestrians, and that the one modification that had been put forward by Maldon District Council only added one further mention of ‘horse riders’ in the Plan, bringing the grand total to two! After some considerable discussion, the Inspector instructed Maldon District Council to re-write the policies to incorporate equestrian access, which was a superb result. I have also been invited to meet with the Senior Planning Officers to discuss this further at a later date.

Replacement Waste Local Plan Late last year I attended the Examination in Public of the new Waste Plan and again, was

Sandon Quarry

Beaulieu Park Development

invited to speak, supporting the need for restoration schemes to incorporate bridleway access (as per Sandon Quarry left) and the Inspector agreed that ECC should reword the policies accordingly. Again, I was extremely pleased at this result as this, once adopted, will be the ‘rulebook’ for another 15 years. I have also been, and continue to be, involved in discussions on both the A12 and A120 upgrades (more on these schemes on page 10 of this Update) and I am continuing to work with ECC Public Rights of

Way officers on the Rights of Way Improvement Plan review. This is where we are looking at each district in turn and identifying where improvements to the network can be made, either by upgrading existing paths, using cycleways or, for example, where there are large verges where horse riders and cyclists can ride off the road. This is very much a long-term project and I will report further on this as it progresses.


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Developments at




n the past three years many of our members will have enjoyed using the new circular bridleway at Weald Country Park. The enhancements, new surfacing and upgrading of some of the route to bridleway status were the result of an EBA partnership with ECC (owners of the park), whereby EBA volunteers obtained a government grant of nearly £90,000 and carried out the majority of the subsequent work to get the route in place on the ground and on the Definitive Map. A couple of issues are still outstanding and EBA is now working to resolve these. The first is the very boggy area on the bridleway, which requires drainage works to make it useable. ECC’s PRoW department has estimated the cost to be £5,500; EBA has obtained grant funding of £3,000 from the British Horse Society,

By Jan Arthur, EBA Vice Chair and Louise Fuller, EBA Treasurer and will match this with £2,500 of its own funds. We are now meeting contractors to get quotes, and we hope the work will be carried out by early summer of 2017. As cattle are kept on the park in some areas, there are gates on the bridleway. The original scheme included mounting blocks on both sides of all the gates, but they have only been installed at the Cricket Ground entrance (and very meaty they are, too!). The park authorities may not appreciate that some riders need to dismount to get through gates safely, and that they then need to stand on something to remount. ECC has now agreed that mounting blocks will be placed near the gates, and will probably

be made of logs; this is fine, as long as they are stable. Parking has been a problem for riders who take horseboxes or trailers to the park. The authorities have agreed to measures which should improve access to the parking field at the Cricket Ground in the summer. In the winter, riders will be able to contact the park staff and ask for a space to be reserved in the small car park at the Cricket Ground. We have also discussed the Lincoln’s Lane car park with ECC; access for horseboxes is not possible here as the entrance is very tight, although trailers can usually get through. ECC have had some thoughts about how to improve this, while still being mindful of the need to prevent unauthorised access by large vehicles, and we will continue to progress this with them.

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Essex Records Office –

well worth a look T

he Essex Records Office (ERO) holds a plethora of information and is invaluable for our historic research. Whilst a lot of information can nowadays be obtained via the internet - e.g. OS 1st and 2nd Edition maps from the late 1800s - the 25” copies held at the ERO enable you to see much more detail at a larger scale. So many other maps and documents are held at the ERO and the resident archivers are available to offer advice and assistance. The catalogue of documents held and the SEAX database enable searches to be made for specific districts, parishes, buildings and people – all of use when trying to build up a case for a route having a higher status, or for showing that a route did previously exist. A detailed reference library is also available covering historic events, specific parishes/districts etc. So why are we writing about this? Well yet again the budget has been cut for this facility meaning that opening hours are being changed. From April the office weekly opening hours will reduce

By Chris Tout, EBA Historic Researcher

17 to Tuesday – Thursday 10 17.00hrs, and Friday and Saturday opening one week in four. A small number of documents are digitised which means that you can see them from the comfort of your own computer, tablet etc., however, the budgetary cuts will probably mean that fewer documents can be digitised. The cuts are based on the falling

Volunteering is fun! Find out how you can get involved with EBA by picking up a copy of our latest leaflet, Volunteering is fun. Available at rides or download from the EBA website.

footfall at the ERO so we are faced with the perennial dilemma of use it or risk losing it. So, if you have some time to spare or would just like to hold a piece of history (some documents date back to the 1600s) make a visit to the ERO in Chelmsford. To gain access to the search-room you will need photo ID to get a pass but access is free. You may find that the track you presently ride should be recorded on the Public Right of Way Definitive Map as a bridleway. Find out more by visiting the ERO website. You may be surprised at the amount of information available and it could whet your appetite for a bit of local research. You can also sign up for their regular e-news updates to find out what might be going on in your area:

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Fancy Dress Winners Adults: Anita Steed and Mel Strangleman dressed in teddy bear & reindeer onesies.


Junior: Lily Corner Photos Š Helen Mathias/EyeContact Photography

Marshalls at the first road crossing: Sue Tetlow, Debbie Harward-Grau and Sandra Raven. Thanks for your help and photograph ladies.

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BHS Dead Slow Campaign


esy of British

Photos court

Dead Slow campaign, it is hoped that the message ast year, The British Horse Society launched its will save lives. Dead Slow campaign, after shocking statistics revealed more than 2,000 incidents involving horses and riders on our roads, with Essex having the highest number of incidents. The aim of the campaign is to educate drivers on how to pass a horse safely. It continues to be a huge success and received national coverage, including a piece on BBC Countryfile during Road Safety Week. Petrol pump advertising throughout the country has allowed the message to reach drivers directly. The campaign was awarded Driver Education Campaign of the Year by the Driving Instructors Association, and has received support from the Department for Transport and Jake Berry MP. The British Horse Society continues to promote the

ty Horse Socie

EBA Lead Rein Rides Following the success of last year’s lead rein rides we have added two dates to this year’s rides schedule (see pages 12 & 13). These are ideal for children and anyone who is learning to ride or lacks the confidence or skills to ride off the lead rein. All riders must be led, and will go out with a guide in groups of 10. The ride will take place in walk with one or two very short trots if the group all agree that they wish to trot. An optional Nature Hunt has been arranged for each ride.


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Make yourself seen By Jan Arthur, EBA Vice Chair

© Helen Mathias/EyeContact Photography


BA insists that those taking part in our rides wear hi-viz clothing and we also encourage the practice when riding out on a daily basis. Making yourself as visible as possible is simple common sense but if you are not convinced already, then we have a few facts to back it up: • There are more than 8 horserelated traffic accidents every day • More than half of road accidents involving horses happen on minor roads


• Wearing hi-viz clothing gives up to 3 seconds more time for drivers at 30mph to see you • Insurance companies are more likely to support riders involved in an accident if hiviz clothing is worn • If a rider has a fall in the countryside they are more likely to be seen and found if wearing hi-viz • There have been more accidents involving horses than cyclists over the last year, despite the fact that there are more cyclists on the roads than horse riders

Why hi-viz? The British Horse Society recommends that all riders wear hi-viz when riding out. This will make you more visible which in turn gives motorists additional time to react. By

wearing hi-viz you will be better seen in sun and shadow and in poor light conditions. I myself have come across riders whilst driving who have been almost invisible until the last moment because they are in shadow, on a dark horse and wearing dark clothes. As riders, we must consider what we look like to other road users.

What should I wear? The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) has produced a new Guide to Rider Safety Equipment which includes the latest information on hi-viz clothing. We have a supply of these leaflets on the EBA trailer, so pick one up at our rides, or visit the safety pages at In short, BETA recommends you choose a garment that meets the latest safety standards for high-visibility garments: EN ISO 20471:2013 – for professional use (those working around horses) EN1150 – for non-professional use (leisure riders) EN 13356 – for accessories, such as hat bands and gloves. Items worn by the horse do not carry safety standards.

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TOP TIPS • Be AWARE • Give clear and decisive signals • Avoid riding in failing light or darkness • Protect yourself by wearing hi-viz clothing and protective headgear • Read the Highway Code • Take the British Horse Society Riding and Road Safety Test • Read and learn from the BHS Riding and Road Safety manual, Riding and Roadcraft • Please acknowledge those that slow down and return the courtesy by saying thank you Riders and motorists both have a right to use Britain’s roads - a right to safe and enjoyable travel. Both share a responsibility to understand each other’s needs. We all must learn to share the roads.

What else can I do? The BHS website has plenty of information and advice on its accident and safety pages, where you can also download a number of free leaflets: They also run Riding and Road Safety Courses through local equestrian centres. For more information contact the BHS on 02476 840500 or email

Water containers for sale EBA has a limited supply of these handy containers for sale. They will be available from EBA rides (while stocks last) and have only been used for water. Price: £5 each.

Guess the weight winners Nicole Bayley and Emma Dobson were joint winners of our competition to guess the horse’s weight which ran in the Autumn Update. Nicole guessed 494kg and Emma thought it was 518kg; both were exactly 12kg away from Dyce's weight of 506kg. Well done ladies and thank you to Spillers for donating 1kg bags of Spearmint Horse Treats as the prize.

Broaks Wood, near Halstead Those who read Mary Balch’s regular EBA column in Essex Rider will have noticed this information relating to Broaks Wood, which is adjacent to the A1017 between Gosfield and Sible Hedingham: A Forestry Commission representative has recently confirmed that riders do not need to seek permission to ride through the woods, which are generally available to them without having to be part of the East Anglian Farm Ride scheme. One part of the woods is specifically excluded and this is clearly signed as a ‘no horse riding area’. The Forestry Commission contact is listed on the website as: Alice Greenacre 0300 067 4965

This sign brought a wry smile to Sue Dobson’s face when she was out walking at Belhus Park in Aveley.


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The benefits of




hiatsu is a Japanese word pronounced she-at-sue, which means finger pressure. The practice of Shiatsu can be likened to acupuncture, but without the needles. There is evidence that acupuncture was used in China (for animals, particularly horses, as well as humans) over 4000 years ago and it makes sense that a system of pressing and rubbing the body with the hands developed before acupuncture needles were used. In 1919 Shiatsu Ho was published, which sparked a revival for the practice and in 1983 the modern history of Equine Shiatsu began. Although there are elements of massage, with leg and tail rotations and stretches, the ‘real’ Shiatsu is the holding or working of certain points known as Tsubos. I find the many noticeable reactions which can be quite subtle fascinating, especially as I learn more and more about the corresponding Meridians. There are many Meridians throughout the body, and these are the pathways that life

energy - Qi (chee) or Ki (key) flows through. My Acupuncturist makes the comparison with electricity: we can’t see it and might not truly understand how it works but we certainly know how powerful it is. Although linked with blood flow and electrical impulses in the body, the flow of life energy is separate. I am currently starting my second year of a 2 year diploma course with The School of Equine Shiatsu. Besides learning the principles of Shiatsu, horse evolution and behaviour, and first aid, we study basic anatomy, physiology, and pathology. This enables us to be able to discuss cases competently with vets and other professionals. Shiatsu promotes deep relaxation, vital to keeping healthy and helping to heal. Clinical trials have shown it to be particularly effective in relieving stress, so it is ideal for anxious horses, hormonal mares and those on box rest. It can help ease symptoms of many issues, such as arthritis, allergies, and respiratory problems. Regular sessions help keep horses supple and toned, and can pick up issues early,

dealing with them before they become a big problem. It also complements other treatments such as Chiropractic by making adjustments easier, more effective, and longer lasting; and can help horses better accept dentist and farrier visits. Shiatsu is non-invasive and gentle but can have dramatic results, usually within 2 to 3 sessions. Horses can’t be fooled into thinking something works, so the results speak for themselves. The effectiveness of the practice makes it a very worthwhile asset in maintaining the health and happiness of the horse, rather than being just a luxury pamper treatment. Hopefully I’ve sparked your interest as I’m currently looking for more horses to work with in order to enhance my theoretical knowledge and practice. As a student, I am not charging for sessions – however a donation towards my travelling costs and time is always very much appreciated. If you feel you would like your horse to experience this amazing therapy please give me a ring on 07772 642244 or email For more information visit

EBA Update Spring 2017 final 27/02/2017 14:43 Page 23

Join Us

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. 1. Online • Access to EBA’s Ride & Share Scheme. Log on to • Help with bridleways issues and claims. and on the ‘join us’ page you • Up to 10% on new can find links to join online, insurance policies from renew your subscription or South Essex Insurance download a membership Brokers. form. Joining online helps us • 10% discount from John by cutting down on Griffin Trailer Training. administration and saves EBA • 30% discount on your first money. BHS membership - join by phone or paper application, 2. By post state that you are an EBA Ask our membership secretary member and give your to send you a membership membership number to form, download from our receive your discount. This website or pick one up at our action cannot be done via rides. Contact: online applications. 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. Members’ benefits: • 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

How to join:


EBA Update Spring 2017 final 27/02/2017 14:43 Page 24

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

Publicity/ EBA Update Editor Carol Allison

07803 135275

Website Administrator

Hilary Clifford

01279 792447


Nicole Bayley

07852 228445


Natalie Duncan

07719 991112

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

07813 905022


Michelle Woodall 07809 439383 Mandy French 01371 850215

Brentwood & Havering

Linda Hobbs

01708 229055

Castle Point

Nicole Bayley

07852 228445


Sue Fincham

01245 440795


Cheryl Damen

07876 552662


Epping Forest

Heather Brady 01992 578072 Liz Hollingsworth 07855 329059


VACANT - contact EBA Chair Julia Wilson if you could fill this role


Caroline Cowell

Rochford & Southend

VACANT - contact EBA Chair Julia Wilson if you could fill this role


Pat Cooper

01255 880296


Jenny Mann

07909 787881


Sarah Hodgson Sarah Moss

07871 169406 07966 994367

07941 471508

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