EBA Update - Spring 2020

Page 1

Essex Bridleways Association

Update Spring 2020

Inside this issue... • 2020 Rides Schedule • ECC – working together • Ragwort – what you can do • EBA in action Published by Essex Bridleways Association Charity number: 801530



Contents 4 7 8 9 10 12 14 16 17 18 20 22

Essex County Council Horse Passports Historic Research Partner Organisations Ragwort control 2020 Ride Schedule AGM highlights Brooke horse welfare overseas My Hackathon EBA in action Children’s page Helen Mathias Call: 07958 962024 My favourite ride facebook.com/

By Julia Wilson, EBA Chair


EBA Editor, Jane Skinner cycles beside Arrow, ridden by Jess Tharby.


EBA is a member of:


The Chair A note from...


• 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 EBA where you can

By Katie Jerram-Hunnable, EBA Patron


ith development in the South East high on the government agenda, our local countryside is being squeezed hard. More people are choosing leisure activities outdoors with a steady increase in the number of riders, dog walkers, cyclists and ramblers looking to escape into the fresh air. Little wonder that bridleways in Essex are under huge pressure because of demand from all user groups. We are all entitled to use the bridleway network but in return we should take some personal responsibility to ensure the routes are usable. This could be simply reporting any issues or helping with clearance. EBA do so much to fight our cause but it should never be forgotten that it is run by people just like us - busy folk, with jobs to do and families to care for. These people are volunteers who give their time freely and readily. So what can you do to help? - become a member of EBA whether you participate in their rides or not. Members create numbers which count when lobbying government. Take part in the rides and contribute to their funds which are used to pay for research, improvement programmes and the creation of new bridleway routes. But money alone won’t improve everything. We can offer our time and effort. You could volunteer to help at a ride or join a working party to do some clearance. Not only will this lighten the load of regular volunteers but will help the authorities realise just how many committed horse owners in Essex there are; people who are prepared to take action to safeguard access to the countryside for the enjoyment of their equestrian passion.


ell here we are at the start of not only a brand new year but a brand new decade! A time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the challenges of a new one. Time to make a resolution or two? Maybe you could commit to helping at an EBA ride, doing some clearance at your local bridleway or writing to your MP about lack of access. Whatever it is, make sure you keep your promise to yourself. The success of the EBA is built on the support our members provide in the form of practical help As I write this in January, possibly our most challenging winter month, the wind is howling and rain is falling, but I am confident that by the time you read this in March the days will be longer, the ground drying up and the sun shining and ready to enjoy riding with us! We have been busy over the winter organising our annual ride schedule. No easy task with landowners to contact, toilets and a caterer to book, routes to plan; quite a long list for our team to get right. However we feel we have a good mix of rides this year across our county of Essex which you can all enjoy. As usual, EBA Reps and Trustees have been very busy over the past 6 months assisting members with bridleway issues. We currently

pay for 3 officers who all work in different ways; Historic Research, Bridleways Development and Projects. All three officers are helping to make a real difference to bridleway access for riders in Essex. We all know that horse riders are low on the priority list when it comes to providing Rights of Way (RoW) but with increased urban and residential development and new highways provision it is ever more important that access to the countryside is made available this group, as well as for cyclists and walkers. We are working closely with Essex County Council (ECC), The British Horse Society (BHS), The Highways Agency and planners. All these bodies have made a contribution to this current edition of Update. As you read on you will see where we have worked to improve several routes and we are keeping up the pressure to make progress over the past year. We really feel the money we raise through membership and rides is well spent. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome three new Trustees who have joined us recently. Here is a brief introduction to each of them. Alison Power, who is our representative for Castle Point has written a short piece about improvements to the bridleway entrance at Coombe Wood from Catherine Road. Jane

Skinner is our new editor for Update, taking over from Carol Allison in the spring last year. Sandra Deeran who coordinates our Marshals for the rides has written the Children’s pages in this edition. We are delighted to have their enthusiasm and expertise around the table at Committee, and in their contributions to the work that we do generally. There is so much to do we are always grateful for offers of help so please don’t be shy to come forward, whether it’s an hour or two a week or the occasional day at an event, we can always find something for you to do. That just leaves me to wish you all an enjoyable year of riding. Be sure to come and say hello if you see me out and about.



A breakthrough! I

n 2019 there was a breakthrough in Essex County Council’s responses to EBA’s continued representations. In this recent press release, Essex County Council pledged to improve and increase the number of bridleways in Essex. Press Release from Essex County Council (ECC):


Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure has recognised the importance of providing safe, suitable bridleways in the County, not only for pedestrians and cyclists but for the many horse riding enthusiasts across Essex at a time when the Council is looking to improve green infrastructure and walking routes across Essex. Bridleways are vital for horse and rider safety as the number of cars on the roads increases. Essex Highways are now working with the Essex Bridleways Association and the British Horse Society to ensure bridleway improvements and considerations for new bridleways are included in planning developments.

Report by Sue Dobson and Jan Arthur Councillor Kevin Bentley said: “I want to ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy the Essex outdoors and by creating bridleways in the right location, to a high standard, we open up the countryside to so many more people.” In order to support improved bridleways Essex County Council will: • Include a wider suite of specifications for bridleways in the Essex Design Guide to guide planners and developers at the earliest stage of planning. • Review and incorporate

bridleway guidance in the Public Rights of Way document ‘Development and Public Right of way’ advice note. • Continue to support both the Essex Bridleway Association (EBA) and the British Horse Society (BHS) to complete the strategic bridleway plan. This will provide information guiding officers’ decisions when considering what classification of highway, including consideration of bridleways, is to be included in planning conditions. In October 2013 Sue Dobson

Councillor Bentley led the way holding the bridle of Peanut the pony along with Janet Arthur, Vice Chair of the Essex Bridleways Association, (green top) and Sue Dobson, County Access and Bridleways Officer, Essex for the British Horse Society. How this breakthrough came about – six years of endeavour

commenced working with EBA as Bridleways Development Officer. In May 2014 a meeting was secured with Garry White, Public Rights of Way (PRoW) officer for ECC who appeared to be on board with EBA aims to increase bridleway provision within Essex, and he agreed to work together with Sue, exchanging information on possible gains through the planning system. Subsequently Sue advised on several potential schemes. However by September 2014, the EBA was becoming frustrated at the lack of feedback or support from ECC despite our work on this. In August 2015 to our dismay an email was received detailing a proposed ‘Policy’ confirming ECC’s intention not to create any more new bridleways either through the planning system or other routes. This Policy was also tabled at the Local Access Forum (LAF) meeting. In September that year, The EBA via Sue, sent a letter of objection to this policy to both Cllrs Rodney Bass and Eddie Johnson, Portfolio Holders for Highways and Transportation at ECC at the time. Sue Dobson then became County Access Officer for the British Horse Society in December 2015 which sat well with the work she was doing with EBA as both organisations complement each other – one national, one local. In April 2016 Sue Dobson and Jan Arthur for the EBA, with BHS finally secured a

Photo: Alison Power

EBA and the Essex County Council 2013–2019

Thorndon gate – before and after

meeting with Cllrs Bass and Johnson who assured us that we ‘were pushing at an open door’. Alongside this, the EBA started their ‘Better Bridleways for Essex Campaign’ and in August 2016 the EBA presented their petition for ‘Better Bridleways for Essex’ to Cllr Johnson at County Hall. In December 2016 Sue attended a meeting with ECC PRoW officers who suggested that the Rights of Way Improvement Plan could contain an aspirational list of bridleway creations, and to gather evidence of horse ownership to support these new bridleways. Work on this is still ongoing to date. However we were still getting negative feedback from ECC officers; any suggestions of creation opportunities were rebutted throughout 2017. In April 2018 this came to a head with the Hullbridge planning application where a condition to create a bridleway was removed, despite its requirement in the Local Plan and support by the

developer. In November 2018 the planning application finally came before the planning committee and the application for removal of the bridleway was approved following input from ECC officers who supported the removal. Subsequently in January 2019 the BHS supported the EBA in arranging for a Letter of Challenge written by Counsel to be sent to Rochford District Council, ECC and the applicant regarding the decision to remove the bridleway requirement. An agreement has been reached with the developer for some improvements to access to be made despite the removal of the bridleway, so some good came out of it. Indirectly as a consequence in April 2019 a meeting was finally secured with Cllr Kevin Bentley, the new Portfolio Holder for Highways. Jan Arthur and Sue Dobson had what appeared to be a very Continued over page


Continued from previous page productive discussion. Following that meeting, nothing further was heard from him for several weeks and we despondently began to look at our future strategy. But in June 2019 a letter was received from Cllr Bentley setting out ECC’s new strategy for the provision of bridleways; the amendment of the ‘Policy’ originally tabled in 2015 and other supportive measures which are outlined in the press release as the top of this article.


Postman’s Lane, Danbury. The EBA has had a hand in highlighting and following up the need for action on some of these and we are very appreciative of the work done. We look forward to continuing to work with the ECC PRoW Team in future.

Going Forward Much work still needs to be done, but the policy is now in place and we have secured the support for equestrian access from the highest level in the Council. This is a And now? fabulous result and the We are now working closely with PRoW officers, looking at culmination of several years’ work, when on many opportunities for the enhancement of the network, occasions we felt utterly frustrated and wondered why with enthusiasm from both we were bothering… parties! In a recent It just goes to show ‘NEVER conversation with the new GIVE UP!’ Manager of the PRoW section, Jo Heynes, she Thank you ECC and here’s to commented that equestrians were ‘very much in the frame continued collaboration. now’. There have been a number works that the ECC have carried out in the recent past, amongst them: • The repair to the bridleway bridge at Navestock; • The barrier removal at Coombe Wood in Castlepoint; (photo shown right). • The widening of bridleway 36 Clavering (Elmstreet Lane); • The drainage works at Bards Hall, bridleway 29 at Pleshey; • The bridge repairs at

Horse Passports:


1.2 million equine records. Furthermore from 1st October this year your horse will, by law, have to be microchipped. To check a microchip or access the Central Equine Database, visit: www.equineregister.co.uk/ home

Keeping up to date You could be liable for a heavy fine in the information in your passport is not correct. Most changes can be reported online, however a recent change to the law means the passport has to be returned by post to the PIO to be over-stamped. (I had to do this recently and can confirm it took just 3 days to get back to me!).

A few important points to remember here:

By Julia Wilson, EBA Chair


ast year EBA checked several hundred passports at our rides when it became abundantly clear that many owners were unaware of the law surrounding the information held and when your passport is required. In 2007 Equine Passports became compulsory for ALL horses in the UK. There are 81 UK Passport Issuing Organisations (PIO) and the Equine Register manages their data for DEFRA on the Central Equine Database, which houses over

• If you move house, this must be recorded on your horse’s passport too. • If you need to apply for a new or replacement passport, contact the Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO). • If you need to update a change of ownership, it is the new owner’s responsibility to contact the passport issuer (PIO). • If you have a horse on loan or fostered, keep a letter of the agreement with your passport as proof of temporary ownership.

Travelling your horse It is illegal to travel a horse without their passport, unless they are travelling for emergency veterinary

treatment. The passport must be produced within 3 hours of it being requested by enforcement agencies. This is an important document, so I recommend you photocopy the key pages. These are:

including our own, now require proof of ‘flu vaccinations. Your horse’s passport is stamped by your vet to show the batch number and date of their vaccination. The passport is shown to the event organiser before entry can be accepted. • Front page with the unique EBA policy regarding ‘flu equine number allotted to vaccinations is that all horses your horse (in the sequence attending a ride have an up3-3-9) to-date annual injection or more recent depending on • The ‘photo page’ which describes your horse and any the rules of the ride. (always check before entering). We distinguishing marks. will check the date of the • The vaccination pages. vaccination before you park up. Last year we had to turn • Together with the address several riders away who either and contact details of the Passport Issuing Office – back had not brought their passports with them or their page or inside back. vaccinations were out of date, Keep the copies in a safe don’t let that happen to you! place at home. As for the More information can be passport itself, keep it with found at: you and treat it as you would www.gov.uk/horse-passport your own human passport – i.e. with great care. A list of helpful FAQs is at:

Equine Influenza Following the onset of equine ‘flu in 2019, many events,

www.bhs.org.uk/advice-andinformation/horse-ownership/ horse-passports/faqs


Historic Research – 2026 draws nearer



hen I submitted my first Definitive Map Modification claim back in 2013 for a route in Manuden the 2026 cut-off date for claims based on historical evidence seemed a long way off. But now here we are in 2020 with only six years remaining to submit historic claims unless the Government acts to change or revoke the legislation. Over the past seven years over 500 routes have been researched, we have had some successes and at this time we have 12 claims awaiting a decision by Essex Legal Services (ELS). With cut backs in council budgets and resources the time scale for review gets longer but at least claims are lodged.

The first of a series to introduce our partner organisations.

By Christine Tout, Historic Research The most recent decision received from ELS relates to a claim for a footpath to be upgraded to a restricted byway in Birch (Footpath 13 Birch (Caper Lane) which runs from the Maldon Road to Mill Lane. The claim has been successful and not only means the upgrading of the footpath but also that a restricted byway (RB 124-39 School Lane) which joined the footpath now has an exit and is no longer a dead end. Many bridleways come to a sudden halt at parish boundaries continuing in the new parish as footpaths. Bridleways and byways cease at main roads with routes continuing as footpaths on

the other side of the road. If you ride or are aware of such a route what do you or others do – turn round, carry on, use the road? By trying to fill in the gaps we may be able to ride more safely. If you have a route that is ridden but not recorded on the Definitive Map as a bridleway, byway or restricted byway please get in touch there may be historic evidence to aid a claim being made. Alternatively if you think that a route could be claimed based on “user evidence” we can offer advice and/or help regarding this process. We need riders to be proactive –2026 is not that far away.

The Hundred Parishes Society is dedicated to exploring the rich cultural heritage of 450 square miles of NW Essex, NE Herts and southern Cambridgeshire. Largely unspoilt, this area is richly endowed with many fine examples of unchanged

landscape studded with handsome buildings, Grade 1 listed churches, village greens and a network of quiet lanes offering fine views and good riding. You might enjoy exploring the parishes page as two of them, Finchingfield and Brent

Pelham feature in this year’s Rides Calendar. The Society’s ‘What’s on’ pages is updated regularly and features walks, talks, music and Open Days across the region. www.hundredparishes.org.uk

Our 2020 members only holiday Friday 17th - Sunday 19th April

Whitehall Farm Holkham Beach Holiday


Now open to members who have been on this holiday before. If you have ever dreamed of riding your horse on the beach this is your chance!

Five places left!

£105 per person for a two night stay on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th April 2020 for you and your horse (in field or stable) at Whitehall Farm, Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, PE31 8HN. Sleep in your own lorry, camp or bring a caravan. Includes use of shower/toilet block with fridges, freezer, microwave, kettle and washing up area. Price includes a BBQ on the Saturday evening. Maps and support provided. NO dogs allowed. Please note that you cannot book this holiday on line - you must contact Lesley at lesleygggillman@hotmail.com and she will get in touch.

Article reproduced by kind permission of John Calder, Ragwort Alert Group

In recent years, John has worked tirelessly to make authorities take action, with some success. He is entirely independent but collaborates closely with Alan Hiscock, BHS Director of Safety and Welfare. Alan was our guest speaker at EBA’s 2017 AGM.


Step 1 Identify and report any high risk ragwort The DEFRA Code of Practice for Preventing the Spread of Ragwort classifies ragwort within 50 metres of grazing pasture (or any land used to make fodder) as high risk ragwort which should be controlled ‘immediately’. If it is within 100 metres the risk is judged as moderate and control is deemed less urgent. All public bodies will know this, and most private land-owners will do, but you are required to have reminded them and reported the ragwort to them before Natural

Can you identify the Ragwort plants at the rosette stage?

Step 2 Progressing your complaint Network Rail, Highways England and other public bodies will usually assign a reference number which you will need to use every time you follow up (which will be more than once) and you would be wise to follow up initially within a week to ask for a progress report. This will help you decide whether you want to escalate to a complaint through Natural England under the Weeds Act.

We all know that ragwort is potentially damaging to horses and is classified as a noxious weed. You are responsible for keeping it under control on the land you manage, but the Ragwort Control Act (2003) enables you to ensure that your neighbours do the same – but it only works if you use it. Ragwort plants flourishing close to your pasture can re-contaminate your paddocks and in the first instance, it’s up to you to prompt the landowner. Here is a brief guide on how to take action.

Now is the time… Don’t leave your ragwort to produce flowers – that’s far too late – dig it up as soon as you can. The spring and early summer months is the time to get on top of the most vexatious of weeds. Take a look at these four photographs - can you spot the odd one out? Answer at the bottom of the page...

Step 3 Contacting Natural England

England will consider taking action for you. A Railway line: Report details through Network Rail’s online reporting form (or their live chat system) both located here: www.networkrail.co.uk/ communities/contact-us/ A trunk Road: (see map) Trunk road verges are the responsibility of the Highways England. Report it via email at this address: info@highwaysengland.co.uk Other roads: Essex County Council has their online reporting system for ‘spraying weeds’ here: www.essexhighways.org/transport -and-roads/tell-us/tell-us-WEEDurgent-overgrown-weeds.aspx

In addition, four District Councils in Essex do their own weed management: Brentwood: www.brentwood.gov.uk/ Epping Forest: www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/ Harlow: www.harlow.gov.uk/ Tendring: www.tendringdc.gov.uk/ Private land: You have to identify the farmer or the private landowner, and you need to remind them it is their responsibility to control their ragwort. You must judge whether an email, a letter or a personal visit will work best

Natural England is the body responsible for dealing with ragwort complaints under the Act. Their website has a short 4page form you will need to complete. Go here to see it: https://assets.publishing.service.go v.uk/government/uploads/system/ uploads/attachment_data/file/82 0848/weed2.pdf Please send your completed WEED2 complaint form to the Natural England office listed below. Any enquiries you may have about Natural England’s complaint procedure should also be forwarded to the same office using the phone number/e-mail address provided – please mark any non-form correspondence, Injurious Weeds. Natural England Enquiries Team, County Hall, Spetchley Road Worcester WR5 2NP. Telephone: 0300 060 3900 Email: weedenquiries@ naturalengland.org.uk



C D This is a trick question,sorry. The answer is… they are ALL ragwort plants!


– try to develop a positive ongoing relationship because the ragwort will not be cleared in one season.


EQUINE INFLUENZA Please check the EBA website for the latest updates on the Equine Influenza outbreak

To enter any of our rides please visit our website:

www.essexbridleways.co.uk Rides open for entries about a month before the ride date.



Starting From


Friday 28th February

Flitch Way

Great Notley Country Park, Great Notley, CM77 7FS

A Friday ride starting from Great Notley Park. We ride to Little Dunmow along the hard surfaced track of a disused railway called the Flitch Way, do a little loop at the end; then ride back to Notley.

Sunday 29th March


Middlewick Farm Livery Yard, Middlewick CM0 7JQ

Lovely grassy tracks (some optional jumps), just a few quiet remote roads..

Fri 17th - Sun 19th April

Holkham Beach Holiday

Whitehall Farm, Norfolk, PE31 8HN

See page 9 for further details. There may be some last minute places, so please email lesleygggillman@hotmail.com if you want to come.

Sunday 3rd May

Spains Hall

Spains Hall, Dairyley Farm, Finchingfield CM7 4NL

A nice ride on grassy tracks, hardly any road work. Ride sponsored by Dengie Feeds

Saturday 6th June

Hatfield Forest

Elgins Car Park, Hatfield Forest, Takeley CM22 6NE

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

Saturday 27th June

Weald Children’s /Novice ride

Weald Country Park, Cricket Ground Car Park, Weald Road, Brentwood CM14 5QJ

3 mile group rides suitable for children and novice riders on/off lead rein all within the park.

Sunday 5th July


Writtle Park Estate, Highwood CM1 3QF

A varied route which takes in the wide grassy tracks of Howletts Hall and Fingrith Hall. Oh so many canters.

Sunday 16th August

Ramsden Heath

Barn Farm, 45 Heath Road, Ramsden Heath, CM11 1LZ

The second time for this new ride exploring the bridleways around Ramsden Heath and South Hanningfield.

Sunday 20th September

Brent Pelham

Down Hall Farm, Brent Pelham, Herts SG9 0HG

A lovely countryside route just over the border into Hertfordshire.

Sunday 4th October


Brocks Farm, Twitty Fee, Danbury CM3 4PG

12 miles of tracks, bridleways and some minor roads with a shorter option available. Also includes the optional cc course at Riffhams.

Saturday 5th December

Epping Forest Xmas Ride

Bury Road, Chingford Plain, Chingford E4 7QH

This is our Members-only Christmas ride on surfaced tracks in Epping Forest with Xmas fancy dress, mulled wine and mince pies.


BHS Ride Out Rosettes for all participants

Other dates for your diary... Thursday 12th November


Keene Hall, Galleywood, Chelmsford CM2 8PT

Come and join us for the evening and find out more about EBA.

Fri 17th - Mon 20th Sept 2021 Members Only

2021 Thetford Forest Holiday

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

A long way off, but something for EBA members to look forward to.


Oldest Rosette competition


Petra Studholme looked a likely contender with a rosette from 2005, but was pipped on the night by one from Caryn Himsley, (pictured right) dated 1990. Worth hanging onto that one, wasn’t it Caryn!

And what a marvellous occasion it was! So many members past and present came together to celebrate the success of the EBA’s first forty years, with guest appearances from Katie Haines, Julie Pryer and Mick Brash who all enjoyed the evening.

EBA Volunteer of the year


The committee unanimously selected Malcolm in recognition of the support he has given over the years at the EBA rides. Many of you will recognise Malcolm often seen running around the car park, directing drivers to their spaces. He not only helps us on the day of the ride but is also there the day beforehand, putting out road signs, opening gates or marking the route. He can always be relied upon, turns up with a smile and nothing is too much trouble. We are truly grateful for his support and is a worthy recipient.

Jan Arthur (Vice Chair) and Lisa Guy (Secretary) toasting the EBA’s Ruby milestone with a glass of bubbly.

Special thanks to retiring EBA Update editor

Our thanks to Lesley Gillman, Julia Wilson and Petra Studholme for providing them and creating such a stunning and colourful display Another of our members – Brian Osman, brought in a rosette he had won as a teenager in the apple and bucket race. He believes the rosette (although before EBA’s time) is from about 1946. Here’s our photo of Brian (right) on his pony and the treasured rosette, adding an historic contribution to our display.

Our final thanks go to Dengie, our sponsor for the Ruby Anniversary year. One of the nutritionists from Dengie was on hand to answer questions on equine diet and provided every guest with a party bag, which included a splendid Ruby rosette to mark the occasion.

Julia Wilson presents retiring EBA Editor Carol Allison with her bouquet

Anniversary celebrations would not be complete with out the cake. This year’s was exceptional.

The Committee thanked Carol Allison for her work as Editor over the past five years. Under her editorship, Carol radically altered and improved the layout of Update to become the bright, up-to-date publication we enjoy today.


Sally Crone and others on the Committee worked hard to create a timeline of the EBA’s milestones.

Our thanks extend to Alison Craigmile and her team for whipping up a delicious and very professional buffet. Quite a number of those attending thought we had pushed the boat out and hired expensive caterers, but like so much of what we do, it was all our own work.

Brooke – the charity that cares for

My hackathon

working horses and donkeys overseas

how you can make your rides help other horses around the world


committed to the eradication of extreme poverty. When a poorly lookedafter working donkey, mule or horse falls sick or dies prematurely, an entire family suddenly loses a major – if not main – source of income. It means the family risks indebtedness by having to Without healthy working borrow money as schools horses, donkeys and fees and healthcare mules, poor working become unaffordable. people wouldn’t be able Rural women and children to put food on their are the hardest hit as tables, send their children mothers are also forced to to school or build better take on the timefutures for themselves consuming burden of and their families. Brooke has long championed positive humancollecting water for animal interactions. Muhammad, who lives in Brooke believes that drinking and fuel for Pakistan with his family and Moti, a 15-year-old animal suffering is cooking. stallion mule, was identified by Brooke as a preventable and that We work with owners, community change agent to help champion good animal welfare other owners to look after their animals better. communities and policy He said: “Since attending Brooke’s Community protects human makers to bring about Engagement meetings, I now think my animal’s livelihoods. It’s a very lasting improvements to life is just as important as mine." sustainable concept. the lives of working Our research has shown animals. Brooke works Empowerment for Women time and again that working hard to deliver significant and animals support entire Our research also tells us that lasting change, even in some communities and are - more owning a working animal is a of the world’s most often than not - either the major source of challenging areas. We use our sole or main source of empowerment for women in expertise to train and support income. In developing terms of being freed from owners of horses, donkeys countries the money earned daily subsistence chores, and and mules, local vets, farriers, by each working animal can their wider status among the harness makers and animal support between five and 20 community. Taken as a whole, traders to improve standards family members. It's income it's why we believe the welfare of care. earned from working donkeys, of working animals should be mules and horses that help a a much higher priority for Find out more at: family pay school fees and governments and international www.thebrooke.org/abouthealthcare bills. development organisations brooke/brooke-glance


Photo Credit: Freya Dowson/Brooke

or 600 million people in some of the poorest places in the world, 100 million working equines are the backbone of communities and their best means of making a living.

By Jane Skinner, Editor, EBA Update

In 2018, I started fundraising for Brooke, with children’s games at my yard and raised about £150. This got me thinking… why not combine my love of riding with a Brooke Hackathon and raise money for my favourite charity at the same time? What is a Hackathon? Quite simply, ride a 100 miles in 100 days and raise £100 for Brooke. That’s thirty miles a month for three months. Sound like a lot of time in the saddle? Never fear, the good news is – you don’t have to do it alone! Join the Brooke MyHackathon group and team up with another EBA rider to do it. The challenge is free to enter and riders can sign up at www.thebrooke.org/myhackathon Now in its fourth year, charitable riders have managed to raise over £60,000 towards transforming the lives of vulnerable working horses, donkeys and mules. For every £100 raised, Brooke could provide a community with a permanent water trough for its animals, train two farriers to trim and balance hooves properly, or support women’s groups that give female owners the skills that

17 will benefit them and their animals for life. Don’t forget to join Brooke’s official MyHackathon Facebook group, where hundreds of hackers will be sharing their progress and tips. My experience in 2018… based on EBA rides Our first outing was Epping Forest (9 miles) with the EBA on 28th July exploring the ancient woodlands with impressive views over London in the distance. In early September we did Highwood and clocked up another 13 miles. This is a varied route through lovely countryside with woodland, and long canters on the wide grassy tracks round Fingrith Hall and Howletts Hall with some optional jumps and very little road work. Our final ride in mid-October was

Wheel barrow races; fund raising fun! from The Gardens of Easton Lodge near Great Dunmow and along the Flitch Way to my home near Bishop’s Stortford. Many of you will be familiar with parts of this route from the Little Easton ride, most recently featured in the rides schedule in August last year (write up in Update – Autumn 2019). When you have completed the distance over the summer months and donated your sponsorship money, Brooke will acknowledge your achievement with a certificate and rosette. What is more, you may well have a piece about your achievement in a future edition of Update.

Bridleway clearance at Murthering Lane, Navestock RM4 1HT Monday 17th February 2020 By Louse Fuller


The EBA contingent (Louise Fuller, Denise Dillon, Jan Arthur, Sandra Deeran, Mary Pengelly and Sarah Hodgson) worked from Curtis Mill Lane. The two groups met in the middle. By mid-afternoon the job was done. Let’s see the difference they made...

Like to join us next time? Editor’s tips on what to bring with you

Murthering Lane – yes, you guessed right. Murthering is an archaic form of murdering. Makes you wonder what dark secrets this lane concealed in times past. All as clear as day now, thanks to the hard work of two teams of volunteers working with ECC Public Rights of Way officers. Shirley Anglin (in yellow) organised the project; she is PRoW and Localism Officer at Essex Highways. Simon Taylor is PRoW Enforcement and Liaison Officer at Essex Highways. He wielded the brushcutter and you see him here with Jan Arthur.

Clothing I recommend rip-proof clothing. Woolly hats get caught in brambles and jumpers and jackets are easily torn, so wear your high-viz vests or jackets which are rip-stop. Overtrousers are also useful.


Laura Dunnell (in orange) is a PRoW Inspector and Navestock is in her patch. Navestock parish councillor, Christine Gelderbloem, came along to see how work was progressing. The bridleway is only a short stretch but links to another couple of byways and is an asset to the local network. It’s been neglected for years, so we had a full day’s work on our hands. A team from Brentford Ramblers did sterling work at the Murthering Lane end.

Safety gear On this occasion, ECC provided us with hard hats and goggles (essential when power tools are used) but your riding hat will protect you just as well. EBA also has safety helmets. Equipment My hoard of broken glass, bottles and tins – even a watering can, is still there awaiting removal. I had nothing suitable to take them home in as carrier bags wouldn’t be safe. If only I’d had a couple of buckets or garden/yard trugs to cart the stuff away! Won’t forget these next time.

Children’s page Test your knowledge

Bridleways, books and breeds of horse

Circle your answer and send them to: Jane Skinner, Editor EBA Update. janeskinner51@gmail.com Good luck! The winner will be announced in the next edition of Update 1. What colour is used for bridleways signposts? Red



Josephine Pullein-Thomson

Enid Blyton



2. Who wrote “Black Beauty” Anna Sewell 3. Which breed is the largest? Clydesdale


4. Which ponies originate on the western side of the Pennines and were used to carry lead from the mines to the sea? Fell



5. In America what is a Chestnut coloured horse called? Sorrell



12 Points of the Horse - can you name them?

Cannon bone Dock Fetlock Forelock Hoof Knee Mane Muzzle Poll Shoulder Tail Withers

Now try the WORDSEARCH!


Cannon bone Dock


Fetlock Forelock

Epping Forest on Saturday 30th November 2019

Hoof Knee Mane Santa in disguis edoing h bit for is the Christ mas r ide Little Angels Photos: Helen Mathias Photography

Muzzle Poll Shoulder Tail Withers

RIDE By Lisa Guy, EBA Secretary

Danbury Little Baddow



he Danbury ride is a big favourite with EBA riders. Over the years it has become our the most well attended ride, and it is easy to see why.

It is a ride with many contrasts and options for all year riding. There are plenty of routes that can be ridden depending on weather and ground conditions. Parking for boxes or trailers can be easily accessed at the National Trust Car Park which is just off the Bicknacre Road (CM3 4JJ). This is known as Danbury Common, and although you cannot actually ride on the Common, there is a network of bridle paths in the wood. They do not make for a long

ride themselves and due to the very hilly nature of the terrain, they are popular with cyclists at weekends. However, they can lead you up to the A414 which even at busy times is usually easy to cross. Once past this, you will have access to some lovely riding through wooded areas and Little Baddow. To the left, Lingwood Common (woods) off Little Baddow Road, is full of ups and downs and can be connected to riding around Great Graces area or Riffhams area. If you wanted a longer wooded ride you could access the housing estate (quiet roads) after crossing the A414 (to the right) and head to Twitty Fee which can also be linked up to Postman’s Lane, a

favourite for an uphill canter. The riding in this area is beautiful at any time of year, from the bare trees and holly through winter, very Christmassy, to watching the new leaves and blossom coming through in Spring. It offers a lovely shaded ride in the heat of summer and then watch the colours change and the leaves fall through Autumn. Some spectacular sights and wildlife to be viewed. If the woods become too wet, there are quiet roads that you can ride around and most offer a circular route. One particularly nice route for better weather is around “Little London”. This is accessed via Bassets Farm bridleway and takes you down to ride near the river (not too close though!) and can lead you round to near Woodham Walter and the Queen Victoria Pub in Top

Road, always a good stop off point for a drink and some crisps!! Once you become familiar with the area, you could ride for as long or as little as you wish, but this area is really one for all seasons, with lots of different routes that can be varied and joined up. The bridleways are mainly surfaced and there is lots plenty of hill work that can be done through the woods. If you have done the EBA Danbury Ride before, that gives you access to even more of the area that regular riding would not be able to, but why not get yourself a map of the area and experiment with the many different bridleways and lanes in the area. For EBA Members only this is available as a ride and share (see EBA website for details). Enjoy exploring!

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.

© Helen Mathias/EyeContact Photography


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. 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: ebamemsec@yahoo.co.uk

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.

• Email notifications of news and events. • Access to EBA’s Ride & Share Scheme. • Help with bridleways issues and claims. • Up to 10% on new insurance policies from South Essex Insurance Brokers. • 10% discount from John Griffin Trailer Training. • 30% discount on your first BHS membership join by phone or paper application, state that you are an EBA member and give your membership number to receive your discount. This action cannot be done via online applications.


Essex Bridleways Association Contacts List Chair

Julia Wilson

07795 818856


Vice Chair/Publicity

Jan Arthur

01277 650985



Louise Fuller

01245 421614



Lisa Guy

07792 166591


Membership Secretary

Alison Craigmile

07956 318502


Rides Organiser

Lesley Gillman

07768 103910


Rides Entry Secretary

Denise Dillon

07545 213056


Rides Marshal Coordinator

Sandra Deeran

07958 909319


Ride and Share

Julia Wilson

07795 818856


Historic Records Officer

Mick Brash

01621 740966


Historic Research

Christine Tout

07946 789757

chrissierose@talktalk.net suedobson.eba@gmail.com

Bridleways Development

Sue Dobson

01245 227083

Projects & Funding

Mary Pengelly

07786 322088


EBA Update Editor

Jane Skinner

07757 916 138


Website Administrator

Sally Crone

Bridleway Clearance Coordinator Brenda Hatch


01992 572566


01277 899541


Petra Studholme 07784 024106


EBA Area Representatives Basildon

Jan Arthur


Michelle Woodall 07809 439383 Mandy French 01371 850215

07813 905022


Brentwood & Havering

Linda Hobbs

Castle Point

Alison Power


Sue Fincham

01245 440795



Cheryl Damen

07876 552662

colchester.essexbridleways association@outlook.com

Epping Forest

Heather Brady 01992 578072 Liz Hollingsworth 07855 329059



Joy Thorpe

07984 410242



Caroline Cowell

07941 471508


Rochford & Southend

Geoff Box


Pat Cooper

01255 880296


Jenny Mann

07909 787881


Sarah Hodgson Sarah Moss

07871 169406 07966 994367

michelle.woodall@btinternet.com amandajfrench1@gmail.com

01708 229055 alisonjean6@yahoo.co.uk

geoff.box@btinternet.com pat.cooper@live.co.uk

hodgsonsmh@btinternet.com sarahmoss77@hotmail.co.uk

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