Autumn Update 2020

Page 1

Essex Bridleways Association

Update Autumn 2020

Published by Essex Bridleways Association Charity number: 801530

Inside this issue...

• Maps - getting started • Online Reporting - how to do it • Lesley Gillman - 20 years • Rides - who to contact




4 6 8 11 12 14 15 16 18 20 22

EBA and the Local Access Forum (LAF) Officers’ Reports South Essex Infrastructure Project From our members – Geoff Box Lesley Gillman, Rides Organiser Ride Report – Ashfields Who to Contact Maps – getting started How to report online – Your Bridleways Children’s pages Money Saving tips

By Julia Wilson, EBA Chair

Bert, Julia Wilson’s horse, surveys a rainbow of rosettes Inset: Another rainbow, compiled by Petra Studholme

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

The Chair A note from


ERRATA (Spring 2020) Page 10 - BHS Director of Safety is Alan Hiscox. Page 15 - Sandra Deeran organised the display of rosettes at our special 40th Anniversary AGM Page 18/19 - John Wheeldon also helped the EBA team. The Ramblers were from Brentwood, not Brentford. The EBA cannot recommend wearing your riding hat when doing clearance work.

EBA also has regular contact with Hatfield Forest Riders Association and Epping Forest Riders Association.


By Katie Jerram-Hunnable, EBA Patron


he past six months have been disruptive and at times bewildering for us all. Yet our horses depend on us for their routines and life must go on as normally as possible to ensure their mental health and well-being is maintained. During the early part of lockdown, riding out was restricted for many of us, and now the lack of equestrian events and horse shows this year means that hacking and exercising our horses plays an increasingly important part in keeping our charges sane and safe. Being able to access off-road riding is a key part of this, and naturally the work that EBA does is critical in maintaining our bridleway network across the county. Do please report any obstructions, clearance work needed, flooding or other hazards to Essex County Council or your local authority. ECC has launched a new reporting website to make it easier to do this and the EBA Treasurer has written a piece to guide you through the process. Enjoy your riding this autumn but remember to support EBA as much as you can. Thank you.



ell this has certainly been an extraordinary year! Planning the rides for a year takes a huge amount of time and effort so it was very disappointing that our schedule was put on hold before we had even had the chance to start. However the decision to run organised events was taken out of our hands and it wasn’t until August before we could resume our activities. I would like to thank our members and EBA supporters for their loyalty throughout this challenging period. Future rides will have a slightly different approach but our aim, as always, is for you to enjoy a safe hack in the beautiful Essex countryside. We think we have managed this and we will continue to review the situation as life progresses. Thanks to lockdown and the encouragement to make use of the time to get outside to exercise, use of our public rights of way has increased tenfold this year. We have seen a massive increase in walkers, dogwalkers, children and cyclists. We have all had to

learn how to share the bridleways network as the pressure on space in Essex is immense and is unlikely to change. The use of Hi Viz is crucial on the roads but is as important off road to alert other users to your presence. Please remember to wear it at all times, it helps to keep you safe. Over the year, you may have found yourself hacking more than previously as there are almost no organised events taking place. If there is an issue with your local bridleway be it blocked, overgrown or flooded, log it on the Essex County Council web site. On pages 18 and 19, Louise Fuller explains in detail how you can go about the process of reporting in your area. Remember, nothing will improve if your Council doesn’t know about it. Sadly I have to tell you that Lesley Gillman will resign as an EBA Trustee this November after two decades of service to our organisation. Most of you will know Lesley who has been instrumental in organising our rides for many years and is a familiar

face at the trailer. All this time, Lesley has worked, campaigned, challenged and listened to Essex riders. She is a force to be reckoned with and we will miss her tenacious personality. I would like to thank her personally for the support she has given me over the years, she is ‘simply the best’. Read about her on the centre pages of this issue. Looking forward I truly hope that next year we will see you all, with your horses, enjoying a busy schedule of exciting rides. For now, take care and stay safe.



EBA and the Essex Local Access Forum Did you know that the EBA is represented on the Essex Local Access Forum (ELAF)?


Under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, each county or Unitary Authority is required to establish a Local Access Forum (LAF) which advises the County Council on how to make the countryside more accessible and enjoyable for open air recreation and countryside access. Each LAF is a statutory body set up to provide strategic advice on the improvement of public access to the area. It is composed primarily of members of the public and meets in public. Agendas and notes of the meetings are published on the website.

By Jan Arthur, Vice Chair Why is that important? Quite simply, as our towns and cities encroach on the countryside, there is increasing pressure on the land available for open-air recreation and the enjoyment of the area. We need to protect what we have and make best use of it. The membership of this group must be balanced between different interests in the countryside so that it can provide a well-argued, unbiased view. As a member, the EBA has a direct voice in giving advice to Essex County Council (ECC) on ways to improve access to the countryside for horse riders. Which groups are represented? In order to reflect the full range of users, the forum has a wide range of members, including walkers, cyclists, equestrians, the disabled, ethnic minority groups, land owners and councillors. What influence does the LAF have? More that you might think! Prior to making bylaws relating to land access,

appointing wardens for access land and when developing the RoW improvement plan, Essex County Council has to take the forum’s advice into consideration and must consult the forum. How often does it meet? There are 5-6 meetings a year at which members of the forum comment on and provide guidance to improve opportunities to enjoy and manage the Essex countryside.

What’s involved? Studying the maps is important. We respond to maps of open access land for Essex; advise on the development of RoW Improvement plans; promote use of and enjoyment of the countryside and foster better understanding of the varying needs of different types of users; The forum also advises on management and maintenance of access against the needs of biodiversity, wildlife management and of landowners and managers and advises on developing additional opportunities for

5 everyone to enjoy the rights of way and access network, in particular for those with disabilities. What goes on at meetings? Here are examples of some of the items brought to the forum’s attention. Recently the agenda discussed ‘The Highway Strategy: PRoW’. This is a new development and should help raise the PRoW profile within highway planning. Another example relates to walkers. The ECC’s Draft Walking Strategy; another discussed the Draft Green Infrastructure Strategy. An update on the Blackwater Trail Project was given, along

with one on ‘the Colchester Orbital’ – part of the Active Essex agenda. We also learn from others. Recently a presentation from Norfolk LAF discussed access for less able people. ‘Pathmakers’ is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation set up to improve access for these users. As I write, three forum members belong to the EBA. They are Sue Dobson, our Bridleways Development Officer; Louise Fuller, the EBA Treasurer, and Jan Arthur, Vice-Chair of EBA and the author of this piece. With three members, the equestrian sector is well represented. But we welcome more support! I have been on

the forum for five years now and find it a rewarding challenge. I’ve learned how local government deals with access issues at first hand and increased my knowledge of procedures and of the complexities involved. It can be fascinating! If you have found any of this information has whetted your appetite to find out more, why not join the Forum? New members are always welcome. More information on the role can be found on the ECC website: https://www.essexhighways.or g/getting-around/public-rightsof-way/essex-local-accessforum.aspx. Much of the information in this article was taken from this site.

Bridleways Development Officer’s report Despite the restrictions that Covid-19 has enforced on us, many large-scale projects and consultations have taken place during the past six months. Here are the most significant. Agriculture Bill, 2020


The most vitally important is the Agriculture Bill which is progressing through Parliament in preparation for our departure from the EU on 31st December. In February the Bill went to Committee stage and evidence was invited. I spent time putting together EBA’s response, setting out how important it was that public access for non-motorised users was included. Many other organisations took part- the BHS, Trails Trust, Horse Access Campaign submitted responses and we hope that those in power take heed. This is a unique opportunity to increase public access to farmland in England. Public consultation on the Environmental Land Management Scheme consultation (the next stage on in the Agricultural Policy saga) was out until 31st July. The Facebook group, Horse Access Campaign was a huge help here. The catchphrase “public money for public goods” brings together groups from who are serving the same ends – getting better off-road access for vulnerable road users; cyclists and horse-riders. Work on the Lower Thames Crossing project continues, another mighty undertaking. A supplementary consultation took place earlier this year, giving more details of the

By Sue Dobson

scheme. I have been working closely with Thurrock on the opportunities for a better bridleway network, and the proposals put forward in this consultation for network improvements are good and will increase the bridleway provision. There are still several points which need to be addressed – much of the detail is missing and the whole project from a PRoW perspective has not been looked at in a holistic way. A further consultation tweaking some of the routes took place in August to which I responded. Bradwell Power Station The new nuclear power station at Bradwell will have a significant impact on the area, and the roads leading to it. There was an initial

consultation and we were able to make general points relating to protection and enhancement of the PRoW network – after all, there are so few bridleways in that area and we don’t want to lose them – but if, as part of the overall scheme we can secure further access, that will be a benefit, even though the countryside will be impacted by increased vehicle traffic that a scheme this size will generate. Networking across the organisations: Since taking on my role as Development Officer with the EBA, I now have good links with local councils and organisations across the county and beyond. Now as Essex Access Officer for the BHS, I have the backing of a national equestrian organisation (helpful in large scale projects). And in May last year I was elected as a Chelmsford City Councillor which, whilst not directly related, gives me a greater understanding as to how councils work and the best way of reaching the right person to get the right result. There are some huge infrastructure projects going on in Essex over the next few years and it is vital that we keep on top of them and make sure that our voice is heard. I have no doubt I will be kept busy!

Let’s begin with our successes over the past few months A fter pressure from EBA and Ramblers groups Kelvedon Hatch byway 12 has been resurfaced. And at Danbury Common Car park, vegetation has been cleared by the barrier at so that horses can now get round. But there is still plenty on our list!

This is what has been keeping me occupied recently: In Waltham Abbey parish, there are five bridleways which are impassable for 6 months of the year due to wet boggy conditions. We are in the process of obtaining quotes and should be in a position to have drainage and surfacing work done on at least some of these shortly. We continue to put pressure on ECC to carry out the work needed on two bridleways that were successfully claimed by EBA in the Chappel area several years ago. Unfortunately, there are several major issues to be resolved before these will be fully open to riders, but we will continue to assist and contribute wherever possible. In Maldon, Bridleway 20 remains closed because of the unsafe bridge. I have continued to work with the landowner and ECC to try to find a way forward. I have also been engaging with the local Ramblers group, who are also fully supportive. There has been some progress and we hope to have more news soon. I am looking at the permissive bridleways around Abberton

By Mary Pengelly, Projects Officer

Reservoir and hope to be able to help with negotiating better access for riders. (See photo.) A lovely track around the water which is exactly the type of project Jan Arthur talks about in her piece on the blue and green infrastructure (p8-10) I continue to work with Essex Highways and numerous District Councils to highlight outstanding issues with bridleways that have been reported to them and offer assistance if possible.

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

Amazon Smile ( Just switch to shopping through Amazon’s alternative website called Amazon Smile - it is exactly the same and run by Amazon. The only difference is that EBA will receive a 0.5% donation from Amazon.

PayPal ( EBA will also be signing up to the Paypal Giving Fund shortly, so you’ll be able to donate through PayPal as well.

Easyfundraising ( Registering with easyfundraising takes two minutes: choose to support EBA and then, next time you want to buy something online, log into the easyfundraising website first and click on the retailer you want to shop with or, if the website is associated with easyfundraising, you will get a popup asking if you want to claim a donation If you’re having a problem using any of these websites please contact Mary on 07786 322088 or email


EBA behind the scenes:

The Green and Blue Infrastructure Project The Joint Strategic Plan – South Essex


Did you know that a Joint Strategic Plan is being developed which will affect South Essex over the next 30 years? This applies to Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford, Southend on Sea and Thurrock and will affect green (land based) and blue (water based) infrastructure. GBI for short. Recently the EBA was invited to participate in a stakeholders’ workshop to give feedback on the plan, exploring GBI benefits. The full name is ‘South Essex Green and Blue Infrastructure Study, Resilient by Nature’. The leader is Alexandra Steed URBAN Ltd. The plan is summarised in a GBI Benefits colour wheel. There are 3 focus areas: Social, Economic and Environmental which are broken down into 9 interrelated projects. (See the colour wheel opposite) The workshop was looking for ideas and propositions for green and blue infrastructure initiatives and projects across

By Jan Arthur, Vice-Chair

South Essex. Ideas were asked for to develop as many of the green and blue infrastructure opportunities as possible and The EBA submitted an initiative at the workshop. Individuals can add to the feedback by submitting your own ideas. If you live in the areas mentioned above, we would particularly welcome your contribution. The EBA‘s main focus is to the development and enhancement of bridleways and is mostly based in the Social area: The 3 projects in this area, specifically are: 1 Promote Liveable and Healthy places: provide a diversity of leisure and recreational activities. 2 Celebrate a Sense of Place: enhance views 3 Improve Connectivity: continuous path systems and recreational loops and register and improve PRoWs. Other projects within the framework where the EBA could have an influence are:

Under the Environmental area: ecotourism. And under the Economic: local employment opportunities and agritourism. You could submit ideas based on any of them. These are some ideas that could start you thinking.


Under the Social area: 1 provide a diversity of leisure and recreational activities. The wider the variety of activities that can be supported in the community the happier and healthier individuals will be. The Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) should make sure that the largest number of people can enjoy the natural environment by providing as many multi-user routes as possible. By this means, not only horse riders but also walkers, cyclists and the less able are provided with traffic-free routes to experience the green environment.

Are there areas near you that could be developed as multi user routes? 2 enhance views. Though not a major area of concern for the EBA, the provision of bridleways could enhance access to special viewpoints across the area. For example, there is a bridleway in Stapleford Tawney that has an

outstanding view into the centre of London from the hill summit. Other views could be selected and enhanced as bridleways are improved. Do you know of any good views near you that can be seen from PRoWs and need to be worked on? 3 continuous path systems and recreational loops and

register and improve PRoWs. Seeking to enhance the connectivity of the PRoW system and making it more accessible to all, including horse riders, would improve individuals’ lifestyles. This is something the EBA has been working on for some time, liaising in various ways with Continued over page

Continued from previous page

the ECC PRoW team. Can you identify gaps in any loops you know of?


The EBA also identified that horse riding potentially has a number of Economic benefits for Essex. These include ecotourism and agri-tourism. Provision of viable multi-user routes could encourage ecotourism for walkers, cyclists and horse riders alike. It has become increasingly popular for riders to choose to take their horse on holiday with farm stays or B&B accommodation, thereby increasing economic opportunities for rural areas in particular. This can include visits to farms, and farm shops and is a way that could contribute to agri-tourism. Finally, horse riding can help to define a resilient growth structure by providing local employment opportunities. There are many jobs associated with horse care and riding: veterinary surgeries, farriers and saddlefitters for the horse’s welfare, together with feed and bedding merchants, and tack shops. Livery stables, riding schools and grooms are all sources of employment in the community. Any improvement of opportunities for horse riding in these areas in local plans would be beneficial. Can you think of any opportunities here for your locality?

Your ideas could contribute to the conversation by adding to your local plan in connection with the GBI, so if you live in Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Southend on Sea or Thurrock you need to get in touch with Andrea Pearson andrea.pearson@brentwood.g to promote any of the ideas outlined above or any other idea to enhance horse riding in your area to be included in your Local Plan. It was suggested at the workshop that ideas for delivering better GBI can range from capital and infrastructure projects, to policy and governance actions; be they near, medium or long term; range from simple to highly complex tasks; range in stage from planning to execution, to operation. It would be useful if the following questions could be answered when submitting ideas: Description: Describe a transformational idea you propose to deliver better Green and Blue Infrastructure interventions across South Essex. Benefit: Why is this a good opportunity/Idea? Scale of Change: does the idea build on any existing programmes/strategies? Or is it entirely new? Stakeholders: List the stakeholders (existing/new) that would be involved in realising the opportunity? Implementation challenge:

What scale of change is required to implement the idea? Describe key stages to progress this initiative. Any implications for Plan Policy? Don’t worry if this sounds too complicated. You may not be able to answer these questions, but they can provide hooks to hang your ideas on. Remember the ideas can be about policy, be short (near) term, simple tasks and be about planning them. Any involvement by you as a member of the public in submitting ideas to Local Plans is regarded in a positive light, so please do submit them. Go on give it a go! Get involved and help provide ‘Better Bridleways for Essex’. Many thanks to Alexandra Steed, URBAN Ltd for permission to use this material from the GBI Infrastructure Workshop.

DYCE by Geoff Box 3rd June 1996 - 11th May 2020

was most definitely the Hatfield Forest!

Following the sudden and unexpected death of Dyce in May, I look back over the many good times we had together and would like to share them with you here.

Losing Dyce suddenly after fifteen and a half years’ partnership and with understandable feelings of ‘I’ll never get another horse’, I began to miss my riding and its social aspect, even with social distancing in place at my yard in Rayleigh.

I took up riding at 42 and a few years later had the opportunity to stay on a cattle/guest ranch in Canada for a short break, where I met Dyce, an American Quarter Horse.

Meet Cody:

Camping with him in the Rockies was really something special. The freedom of riding anywhere and so far into the wild coming across the unexpected, from fresh grizzly bear tracks to a skeletal leg with a horse shoe still attacked to the hoof! It seems someone had a long trek back to civilisation once losing his horse…

flying over with five other horses from Calgary to Luxemburg on a nine hour flight (it is cheaper if horses are flown over in threes), then by horse box and ferry to Dover where he was rested for 24 hours and finally transported to my yard. At the time it still worked out cheaper to bring Dyce over than buying a Quarter Horse of equivalent standing in the UK.

In 2004 I brought Dyce home with me. Bringing Dyce over from Canada was not as easy as trying to fit him into a suitcase as excess baggage! His journey began with a month’s quarantine at a local ranch then

EBA Miles under our belts

It was time to find another horse, similar to Dyce as I love the breed. And I’ve found him! Cody is a 7-year-old Quarter Horse who was bred in Germany by his previous owners where Western riding is very popular. Eighteen months ago moved to just outside Brighton, from where I collected him. We are still getting to know each other and had a lovely tour at Ashfields on 8th August, despite the heat, in the company of Yvonne Toms and her horse Parker. Cody quickly settled and behaved well throughout. He wore hoofboots as he is transitioning to barefoot as Dyce was. We are using Dyce’s leather western saddle, which weighs three stone but is really comfortable.

Looking at the EBA rosettes on my wall I reckon Dyce and I must have ridden over 730 EBA miles during the past ten years. Dyce’s favourite ride, as is mine,

Hopefully we will see you at the EBA rides for many years to come and I look forward to riding off into the sunset with my new Quarter Horse partner!

My ranch holidays continued and Lane, the ranch owner, thought Dyce might suit me. Dyce and I ‘clicked’ right from the start and each time I visited I was always thrilled to be given Dyce to ride.


Left: Lesley on Dalgo with chestnut friend ; Below: cutting the 40th EBA birthday cake

There’s something about Lesley…

A tribute to Lesley Gillman M 12

ost of you will have come across Lesley Gillman at some time or another. At this year’s AGM Lesley will formally resign her post as an EBA Trustee. It was a blow, but we understand that after 20 years of committed service to EBA we accepted Lesley’s decision to hand over the reins to others. Lesley Joined the EBA on 13th September 2000 – a full twenty years ago. She was soon recruited as

By Julia Wilson, on behalf of the Trustees

a Trustee and took over the position as secretary. It wasn’t long before she began supporting Katie Haines in organising the two fundraising rides the EBA ran in those days. By 2005 the rides plan had expanded to several more rides as there is nothing Lesley loves more than to show riders where they can hack and explore new places. She can never sit still and, thanks to her, by 2009 EBA was running 9 rides and a holiday every year. She also found time to think up the ride and share scheme which was

launched in 2010. Now Lesley would argue that she has had lots of support from Trustees, members and regular volunteers over the years who have made our events so successful but we all know a ship needs a captain. Lesley is the most organised person I know, her attention to detail is second to none. She makes the impossible possible and has proved this recently arranging rides under very different covid conditions. In addition to organising the rides she has been involved in many projects, negotiating with the council, landowners and members. She is prepared to challenge the rules and has worked tirelessly to improve access for Essex riders across the county.

Lesley has too many talents to list but I must mention her cakes! Over recent years she has proved herself to be a very competent baker and cake decorator. It was Lesley who designed and produced celebration cakes for our 35th and 40th birthday milestones. Lesley has been an integral member of the EBA team at all levels. She motivates and encourages those she comes into contact with, whether it be project work, to nervous riders, or loading that last horse in the field! Her enthusiasm is infectious and she has been responsible for many new members joining the EBA and the recruitment of many Trustees past and

present. We have so much to thank her for and we will miss her very much. I know we will still see Lesley in the future but rather than holding her clip board wearing an orange bib she will be mounted and riding with the field enjoying the ride from the ‘other side’. The Trustees and all

our members send her a heartfelt thank you and wish Lesley well for the future.

Above left: Lesley getting stuck in to some Bridleway Clearance with Sarah Hodgson! Above right: A familiar sight, Lesley's Old English Sheepdog, Wilma with Petra's Spaniel. Inset: The Bikers, Lesley's family and friends roped in doing an essential job


EBA and Lockdown


he EBA, like many charities and organisations has had to re-examine how we operate and what is possible under Covid restrictions. There was no question of running the ride schedule but EBA undertakes our vital bridleway work and we had to look at what we could do within the guidelines. Monthly Committee meetings continued online, and whilst the first 10 minutes ‘were both funny and frustrating with the usual "hello, can you hear me", "how do you use the camera?," "still can't hear you?.... arrrrhhhhh" we did have productive meetings. On the whole it has worked and was certainly better than not meeting at all. The three Officers who work for EBA continued in the best way possible. Site visits and project work were out of the question but some digital meetings went ahead and much can be covered by phone calls and emails. We would like to thank them for doing what they could during these difficult times.


By Julia Wilson

Once restrictions lifted we began to consider how rides could resume. Following guidance from both the BHS and Countryside Alliance we thought carefully about the safety of all involved. A new sub-Committee developed risk assessments and procedures and after consulting landowners, chose the best venues best suited to social distancing rules. Four rides for members only have been organised for the remainder of the year as a thank you for your loyal support over the past months. Dates and venues are listed on our website. We all need to keep vigilant and respect the legislation as it changes in this very uncertain world. At the time of writing we are uncertain if our AGM will take place at Keene Hall but we will keep you posted about this. Rest assured EBA won’t let Covid 19 stop its work. There is so much to do and we will continue to campaign for better access despite the challenges ahead.

EBA Rides - but with that Covid twist!


ots of changes were needed to adhere to Covid rules and keep everyone (riders and helpers) safe. We also had to consider how the Ashfields landowners and the general public would react when they saw a steady stream of horse riders out and about on public rights of way on that sunny August Sunday. The Committee’s deliberations worked in three ways: • to limit contact with people (no physical ride numbers given out, no rosettes), • reduce large gatherings by not having any facilities that acted as a honey pot (no EBA trailer or a caterer) and • allow enough space for social distancing (limit bookings so there were fewer riders per time

Report on Ashfields, Sunday 9th August by Lesley Gillman

slot and allow more space for parking lorries 10m apart). Riders turned up – went to the start – did the ride - and left. It all felt rather clinical but I think we did our best to keep you safe

and we were just grateful to run a ride after months of inactivity. If I say so myself, our first attempt went rather well except for the weather! That August heatwave when temperatures reached 30C made for very warm conditions under saddle and riding helmets, but those who came enjoyed the opportunity to ride somewhere different and the Ashfields tracks rode well. By the time you read this we will have done our next ride at Berwick Farm on 6th September and perhaps Highwood on 20th October will have taken place. We may review our Covid procedures as time goes on but please remember everything we do, we do to keep you safe.

See page 21 for your invitation to this year’s AGM

Who to contact –

find your ‘go to person’ at EBA By Lesley Gillman


fter 20 years on the job, I have I decided to hand over my role as Rides Co-ordinator to two lovely committee members: Sandra Deeran and Alison Power. You may still see me about at rides as I might even volunteer to marshal but I will not respond to any emails or texts about EBA, other than to pass you on to the correct person. So who are the correct people to contact? Contact Details for all the people mentioned below are on the back page of this copy of Update. They are also displayed on the contacts page of EBA website. Rides Co-ordinators: Sandra Deeran & Alison Power - They should be your first point of call for any questions about rides. However we would expect you to have a look on the EBA website first to see if the information you need is available there. If neither Sandra nor Alison can answer your question they may pass your query on to the person that is organising the ride on the day. Ride Entries Secretary: Denise Dillon - Denise can deal with any queries regarding ride entry via the website, using your free voucher or any issues with ride payments or start sheet etc. Please don’t leave it until the last minute to look for your start sheet. They are sent to you almost immediately you enter a ride. If you don’t receive one, look in your junk mail and if it’s not there, contact Denise.

Chair: Julia Wilson – Just because she is top of the list please don’t always contact her – she already has a lot on her plate. Please have a look down this list and see if anyone else can help. However please feel free to contact Julia if you would like to join the committee - it’s fun and they are a great bunch of people. Membership Secretary: Alison Craigmile – Contact for all queries regarding your membership, forgotten membership numbers, changes of address etc. Please have a good look for your membership number before calling or better still create a contact on your phone for EBA membership number and store it there. Then it’s in a handy place on your ‘phone ready for when you start booking your rides. You wouldn’t believe how many urgent requests we get asking for membership numbers when the rides open.

Area Representatives - There is someone for each district of Essex, so look up the list on the back of this Update or on the website to find the person who looks after your area. They will help you with problems with bridleways and may know of other Rides Marshal Coordinator: Sandra Deeran Please contact Sandra if you would like to volunteer issues affecting your use of them. However please to marshal at one of our future rides. Why not think try to sort things out for yourself first by reporting the problem to ECC by using the link on our about planning your year ahead and making e a pledge to give something back by helping at a ride? website. Your local ride is a good place to start as you may If all else fails - Call Julia! already know the route well.


MAPS AREN’T THAT Have you ever wanted to go away with your horse and then thought better of it because you’re really not too sure about map reading? Or even just thought about boxing over to some of the areas that the EBA do their rides, but without the comfort of the orange tags, decided you had better not? Well in this article, we hope to point out some of the tips to help you get around and know which routes you can take with your horse and which you can’t! The maps most commonly used (although not exclusively and there are other map producers) are the Ordnance Survey. These come in several


formats depending on what you want to do with them and how much you want to see on the map. The best option is to go for the Explorer range as it is a larger scale and therefore easier to get your bearings. For some, using a map can be daunting, but just start with some easy pieces, things like how do you know if the map is the right way up. Generally with OS maps, the map is the right way up, if you can read the writing for town names, council districts and farm names etc. So if the writing is upside down, then the map is upside down.

In this extract of an OS Explorer map (orange cover) you can see two types of green dotted line: Denotes a bridleway and you can ride these – although it should be noted, just because they are on a map does not mean they are passable. Denotes a footpath and you are not permitted to ride your horse on these tracks. Where these green dotted lines cross a black solid line, could mean a gate that you would need to open. The two above examples may also be seen on a map in orange this denotes it is a “permissive” bridleway (or footpath with the smaller dotted line), so the land owner has given his/her consent for people to ride (or walk) on his/her land. Note this can be rescinded at any time.

In the left example the long green line looks like a cross. This route is a byway that is open to all traffic which may mean it is rutted as vehicles are allowed. Another different version of this on the right is the long green line with a circle on the top, then bottom of each line. This is a restricted byway and cannot be used by mechanical vehicles. Horses can be ridden on both types of byway.


By Sandra Deeran

The other common range of OS maps is the Landranger series with red covers. It is a slightly smaller format (1:5000 or 1 ¼ inches to one mile) where the Explorer is (1: 25,00 or 2.5 inches to 1 mile) this shows the same footpaths, bridleways etc. as the Explorer does, but instead of them being shown in Green, they are in purple

You can also get an idea of the size of a road. To the left, you can see there is a pink road A12 – this is a major route, the deep orange road B1007, although a B road, is darker orange and therefore busy. On the right, you will see a paler orange and a yellow road – as they get lighter, they tend to be less busy.

However, please ensure you check this before merrily riding your horse. In the two images above you will also see other useful information, which can help you locate where you are and ensure you are on the right track. The black circle with a cross on it (in the right hand image) is a church. The patch of green with images of trees in it (in the left hand image) depicts a wooded area (although note with wooded areas, this can change as woods can be chopped down. You could start in a local area, get a copy of your local map, find where you are and see if you can locate the route you regularly do, have a look to see where the bridleways or footpaths are, once you are familiar with that, you can then start to venture further afield. Always make sure your horse is happy with you opening and reading a map (or part of a map) whilst you are riding along. Get him used to it, but starting off with a bit of paper you get out of your pocket and crinkle it a bit. Transparent map cases will keep your map dry.

These can be easily attached to yourself or your saddle and are available in most walking/hiking shops. If you buy an official OS map it also comes with a free digital download which you can access on your phone. Now that we are in the digital world, it is much easier to have an app that shows us the routes, and many will have maps to help you plan your route. Take care to ensure these apps distinguish between footpaths and bridleways. Many don’t! If you don't want to carry a big map to unfold and fold again, try photocopying just the bit you need for your ride. This is fine if the copy is for your personal use only. In a future editon of EBA Udate we plan to give you details of some of the apps that the committee has been trying out. Their finding will compare what each app can do, , comparing what they do and how we found them useful for following routes and any drawbacks, or indeed if they can be used for planning a route before setting out on horseback.


Online reporting of Public Rights of Way problems



ublic Rights of Way (PRoW) are part of the highway network and are looked after by the Highways Authority. For most of Essex, this is Essex County Council (ECC). In Southend and Thurrock the responsibility falls to the two respective unitary authorities – Southend Borough Council and Thurrock Council. Our approach within EBA is to encourage our members to report problems they find on PRoW rather than wait for someone else to do it or expect the EBA Area Representative to deal with it. However up to now the ECC online reporting system has not been easy to use and we appreciate this can be offputting. Recently a new system has been trialled and although not without a few teething issues, I am happy to tell you that it is certainly easier to use than the old one. The reporting tool covers all highways problems, not just PRoW, so you can also use it to tell the Council about potholes, cracked pavements and other highways issues. This article talks about PRoW (which includes footpaths and byways as well as bridleways). The new system was intended to be very straightforward to use and self-explanatory. Of course things are rarely that easy especially given the

By Louise Fuller

complex nature of highways and the many and varied complaints which can be made about different aspects of the highways network. To help us navigate the system, a User Guide has been produced and can be found at: /using-tell-us-and-track-it The guide includes a video as well as text which guides you through the process to the point where we know we have reported our problem successfully. This is the website where you start your reporting journey: https://www.essexhighways. org/Transport-and-roads.aspx As I write, the page is headed by coronavirus news in relation to highways matters. Scrolling down you can see several options; top left is the one to use, where you can report a new issue or to track the progress of one you have already reported. Clicking on “Tell us about something” takes us to another page where we can click on “Public rights of way issues.” From here on it is a matter of selecting the most appropriate option and pinpointing the location of

the problem on the map. The easiest way to pinpoint a location is to go into an online map. Find the exact place by zooming in, then in Google Maps right-click and select 'What's Here', while for Bing Maps right-click and the map co-ordinates will be at the bottom of the list. Map co-ordinates look like this: 51.669829, 0.039649 Give as much detail as you can about the location and nature of the problem as this will help the Highways Inspector find it. If you are not sure what to do at each stage, refer to the User Guide. If you wish to remain anonymous you can do so, but I do recommend you enter your email address so you can be kept up to date with progress reports. Do always keep a note of the reference number the ECC allocates to your query as this will enable you to go back to the “Track it” part of the system. Thurrock Council does not have an online reporting tool for PRoW problems. We suggest you go to Thurrock’s PRoW page ublic-rights-of-way/public-


rights-of-way-in-thurrock and in the panel on the right, click on “Comments and questions”. You can complete the form to explain where and what the problem is. As far as Southend Borough is concerned, there are very few bridleways and byways. There

is no obvious method of reporting PRoW issues on the website. Your best bet would be to report it as a Public Highways problem and continue from there; you can report without an account registered to Southend. I end by wishing you good

luck with reporting your PRoW issues. Please don’t leave it for someone else. They may never do it and the problem will remain unresolved, and all because no-one got around to reporting it!

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.

Children’s page

Native Pony Word Search

Essex Bridleways Association

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Non-members welcome

You are invited to our Annual General Meeting via Zoom Thursday 12th November 2020 The zoom code and password is as follows and can also be found on the EBA website:

Meeting ID: 815 4628 3781 Passcode: 141947 You may enter the meeting from 7pm. The meeting will start promptly at 7.30pm



Apologies for absence Approval of 2019 Minutes (copies available on the EBA website

Matters Arising Chair’s Report

Welsh Cob








New Forest

Cleveland Bay



Treasurer’s Report Appointment of Independent Examiner Appointment of Trustees (nomination forms available from the EBA Secretary via email: or can be downloaded via the EBA website)

Other matters at the discretion of the Chair Note: only members aged 18 and over may vote at the AGM




Join us!

SAVE YOU MONEY! Here’s a selection from the Committee. If you have any clever ideas you would like to share with our readers, we will print them in future editions of Update please contact the Editor, Jane Skinner and pass them on!



Save our resources:

Use a cheap washing up liquid to wash your horse rugs in the washing machine instead of normal washing powder. It saves using expensive washing powders, but be careful – just a 1 second squirt is all that you need. Not only is it cheaper but seems to get the grease out of the rugs better.

Members’ benefits:


A SCRATCHING POST THAT YOUR HORSE WILL LOVE! Save water – put guttering on field shelters with a down pipe to a water trough. In recent years, drought conditions in SE England mean water is becoming precious. The horses will love the rainwater and you will save time and energy not having to lug those heavy buckets. Costs £20-£30.

Choosing to renew your membership automatically via PayPal or by standing order cuts administration and reduces EBA print and postage costs.

Sandra Deeran’s husband has designed this very effective scratching post for Seren. It’s made from broom heads screwed into a post. Simple!

© Helen Mathias/EyeContact Photography


write to Alison Craigmile, EBA Membership Secretary, 40 The Chase, Romford, Essex RM1 4BE.

EBA needs your support to fight for safe off-road access for horse riders. Membership costs just £15 a year and is free for under 16s.

How to join:

by cutting down on administration and saves EBA money.

1. Online

2. By post Log on to and on the ‘join us’ page you can find links to join online, renew your subscription or download a membership form. Joining online helps us

Ask our membership secretary to send you a membership form, download from our website or pick one up at our rides. Contact: or

• Up to £5 off EBA rides entry fees. • Priority entry to some EBA events, including EBA holidays. • EBA Update magazine delivered to your door twice a year. • Email notifications of news and events. • Access to EBA’s Ride & Share Scheme. • Help with bridleways issues and claims. • Up to 10% on new insurance policies from South Essex Insurance Brokers. • 10% discount from John Griffin Trailer Training. • 30% discount on your first BHS membership - join by phone or paper application, state that you are an EBA member and give your membership number to receive your discount. This action cannot be done via online applications.


Essex Bridleways Association Contacts List Chair

Julia Wilson

07795 818856

Vice Chair/Publicity

Jan Arthur

01277 650985


Louise Fuller

01245 421614


Lisa Guy

07792 166591

Membership Secretary

Alison Craigmile

07956 318502

Rides Entry Secretary

Denise Dillon

07545 213056

Rides Coordinator

Sandra Deeran

07958 909319

Ride and Share

Julia Wilson

07795 818856

Historic Records Officer

Mick Brash

01621 740966

Historic Research

Christine Tout

07946 789757

Bridleways Development

Sue Dobson

01245 227083

Projects & Funding

Mary Pengelly

07786 322088

EBA Update Editor

Jane Skinner

07757 916138

Website Administrator

Sally Crone

07731 504438

Bridleway Clearance Coordinator Brenda Hatch

01277 899541

Press Secretary

Mary Balch

07759 601271

Rides Coordinator/Social Media

Alison Power

07932 678524

EBA Area Representatives Basildon

Jan Arthur


Michelle Woodall 07809 439383 Mandy French 01371 850215

07813 905022

Brentwood & Havering

Linda Hobbs

Castle Point

Alison Power

07932 678524


Sue Fincham

01245 440795


Cheryl Damen

07876 552662


Epping Forest

Heather Brady 01992 578072 Liz Hollingsworth 07855 329059


Joy Thorpe

07984 410242


Caroline Cowell

07941 471508

Rochford & Southend

Geoff Box


Pat Cooper

01255 880296


Jenny Mann

07909 787881


Sarah Hodgson Sarah Moss

07871 169406 07966 994367

01708 229055

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