A Woodspring Bridleways Association publication


To mark the 10th anniversary of the WBA, the committee has published this updated version of its 1996 booklet 'Making Tracks for the 21st Century'. It is hoped that 'On the Right Tracks' will prove useful to all who are interested in preserving, maintaining and increasing public rights of way.

In law bridleways and byways are known as highways and the law says once a highway always a highway unless the route has been legally extinguished



The Woodspring Bridleways Association (WBA) was formed in March 1992 in response to riders' concerns that as the number of places to ride was decreasing the amount of traffic on the roads was increasing.
Individual riders were already submitting claims for bridleways and it was felt that the time had come to pool knowledge and form a group, which could negotiate with local authorities and landowners.
membership is drawn from all over the area covered by North Somerset Council - formerly Woodspring District Council.
It is affiliated to the British Horse Society (BHS), and has the following aims:

  1. To improve, re-open and expand the bridleway network (public and permissive) to enable horses to be ridden off road in safety.
  2. To provide assistance in maintaining existing bridleways by clearance work where applicable.
  3. To co-operate with landowners and public bodies in pursuit of the above objectives, particularly in sensitive areas such as historical sites.
  4. To undertake historical research to establish legitimate rights of access to paths, tracks and droves, which could justify the modification of the Definitive Map, subject to being consistent with the aims of the Association.

It has never been the intention of the WBA, either now or in the future, to seek to upgrade footpaths. The WBA accepts that footpaths are for walkers only and should be respected as such.
However, the WBA will seek to apply to have the Definitive Map modified where it can be proved that a route, wrongly designated as a footpath, should correctly be shown as a bridleway or byway.


With the increasing emphasis on sport and recreation as a necessary part of modern life - both for the pleasure they bring and the benefits to health - more and more people are turning to the countryside as a means of escaping everyday pressures and improving their quality of life.

With North Somerset being a rural area it is not surprising that many of these people see horse riding as a popular form of exercise. Not only does it help to keep them fit but it also fosters the bond between man and horse, which for many people is an important part of riding.

Today people of all ages and from all walks of life and social backgrounds enjoy riding - some 2.4 million nation-wide (4.5% of the population). Many of these are children - the Pony Club membership numbers 33,000 (see Appendix 1)

Many use riding schools, but an increasing number are finding pleasure in owning their own horses.

In the North Somerset Area a recent WBA survey showed there are around 5,500 horses.

On the downside there are at least eight accidents a day on the roads involving horses in the UK. Nation-wide, over 100 horses a year are killed, and in this area there have been several fatalities among riders during the past ten years.

The only way to reduce these statistics is to improve the bridleways network.


It is an undeniable fact that horse riders pump a large amount of money into the local economy - this is particularly welcomed by the farming sector, which is under such financial stress. There is also scope to increase this revenue through tourism - a hitherto untapped resource.

A recent survey shows there are now around 5,500 horses in the North Somerset area, compared to around 3,000 in 1994 (see Appendix 2).

If it costs, on average, £40 a week to keep a horse (this is a conservative figure and does not take into account full livery charges) then riders are putting £11 million a year into this area's local economy.

The statistics for the UK are equally phenomenal (see Appendix 1).

  1. 2.4 million people enjoy riding , half of these will do so at least once a week.
  2. Horse owners and riders are estimated to spend around £2.5 billion on horses and riding, £150 million on buying horses, £1,200 million on the upkeep of horses, £500 million on lessons and £350 million on clothing and other purchases.
  3. There are around 965,000 horses.
  4. The equine businesses employ 50,000 people directly and a further 200,000 indirectly.
  5. After agriculture, the horse industry is the largest land based industry in the UK.

As well as providing hay, straw and hard feed for horses, many more farmers are now providing grazing and stabling as a way of augmenting their incomes. In addition there are dozens of businesses associated with the equine industry from riding schools to tack shops and farriers to vets (see Appendix 2).

There is also scope for bringing even more money into the economy by encouraging an increase in tourism.

The introduction of long distance routes, such as the Cheddar Valley Railway Line and the Tidal Trail from Uphill, would not only benefit local riders but, with imaginative marketing, could also encourage riders from outside the area to bring their horses for riding holidays. This would benefit local farmers and bed and breakfast providers as well as local equestrian businesses.

The WBA is working with NSC and its Blue Skies initiative to progress long distance routes.


Despite being such a popular sport, the bridleway network in England and Wales is meagre and fragmented.

Nationally there are approximately 170,000 kms of public rights of way. Of these only 20 per cent are open to horse riders (see Appendix 1).

In North Somerset the situation is even worse. Of the 759kms of rights of way only 103 are open to horse riders - some 14.2% per cent (Agency Project).

If this were divided among the 5,500 horses each would have only 21.22 metres

The most comprehensive network of bridleways is on the Mendips. A few pockets, such as the Felton and Winford area, and between Hutton and Loxton, have fairly good networks, but many other areas only have one or two bridleways, and in some cases none at all.

Further, the bridleways do not link up with each other, forcing riders on to busy roads to get from one bridleway to another. Even so called 'quiet lanes' are carrying an increasing amount of traffic as motorists look for short cuts to avoid traffic jams.

Even where bridleways exist some are unusable due to blockages.


In the former times there was a network of routes for riders and carriage drivers.

But how have these ancient rights of way been lost to riders? The two main reasons are:

  1. The re-classification of public rights of way.
  2. Creeping urbanisation


Prior to the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, public rights of way on the Ordnance Survey Maps were shown with the same symbol - a line of black dashes. Users on the ground knew which were the bridleways and which were the footpaths, and accessed them accordingly.

However, under the 1949 Act, the Parish Councils were asked to survey their areas and designate the public rights of way as either footpaths, bridleways or RUPPs (Roads used as Public Paths), and to put them on the Definitive Map, marked as such. The process was fairly lengthy, but once the status of the routes was agreed and they were put on the Definitive Map, a Modification Order was required to make any changes.

It was during this process that, all over the country, many bridleways were incorrectly defined as footpaths - this is evident by the number of successful Modification Orders since that time. The British Horse Society, unlike the Ramblers Association, was not a consulting body during this process. In consequence riders, unlike the walkers, were not alerted to what was going on. The 'rights of way' surveys were carried out by different parishes at different times and few riders became involved in them. Only the most contentious routes were ever publicised in the local press. Even if riders knew what was going on in their own areas, it is unlikely they would have known what was happening in adjacent parishes.

It is unclear why mistakes were made. Perhaps landowners saw this as a way of reducing the rights of way across their land, or perhaps parish councils, fearing they would be liable to the higher maintenance cost of bridleways, decided to downgrade them to footpaths. But the number of successful claims for reclassifying footpaths as bridleways shows that the mistakes were many and widespread.

Initially little happened on the ground. Few routes were closed off immediately and riders continued to use them, believing them still to be bridleways. The first indication that a route had changed its status was generally when the land changed hands and the new owners, on checking the Definitive Map, started putting in gates and stiles, effectively barring them to riders.

Creeping urbanisation.

With more and more housing development in the countryside, many public rights of way have been built over. Although developers should provide an alternative route, this does not always happen and when it does the alternative route is not always of an acceptable standard.

Even if the bridleway is not built over it is often tarmacked to provide a suitable surface for motorists, but this is often lethal for the horse rider, particularly on hills and slopes when a slippery surface is used.


There are several ways of making improvements to the bridleways network.

  1. Definitive Map Modification Orders (DMMOs)
  2. Creation Orders
  3. Dedications by landowners
  4. Permissive routes
  5. Paid for routes

Definitive Map Modification Orders

Under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act riders can apply to the Council for a DMMO to change a track to a bridleway or byway.

It was in response to the need to modify the Definitive Map to regain some of the lost routes that the WBA was formed, and over the past 10 years some 33 DMMO have been submitted.

To submit a DMMO there has to be a specific date when the right of riders to use the route is brought into question eg, locked gates, a stile or a prohibitive notice. Riders then have to be able to prove that they have used the route on horse back without let or hindrance for 20 or more years counting back from that date. This evidence is collected via User Evidence Forms. It can also be backed up with historical evidence such as Inclosure Awards, First Edition Ordnance Survey Maps, Tithe Maps etc. Sometimes a claim can be made on historical evidence alone

This evidence is looked at by the local authority, which will either agree to make the Order, if the evidence warrants it, or not. Should the Order be refused the applicant can appeal to the Government Office for the South West, which, if the evidence warrants it, can direct the Council to make the Order. If the Order is made there will be a period during which objections can be lodged. If there are any objections - and usually there always are - the issue will be resolved by a Public Inquiry, a Hearing, or written representations. To overturn the Inspector's decision following a Public Inquiry it is necessary to go the High Court.

This is a lengthy process - it can take ten years or more from when the application to modify the Definitive Map is submitted to the Inspector making his or her decision (see Dolebury Warren page 18). It involves many hours of research to establish the historical evidence, and an understanding of what this evidence means. Further, the interpretation of old wordings can be changed following a challenge in the High Court, which subsequently becomes case law.

Creation Orders

Under the Highways Act 1990 the local authority can make an Order to create a new bridleway or byway if it sees a need. Similarly to DMMOs, the Order has to be advertised and time given for objections to be made. If there are unresolved objections the issue will be decided by a Public Inquiry, a Hearing or written representations. NSC has put in Creation Orders for footpaths but prefers to use Dedications (see below) in the form of creation agreements where the agreement of the landowner is forthcoming. It is important to recognise that landowners are legally entitled to compensation for loss of value in their land as a result of a new right of way being created over it, and that this effectively limits the authority's ability to use these powers on a regular basis, or as often as it might wish.

Virtually all claims for DMMOs and Creation Orders go to Public Inquiries, which by their very nature, can cause conflict between the applicants and the landowners. The WBA would prefer to resolve these issues by a consultation process. The Planning Inspectorate (which is responsible for Public Inquiries) is running a pilot scheme for mediating in rights of way disputes, but very few local authorities have expressed an interest. NSC is, however, one of those that has, so it is hoped that where there are suitable opportunities they will be taken.

There is also the facility for Parish Councils to use Creation Agreements Orders but the application is slightly different to the procedures set out above

Dedications by landowners

Landowners can dedicate public rights of way on their land. NSC prefers to encourage landowners to dedicate rather than impose a creation order, for the reasons explained above. Dedications are being pursued by NSC at Failand and Portbury.

Permissive Routes

Permissive routes are a welcome addition to the bridleway network and can provide links to form circular rides. However, they can be withdrawn at any time, for no reason - particularly if the land changes hand. It is sometimes possible for a formal permissive path agreement to be drawn up that includes a notice period, so that if access is to be withdrawn, there is time to explore alternatives.

There should never be any exchange of public rights of way for permissive facilities, however poor the existing public paths may be. Either the proposed new route should be granted public status or the old route should remain on the definitive map.

The British Horse Society recommends that any track offered as a permissive route should be thoroughly investigated first to see whether it could be the subject of a claim to add it to the Definitive Map as a public right of way.

Paid for Routes

These provide an opportunity for farmers and landowners to utilise part of their land to provide linear tracks (sometimes with optional jumps) and are welcome as an addition to the bridleway network.

However, if these tracks have been used in the past by riders the routes should be investigated to see if they could be the subject of a claim to add them to the Definitive Map as a public right of way. Further, paid for routes should not allow the local authority to shelve its obligations to ensure a comprehensive system of public rights of way.


Since its formation the WBA has worked hard to improve and extend the bridleway network.

There have been ten successful Definitive Map Modification Orders (see page 13). This has involved hours of research as well as the presentations at the Public Inquiries, which can often last several days.

Dedicated routes include:

  1. Backwell Hill - dedicated by Tarmac
  2. Freeman's Farm - dedicated by Backwell Quarry
  3. Uncombe Close, Farleigh Backwell - dedicated by the developer
  4. Failand - dedicated by the landowner
  5. Elm Farm, Nailsea - in part dedicated by the developers
  6. Manor Farm

Permissive routes include:

  1. Meer Wall Congresbury ( with financial backing from the WBA)
  2. Elm Farm, Nailsea (to help complete the circular bridleway round Nailsea).

Routes are monitored for obstructions, and representations made to NSC. This is ongoing and the WBA will continue to press for all rights of way to be kept clear and usable (see page 14)

Representatives have attended all the NSC's Countryside Recreation and Access Forum meetings to ensure the horse riders point of view is put forward. Constant lobbying has been instrumental in ensuring that horse riders have been included in the Cheddar Valley Railway scheme and the Tidal Trail.

WBA representatives have also had meetings with NSC officers and councillors to explain what its aims are.

However, there is still much to be done. Each DMMO takes several years to process and all modifications to the Definitive Map have to be completed by the year 2025. This will mean a lot of historical research as well as the collection of user evidence forms. It is essential this work be completed sooner rather than later, before the riders who used these routes regularly have died.


The situation March 2002

 Completed DMMOs  
1988Churchill Rocks, Churchill Yes
1989Jubilee Stone, BackwellOct 93Yes Jan 94
1989Bourton Combe, Flax BourtonJune 95Yes Jul 95
1989Congresbury/Wrington WoodsMay 95No Aug 95
1989Edson's Farm,Nov 93No Jan 94
1989Spying Copse to A38, WringtonAug 95No Oct 95
1989Sandford Hill1993Yes
1991Abbots Leigh1994Yes 1994
1991Dolberry Warren, Churchill 1st Public InquiryMarch 00Yes in part
 Dolberry Warren 2nd Public InquiryNov 00Yes
1991Barton Drove, Winscombe 1st Public InquirySept 96Yes
 Barton Drove 2nd Public InquirySept 97Yes Jan 98
 Barton Drove High Court Case1999No
1992Walton Common, WaltonNov 99No Jan 00
1994Bull house Lane, WringtonMar 97Yes Mar 97
 Mendip Wood, Burrington1997No
1995Cadbury Camp Lane, TickenhamMar 95Yes Mar 95
1990Godding lane, BanwellMar 91Yes
1991Eton Lane, Banwell Yes Sept 94
 DMMOs (from WBA) awaiting determination  
1991Dolemoor Lane, Congresbury  
1991Winscombe Drove and Oakridge Lane, Winscombe  
1991Puxton Moor  
1992Cleeve quarry to Spying Copse (NSC - no order - under appeal)  
1993Chapel Lane, Cleeve (NSC - no order - under appeal)  
1993Wint Hill Roman Road, Banwell Hill (NSC - no order - under appeal)  
1993Towerhead, Banwell (NSC - no order - under appeal)  
1993Eastwell, Fullers & Yadley Lanes, Winscombe - (NSC no order - under appeal)  
1994Spying Copse to A38 Put in again with new evidence  
1994Somerset Lane, Congresbury (NSC - under consideration)  
1994Edson's Farm - Put in again with new evidence - (NSC - under consideration)  
1994Goosey Drove, Puxton  
1994Leg Lane, Winscombe  
1995Puxton footpath and BOAT  
1995Congresbury BOATS and Footpaths  
1996Congresbury/Wrington Woods Put in again with new evidence  
1996Lockinghead Drove, Locking  
2001Barton Drove Put in again with new evidence  
1997Copthorn Lane Put in again with new evidence  
1998Mendip Woods Put in again with new evidence  


As well as extending the bridleway network, the WBA also tries to ensure that what routes there are remain open and usable. A Bridleways Obstruction Form is available from members or by e mailing ajgawthorpe@LineOne.net.

The local authority has a duty to ensure the Definitive Map is accurate, that rights of way are maintained, and that all routes are properly sign posted. NSC is currently setting up a computer data base to log all the obstructions and problems.

Below are some of the problems and obstructions, which existed on local bridleways in March 2002

B/W to AmbassadorsRoute not legally dedicated or correctly surfaced1994Put on Definitive Map as B/W and surface track
Brockley Combe B/WNot legally dedicated1994Needs legal event and putting on Definitive Map
Failand route 20/61  Needs legal event
Elm Park 1998Needs legal event
Great Stone LanePit in track and now a felled tree1980sPit needs filling, tree and fence removing
Eton LaneRoute closed because river bank unsafe1999NSC is trying to find another route
Felton Common, LulsgateDiverted F/P means B/W now blocked1999Needs unblocking
Havyatt GreenBridleways on common not recorded on DM1996Needs marking
Jubilee Stone B/WPart of DMMO done incorrectly1989Needs a diversion
Uncombe CloseNot legally dedicated (Backwell PC working towards Legal agreement with developer) Needs legal event and putting on Definitive Map
Tidal TrailHorses not on Uphill end Need to add Uphill end to bridleway
Freemans FarmNot completed Being resolved Needs holding pen and legal event
Watercress FarmNo depth marker in river ford Needs installing
LA16/2Believe landowners have narrowed routeCheck for purpresture
LA15/21Not legally completed Needs legal event
AX3/23? East of Freemans FarmRoute obstructed by gate, wall and treesNeed removing
AX 10/27Handrail obstructing route Needs removing
3/53 TowerheadGate illegally erected by ACC before selling landNeeds resolving
Edson's FarmBarn over footpath Needs moving
Failand bridlewaysNSC working towards completion of dedication & works  Needs completing and dedicating


That there is a shortage of bridleways in this area has been accepted by local councils.

  1. 1995 Woodspring District Council Local Plan said:

    Whilst there is a comprehensive footpath network the same is not true of bridleways.

  2. 1999 North Somerset Local Plan said:

    Para 16.49 Whilst there is a comprehensive footpath network the same is not true for bridleways…….

    Para 16.50….The Nailsea/Tickenham Ridge and Gordano Valley are also areas where there are insufficient bridleways to meet demand.

    Proposal R/9 A programme will be pursued for the protection, extension, improvement and maintenance of public bridleways, byways…..Key priorities within this programme are: ….ii circular bridleway/byway networks around the urban areas of Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead, Weston-s-Mare and commercial riding establishments.

    Policy R/10 Dismantled and disused railway corridors are safeguarded from development that would prejudice their role as recreational footpath, cycleway or bridleway routes.

    None of the circular bridleway/byway networks round urban areas, highlighted in the Local Plan, have been created and several bridleways remain unusable.

  3. 1994/5 The Countryside Recreation strategy - an ambitious plan for extra footpaths, cycle routes and bridleways produced by Phil Tolerton for Woodspring District Council in and taken over by North Somerset Council in 1996.

  4. As far as riders are concerned only two of the original proposals are still on going: The Tidal Trail from Uphill to the River Axe and the Cheddar Valley Railway Line (see page ? )

  5. Improving the public bridleway network within North Somerset', a strategic review project undertaken by student Andrew Collins for NSC, which highlights the gaps in the network and provides a comprehensive set of proposals, on a parish by parish basis, for addressing the shortfall.

    The WBA warmly welcomes this document, and will continue to encourage NSC to implement the proposals at the earliest opportunity

Nationally there have been several initiatives over the years.

  1. 1981 The Wildlife and Countryside Act.
  2. 1991 The Countryside Stewardship Scheme, (introduced by the Countryside Agency and now administered by DEFRA) whereby farmers would be paid for providing a variety of facilities which could include permissive bridleways. However, there has been limited take- up in this area
  3. 1992 The Parish Path Partnership Scheme - initiated by the Countryside Commission to identify, survey and seek ways of improving the rights of way network
  4. 1996 The Milestones project - a Countryside Commission initiative which asked all highway authorities to legally define, maintain and publicise all its rights of way by the year 2000. A recent press release by the CC said that few local authorities have achieved this target.
  5. 1999 North Somerset Council's Parish Paths Scheme initiative - parishes were asked to survey all of the Rights of Way in their area, so that a strategic approach could be developed to resolving maintenance issues and obstructions.
  6. 2000 The Countryside and Rights of Way Act. As far as horse riders are concerned the main changes brought in by this Act are:
    1. a. The Countryside Agency will make money available for historical research
    2. The local authority will have five years to produce a rights of way improvement plan
    3. Stronger measures to force local authorities to remove obstructions to bridleways and byways.
    4. All changes to the Definitive Map to be completed within 25 years. It is this last one which makes it imperative that all claims for DMMOs should be submitted as soon as possible as 25 years is not a long time when some claims can take up to ten years to process.
  7. 2001 DEFRA's Draft Guidance on preparation of Rights of Way Improvement Plans

    On December 20th Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael said that cyclists and horse riders will benefit from greater accessibility to the rights of way network in England.

    Under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act there is a new duty on local authorities to look strategically at their rights of way network and to assess how it meets the needs of local people - particularly equestrians and cyclists.

    Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael said: ' The guidance clarifies the new duty on local authorities to make an honest assessment of their rights of way network, think about its shortcomings and strategically plan for its improvements - using powers they already have.

    The WBA welcomes this guidance and supports NSC's intentions to use the strategic review of bridleway provision (see above), which was commissioned for this purpose, as part of this work.


As soon as the CVRL, which ran from Clevedon to Cheddar, was closed in 1964, the part of the track between the A370, Congresbury and Honey Hall, Brinsea, was used by everyone: - horse riders, walkers, cyclists and farmers. It provided a safe route away from traffic, bypassing the increasingly busy Brinsea Road.

However, in 1983, under pressure from the recently formed Cheddar Valley Railway Walk Society a length of the line from Shute Shelf to Yatton was bought by the then Woodspring District Council from British Rail.

The CVR Walk Society asked for a bylaw to be put on the line to prevent horse riders from using it. Local riders campaigned against this bylaw and in 1985 received the backing of Congresbury Parish Council, but the society refused to allow the bylaw to be changed. It was also claimed that the society had leased the line from the council, but the lease was never signed.

Because this is such an important route - it not only take riders away from the road, but also acts as a link with other tracks - the WBA put in a claim for a DMMO in 1991. This was withdrawn when WDC decided in 1994 to draw up a new plan for increasing public use of the facility. WBA representatives met with Landmark Environmental Consultants (appointed to carry out the feasibility study) and it was agreed that horse riders should be included in the package, provided they were kept separate from other users and put on a track at the side of the line, below the raised causeway.

This has now been found to be too muddy and the latest idea is to buy a strip of land from all the farmers and put the bridleway through the adjoining fields. To raise the money for this proposal, NSC is currently bidding for Lottery funding and trying to put together a package of matching funding from other bodies. The three-year project is expected to cost £860,000 altogether and will include a cycle route and a surface for disabled users.

The WBA has asked for NSC to start negotiating with farmers as soon as possible so that the necessary purchases can be made as soon as the money becomes available, and the creation of the bridleway can start straight away.


The claim was for three routes on the Mendips running from near Churchill Rocks, south east across a hill fortress to link up with another bridleway.

Because of the sensitive nature of the terrain - an important archaeological site - it was agreed between the Woodspring Bridleways Association, North Somerset Council and the National Trust, the owners of the land, that if the DMMO for the bridleways was successful they would be diverted to another route running round the site.

An application for a Modification Order was made on February 15th, 1991, supported by 31 user evidence forms. It was looked at by the then Avon County Council PROW committee in 1993 and delayed for a year to allow further comments from interested parties. In 1994 the PROW committee decided not to make an Order.

The WBA immediately appealed to the DOE against this decision and further letters were sent to the DOE in 1995 and 1996. In July 1998 the Secretary of State for the Environment directed the Order Making Authority to make an Order. By then Avon County Council had ceased to exist and it fell to North Somerset Council to make the Order which was made on 26th January 1999. 152 letters of objection were received which meant there had to be a Public Inquiry. North Somerset Council took a neutral stance and the WBA presented the case for the MO at the first Public Inquiry held on 7th March 2000

After hearing all the evidence, Inspector Jeapes agreed that the case had been proved for one and a half routes, but not the rest. He therefore modified the Order, which meant it had to go to a second Public Inquiry to allow objections to his proposed modifications. Following the SSTR vs Marriott case only objections to the modified parts of an order can be heard at a second inquiry. The Inspector allowed 6 months for evidence to be submitted for or against the modifications. Because the Marriott case came between the first and second Public Inquiries, he also permitted the objectors to the original order to present evidence which might help him to decide whether to reopen the original inquiry or not.

In the event Inspector Jeapes decided that the new evidence presented was insufficient to make him change his decision on the original inquiry and some ten years after the original claim the bridleway status of the route was recognised.

NSC has now made the legal orders necessary to achieve the diversion, and these will be confirmed once the new routes are ready for use.




Some Equestrian Statistics These statistics have been assembled to assist all those who work for improved and additional riding and driving routes throughout the UK. We aim to review these statistics at least once a year.
1. BETA National Survey 1999
2. BHS Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, CV8 2LR 1998
3. Countryside Commission 1995
4. Farriers Registration Council, 1999
5. Hansard, 1997
6. Houghton Brown J and Powell Smith V, Horse Business Management, BSP Professional Books 1989
7. Glenda Jackson, MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, 1998
8. Nicholl J, University of Sheffield Medical School 1992
9. Target Group Index 1991
10. The Economic Contribution of the Equine Industry 1988 (available from the BHS price £5.)



A village by village survey carried out by members of the WBA estimates there are 5,500 horses in the North Somerset Area.

Businesses in North Somerset deriving all or part of their income from horseowners


Asa Luxton
Andy Manners
AH Ball
W Bougourd
I Lindsay


Bushy Farm Equine
Hillyfields Vets
Abbotswood Vets
Axe Valley Vets
Beaconsfield Vets
Golden Valley Vets
Green Pastures
Langford House
Weston Vets
Glebe House, Wrington
Watkins, Yatton.
Furniss and Morton, Worle
Sue Yeo, Nailsea

Riding Stables

Banwell Equestrian Centre
Clevedon Riding Centre,
Gordano Valley Riding Centre,
Mendip Riding Centre, Churchill
Centre Riding, Hutton
Evergreen Equestrian Centre, Tickenham
Little Grange RC, Claverham
Shipham Riding, Shipham
Hand Centre, Clevedon
Tynings Trekking Centre, Shipham
Urchinwood Manor, Congresbury
Vowles RC, Weston

Tack Shops

Murphy's, Hewish
Equicraft, Backwell
Boulters, Banwell
Shipham Riding
Ride Again, Clevedon

Feed/Agricultural Merchants (some also sell tack)

Albert E James, Barrow Gurney
Boulters, Banwell
Tincknells, Congresbury
Stablemates, Portishead
Sandford Pet Food
Stablemates, Portishead

Livery Yards

Milfort House, Lower Langford
Rustalls Livery Yard, Hewish
Stoneycroft, Langford
Vowles RS, Weston
Nortons Wood, Clevedon
Jane Billings, Portbury
Worlebury Stables
Waywick Farm, Hewish
Ham Farm, Yatton
Kingston Riding Stables, Clevedon
There could be more than fifty other smaller yards and farms offering grazing and/or stabling.

Farmers (hay and straw)


Freelance teachers/grooms

Claire Hurley, Clapton in Gordano
Di Higgins, Claverham
Jane Somerton


DEFRA Press release 20.12.01 - Local Authorities Urged to Improve Rights of Way

Planning Inspectorate Pilot Study of Mediation for Rights of Way Disputes Interim Report September 2001

Countryside Agency Press release 11.12.01 - England's Paths Fail to Make the Grade

British Horse Society's Access Leaflets No 9 Claiming Rights of Way No 11 Paying for Riding on Farm Land No 16 Permissive Routes

Agency Project by Andrew Collins, graduate in Town and Country Planning.

Woodspring Local Plan 1994

North Somerset Local Plan 1999

Countryside Commission A Guide to Procedures for Public Path Orders 1994

Recreation Routes through the Countryside Strategy prepared by Phil Tolterton.

The Countryside Commission's ' Milestones' Statement