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Horse Meat Scandal
A brand new daily deal website aimed at equestrian & country pursuits
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two new carriages were stolen
London and SE Champs
Thanks and well done to everyone who helped to run the...
Would you consider signing this bridleway petition
Patrick Print moves to Bucks
Kathy's day a great success
Martin Clunes to be the next President of The British Horse Society
Pictures from the RC Champs at Ardingly
EMERGENCY INFORMATION FOR HORSES - BERKS, OXON, WILTS HANTS
At 5.15pm tonight (Monday) I found my 30yr old horse upside down in a ditch...
Horses being marked for stealing.
Beware - horses have been found marked which means they have been identified by thieves
Keep yourself safe
From the eye of a driver and horse rider.
Great Outdoors meeting Wed 25th May
Click here for details of an open meeting organized by the Mid & West Berks Local Access Forum (LAF). It follows on from the meeting last year which some of us riders attended - and which was noticed (I am not sure how we were noticed!). It won't get us new bridleway links and safer off-road riding straight away but it is really important that riders are seen at these sort of events as the natural tendency is to cater for walkers & cyclists and forget we exist. However, we are making progress (see below).
I will be facilitating workshop 3 but it would be good if we had riders represented at the others. Perhaps those who are involved with the fencing of Padworth Common might like to share their experiences at workshop 1 (parks and open spaces).......!!
Free buffet provided. The walk is optional. Hope to see you there.
The Local Access Forum is a group of volunteers, appointed by the Council, who wish to improve access. It is open to new applicants.
New provisional bridleway at Cold Ash
Some of you will know, and be using, the lovely new bridleway which connects the Ridge in Cold Ash with the Westrop Green area and the Bucklebury Alley - Bucklebury Common bridleway. This has been generously provided by Bernard Clark, the new owner of Westrop Farm. It was one of the many wishes put forward for the West Berks Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) back in 2005. Bernard Clark wishes to divert the footpath running close to the farmhouse so Gill Hall asked if he would provide a bridleway at the same time! He said yes. It has been beautifully set out and we await the legal processing by the Council. I am sure everyone will be respectful of his stock while using it. I hear there has been a problem when a dog chased the sheep into the electric fence.
West Berks Local Transport Plan (LTP) - see www.westberks.gov.uk/ltp
This has now been published - and includes mention of equestrians!
Councils are legally obliged to produce these. They concentrate on relieving congestion, providing travel choices etc. The BHS responded to the consultation pointing out that not all those who use roads were catered for in the draft plan, ie equestrians. West Berks Council listened and equestrians are now included more often in the LTP - search 'equestrian' and 'horse' - and it is not just 'racehorse'. The Local Access Forum was highly supportive of equestrian needs and continues to be so.
In addition, a supplementary document is being produced titled 'Active travel'. I was invited to provide a chapter on equestrian activities which hopefully will be included.
At Badminton this year, the BHS is launching a piece of research on the health benefits of riding in order to convince policy makers that riding is not an armchair sport......!!
Chieveley parish plan
A number of ideas were put forward by the community for multi-user off-road links and these are being pursued as opportunities arise. One is a new link to Snelsmore Common using a piece of neglected common land. A cycle route from Hampstead Norreys - Hermitage - Newbury has been on the cards for some while. The BHS has been invited to be involved in looking at the feasibility, but there are obstacles.
Keep a look out for the development of new cycling and walking links in your area. We need to bring our needs to the attention of the planners, preferably at an early stage, if they are also useful links for equestrians.
One way of increasing our bridleways is to do historic research & put in an official claim. I have never thought we had any unrecorded routes in West Berks until I was involved with a footpath diversion. This 'footpath' is recorded as a 30 foot wide carriage road in the enclosure award and is currently the subject of a claim for a restricted byway which will open it up to horse riders, carriage drivers & cyclists. If successful, this will provide a new riding route about 2 km long in an area with few bridleways. How many other footpaths were mis-classified in West Berks & might be useful to get us off-road?
The Hants LAF has begun a an exciting project discovering unrecorded or under-recorded routes (ie footpaths which might be bridleways) called PATHH (http://pathh.hwtma.org.uk/). Many volunteers have been recruited and training given. A couple of us are involved looking at Hants parishes which abut West Berks. All we need is time to spend at the record office!
Many of you will be aware that Jacqueline Sandford at Bucklebury has started a hacking group which has held several well attended meetings /coffee mornings and hopes to organize some informal local rides. Next meeting (unmounted) is next Tue at Bucklebury Memorial Hall at 7pm.
If anyone has any bridleway news to share, please let me have it & I will circulate to those interested in hacking.
Tel: 01635 200507
British Horse Society Access & Bridleways Officer for West Berkshire
British Horse Society Access & Bridleways Officer for Southern region
Mid & West Berks Local Access Forum member (equestrian member)