Search

Call for better rural horse riding trails across Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 13:32 24 April 2017

Sue Barber, owner of The Pine Lodge School of Classical Equitation at Stoke Holy Cross. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Sue Barber, owner of The Pine Lodge School of Classical Equitation at Stoke Holy Cross. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A riding centre owner is calling for increased protection of countryside tracks because of speeding traffic forcing horse riders off country roads.

The message comes as a nationwide online survey of 202 riding clubs and bridleway groups revealed major concerns from horse owners who use off-road routes known as Byways Open to All Traffic and Unsealed Unclassified County Roads.

These so-called green lanes are being increasingly used by recreational 4x4 drivers and motorbike riders, known as off-roading, which makes the trails dangerous for horses because of surface damage and risk of collisions.

Sue Barber, owner of Pine Lodge School of Classical Equitation on Pine Loke, Stoke Holy Cross, said: “Off-roading is huge problem waiting to happen - there are going to be accidents, without a doubt.

“The problem is going to get worse rather than better because of increased building work which stops horses being able to go out on country roads. There are also not enough bridle paths.

“The days of horses being able to use the roads are gone so given that, it is important to be able to ride off-road.”

She added the increase in house building meant more people which added to traffic on the county’s roads.

Speeding traffic was also a major concern for horse riders and equestrian centre members, according to the equestrian centre owner, who warned horses had a mind of their own.

Mrs Barber added the problem of off-roading was more prevalent in forests and the ideal situation would be for designated rural horse riding tracks to be established away from off-roading areas.

The equestrian centre owner said moves were also being made by farmers to allow more horse riders to use parts of their private land.

Peak District-based Peak Horsepower Bridleways Group, carried out the national survey and received responses from five groups in Cambridgeshire, one from Norfolk and two in Suffolk.

The tracks used for off-roading were historically public rights of way for horse-drawn carts and the legal rights of way onto them remain unknown. Across the UK there are 9,000km of these green lanes and in Norfolk and Suffolk they cover 511km and 254km, respectively.

Other news

29 minutes ago

The Breaking New Ground Landscape Partnership, which worked to reconnect people with the Brecks, has created a leaflet of walking trails for people to explore the beauty and diversity of the area.

32 minutes ago

Norfolk and Waveney is perhaps one of the best areas in country for seeing the natural world up close.

08:59

Snow could be on its way to Norfolk on Sunday as the temperatures plummet to below freezing overnight.

47 minutes ago

He loves a bit of fuss and attention – and now Reg wants to show someone his cuddly side in his quest for permanent new home.

Most Read

Yesterday, 08:55

A man has been arrested after driving a stolen tractor through a town centre.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:21

A damning dossier compiled by a senior whistleblower from the region’s ambulance trust has claimed at least 40 patients died or were harmed due to delays over Christmas and New Year - including one person who froze to death.

Read more
Clive Lewis
Monday, January 25, 2016

It is a shocking murder mystery which has kept a community wondering for more than 40 years.

Read more
Thursday, February 6, 2014

It was its down-at-heel aura that first attracted Polly Grieff to the crumbling Old Manor at Saham Toney.

Read more
08:59

Snow could be on its way to Norfolk on Sunday as the temperatures plummet to below freezing overnight.

Read more
West Norfolk

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 3°C

min temp: -0°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Watton and Swaffham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter