Horse rider riding/leading on Public Footpath.

Big Bird

New Member
Location
Norfolk
Hi, We have a new person in our village, who has horses and is the only person with horses for many miles around. They had previously been told not ride on the Footpaths as they are not Bridleways. They have ignored the express wishes and says the marks are from other horses, which they are definitely not. They have now said that there is nowhere to ride, the Bridlepath being a 3/4 mile hack away and that they must use them. I feel her issue is probably due to her assumption it is the county and there will lots of hacking and it's easy to just go anywhere, other landowners have said no to hacking as well. What lengths of law can be used, there are may elderly dog walkers and simply not enough room for horse and rider and dog walker to walk or pass safely.
 
Location
East Mids
Hi, We have a new person in our village, who has horses and is the only person with horses for many miles around. They had previously been told not ride on the Footpaths as they are not Bridleways. They have ignored the express wishes and says the marks are from other horses, which they are definitely not. They have now said that there is nowhere to ride, the Bridlepath being a 3/4 mile hack away and that they must use them. I feel her issue is probably due to her assumption it is the county and there will lots of hacking and it's easy to just go anywhere, other landowners have said no to hacking as well. What lengths of law can be used, there are may elderly dog walkers and simply not enough room for horse and rider and dog walker to walk or pass safely.
I would speak to the Rights of Way officer at your local authority, it is their responsibility. They are usually pretty nice people (I run a training course for them on agricultural awareness!).
 

Goweresque

Member
Location
North Wilts
Is it not the case that the minimum width of a footpath is 1 metre. Presumably a horse would pass through a gap that wide.
Only in the field. When the footpath crosses a hedge or fenceline it can have a kissing gate or stile, obviously as the land owner needs to be able to keep their livestock in. So the OP just needs to ensure that their external boundaries are fenced and kissing gates installed at footpath entry points. A bit of a hassle, but if there are no boundary fences now then the horse rider in question could trespass where she liked anyway, on or off the footpath.
 
Location
East Mids
If there's no stile or gate now I don't think you can put one in without talking to Rights of Way first - I do encourage the OP to do this. It is, after all, as I said above, their responsibility.
 
I would speak to the Rights of Way officer at your local authority, it is their responsibility. They are usually pretty nice people (I run a training course for them on agricultural awareness!).
We have had to deal with a similar case for one of our clients and the ROW Officer at the council was very helpful and took it upon himself to speak to the horse rider. He also suggested improvements to the footpath (Stiles etc) to restrict illegal use.
 

Goweresque

Member
Location
North Wilts
If there's no stile or gate now I don't think you can put one in without talking to Rights of Way first - I do encourage the OP to do this. It is, after all, as I said above, their responsibility.
That can't be right - if you're an arable farm who is going back to livestock and putting in fences you can't be stopped from fencing your own land surely?
 
That can't be right - if you're an arable farm who is going back to livestock and putting in fences you can't be stopped from fencing your own land surely?
Any impediment of the right of way needs to be cleared by the ROW Officer, in the case of fencing and installing a stile or kissing gate then a marked up plan and description of the proposed work should be sent to the ROW Officer for approval before commencement of works.
 

Goweresque

Member
Location
North Wilts
Any impediment of the right of way needs to be cleared by the ROW Officer, in the case of fencing and installing a stile or kissing gate then a marked up plan and description of the proposed work should be sent to the ROW Officer for approval before commencement of works.
Thats all very well, but does he have any power to stop you doing it? I can't believe that fencing existing hedges and boundaries and installing kissing gates/stiles in them is an issue. Maybe if you wanted to put a brand new fence straight across a RoW in the middle of a field then maybe, but not for pre-existing field divisions. I've been fencing my place for the last few years now and have installed several kissing gates in newly fenced hedges (actually supplied by the RoW officer, so he knew all about it) and was never asked to provide any paperwork or get any pre-approval whatsoever.
 

farmerm

Member
Location
Shropshire
I bet you have a Pidgeon problem and need set up a couple of strings of shiny CDs and noisy tin cans close to the path, should be enough to spook most horses and put all but the keenest riders off.... ;)
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
Hi, We have a new person in our village, who has horses and is the only person with horses for many miles around. They had previously been told not ride on the Footpaths as they are not Bridleways. They have ignored the express wishes and says the marks are from other horses, which they are definitely not. They have now said that there is nowhere to ride, the Bridlepath being a 3/4 mile hack away and that they must use them. I feel her issue is probably due to her assumption it is the county and there will lots of hacking and it's easy to just go anywhere, other landowners have said no to hacking as well. What lengths of law can be used, there are may elderly dog walkers and simply not enough room for horse and rider and dog walker to walk or pass safely.

you are looking at this he wrong way ! You have identified a market for a service you can charge for ......... make the most of that
 

Big Bird

New Member
Location
Norfolk
you are looking at this he wrong way ! You have identified a market for a service you can charge for ......... make the most of that
I would be the first to use it, charge and expand but safety is paramount and there are simply too many elderly villagers who dog walk, and a loose horse or pony on a single track would be lethal. There are very very few horses, probably a ratio of 1 horse to 60 dog walkers
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
I would be the first to use it, charge and expand but safety is paramount and there are simply too many elderly villagers who dog walk, and a loose horse or pony on a single track would be lethal. There are very very few horses, probably a ratio of 1 horse to 60 dog walkers

so maybe create a network of pay to use horse hacking routes ? sound like demand exists
 

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