Essex Horse Riders Appeal for Off-Road Access

Essex Bridleways Association (EBA) will next week (June 8) present a petition to Essex County Council in an attempt to raise awareness of the needs of horse riders in the county.

The petition forms part of the charity’s current ‘Better Bridleways’ campaign.

EBA Chair, Julia Wilson, explained: “EBA is appealing for greater consideration to be given to horse riders when it comes to creating safe, off-road access. Council and Government policy focuses heavily on walking and cycling and yet horse riding is frequently overlooked. Pedestrians and cyclists can use Bridleways but horses are rarely given access to Multiuser routes.

“There is a common misconception amongst other road users that horse owners have miles of Bridleways to ride on but this is not the case and in most parts of Essex we are very poorly catered for. As a consequence of this, and massive development in the county, we are forced to share the roads with increasingly fast and heavy traffic.

Riding on the roads is a necessity for many horse riders who enjoy hacking. (Image: Your Horse)

Riding on the roads is a necessity for many horse riders who enjoy hacking. (Image: Your Horse)

“Horse riding is a wonderful activity for enhancing both mental and physical wellbeing. In an age where adults and children are being encouraged to become more active it seems ridiculous that those of us that are already keen to spend our spare time outside, participating in an active lifestyle are, in effect, being penalised.”

Members of Essex Bridleways Association will be assembling outside County Hall at 10am ready to present the petition at 10.30 on 8th June and would welcome supporters of their cause.

To find out more visit www.essexbridleways.co.uk or the Essex Bridleways Association Facebook page.