Creating a bridlepath...anyone done this?

hayinamanger

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27 July 2010
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Devon
We are in an utterly hopeless hacking area. Single track lane on sat nav route between two towns, huge lorries of every type, fast cars, few passing places, high hedges, sharp bends. You could put up with this to a point if there was any decent riding accessible from this lane, but there is nowhere to ride.

A public bridleway runs alongside our boundary fence, it goes from this lane to a very busy B road, where it ends, again with nowhere to go.

We have 50 acres of permanent pasture. We graze our sheep and horses and mow some of it for hay.

I am considering the pros and cons opening a track around some of the fields, so that responsible local riders could get off the road and enjoy a short ride through the fields.

Has anyone any experience of doing something like this? I have my own PL insurance, this would need to be changed to cover anyone falling off and trying to sue me. Would it be worth the hassle?

Thanks :)
 

s4sugar

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15 September 2009
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You do not want to creat a bridleway.

What you want is a permissive trackway so you can remove the permission or charge a subscription.
 

JustKickOn

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22 November 2006
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I like the permissive trackway idea. In sure lots of riders would jump at the chance to have somewhere off road to ride, if you created an entrance point with a locked gate, you could get a load of keys cut (and numbered) and charge something like £5-10 a year for key subscription. Thus you get a little bit of income from it, and the lock prevents any old bod riding round it. I would say you need a contract in place for the key and liability etc, and keep records to ensure you know Jo has the key.
 

Suechoccy

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19 December 2007
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You can do it in a number of ways:

1. You can record it as a Public Bridleway to be added to your local authority's Definitive Map. To do this, contact their rights of way/definitive map office and say you wish to open up a new public bridleway via a Creation Agreement or Creation Order. The land remains in your ownership. The route is then permanent for use by riders, cyclists, walkers in perpetuity but not by vehicles (your own vehicles and anyone you give permission to are except). You cannot permanently close or divert it quickly or easily as it is then a public right of way, though you can close or divert it temporarily (eg farmers ploughing-up rights of way across crops and then reinstating the route after seeding, a few days/weeks later.

2. You can set it up as a permissive route, so you advertise it to some/all of the local horsey community. You can either charge or offer it free to use. Can be riders only, not cyclists or walkers. You can close/divert it whenever you like.

If you go down this route:
- you can just let anyone on horseback use it
- you can let anyone who asks you use it so you have an idea of their names
- you can ask riders to complete a form first so you know exactly who they are
- if you are charging, then you need them to pay each year so you might want to issue differnt coloured bridle tags (or other ID) each year and they must display it when riding on your route.

3. You used to be able to create permissive bridleways for a set length of time under DEFRA stewardship agreements too, provided your land was first registered with the Single Payment Scheme. However another thread on H&H indicates that the government are no longer paying landowners to create bridleways. Shame.


Regarding the liability issue... if it is a public right of way then your occupiers' liability insurance should cover you for any claims,but DO tell your insurer that your land now has a public right of way on it.

If it's a permissive track which you are NOT charging for, then I would guess the same applies. You inform your insurer that you are allowing certain local people to use your land, there is no charge being made. They may say they require each rider to have their own third party liability insurance.

If it is a permissive track which you ARE charging for, then your insurer will probably deem that a separate business and want to charge you more for allowing people to ride for a fee on your land.

Whichever way you go, it's lovely to hear of a landowner putting in extra riding for local riders. Well done you!
 
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hnmisty

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Sheffield
Our neighbour made a permissive bridlepath through one of his fields, I think a local access group contacted him about it. I think they installed the gates (most ridiculous design of latch for horse riders to use!). He already had a footpath going through the field, so just altered to permissive bridlepath.

Might be worth getting onto the BHS- they will be able to advise and may be able to help out with the costs of installing rider-friendly gates.
 

undergroundoli

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13 September 2012
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Wooow. Three chears for you. Hip Hip Horay, Hip Hip Horay, Hip Hip Horay.

If you make it permisive you'll be able to change your mind, which I can see the appeal of, but creating a right of way that'll exist for the rest of time would be so cool. 800 years from now people with lives that I cant even imagine could ride through your land and maybe think about how it came to be a right of way. it would create a tiny little bit of history.
 

Spring Feather

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I had loads of trails/bridlepaths cut up in my woodland (part of a very large forest) many years ago and all my neighbours have permission to use my trails. I actually like other riders using them as it keeps the weeds down and they are pretty good at trimming overhanging branches so saves me from having to do it. All riders who come onto my property sign my insurance company's waiver forms and I make sure they hold the Equestrian Federation membership from my country which covers liability. Where I live there are literally tons and tons of off-road riding however my farm is slap bang in the middle of many of the trails so if people weren't able to ride on my property then a lot of trails would not be easily accessible to them.

I think making a permissive bridlepath sounds like a great idea however don't be surprised about people taking advantage, and not just horse riders. I have found walkers and ATV riders up in my woods lol! Most of the walkers are lost so I direct them to the exit closest to them. The ATVers are usually locals who are taking short cuts through my property to get to somewhere on the other side of my land.
 

dollymix

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4 September 2006
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North Wales
Wish you lived near me :(
I started a tread recently from the other point if view after a friend identified a perfect route for riders (already a hard track for most of way)
Have emailed the BHS access person in my area but it looks like a mammoth task and not sure I have the time to jump through all the hoops!
My first thought had been to approach the landowner... Seems a more likely possibility now after reading your post!
 

hayinamanger

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27 July 2010
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Location
Devon
Wow, thank you for all your encouraging replies, I'll read through them properly later and make some notes.

MJA2BT...we're North Devon, shame.
 

sport horse

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23 January 2002
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Chess Valley Bridleways have done several in this area. They have a web site and I am sure would be willing to offer the benefit of their experience.

Good luck
 
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