Rombalds Riding

Rombalds District Bridleways

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Building A Case


Increasingly,  government initiatives which create new access are focussed on providing sustainable “Greenspace” corridors which should accommodate a wide range of non-motorised recreational use.

The European template for Greenways includes horse riding, see Definition and Function of European Greenways. But it is due to a failure in national policy making in England, that these schemes  frequently create access for  walkers and cyclists only.

This is partly because Greenways are conceived at a strategic regional level related to the Transport and Planning departments of local government, where the interests of  equestrians are not represented.

This is a great pity as more and more of our bridleway network is becoming impossible to use because it can only be accessed using busy roads. This was problem was identified by the Countryside Agency’s paper ‘Rural Routes and Networks’ in 2002 and including horse riders in more Greenway projects should have been part of the solution.

Oddly, this does not seem to prevent DEFRA Ministers from claiming that horse riders are being successfully included in Greenway initiatives. See Alun Michael, Hansard 2005 and Richard Benyon’s letter 2011. Something is not joining up here.

Unlike walking and cycling horse riding is not capable of replacing commuter journeys. But there are other criteria that the Greenway schemes also need to fulfil which horse riding does satisfy and so we have provided some horse facts and benefits.

Recreational horse riding is:

  • good for your health
  • it provides regular exercise
  • it contributes a surprisingly large amount to the local economy (especially around towns and cities)
  • it is particularly popular among women and young girls
  • it can increase tourism opportunities.

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