What we Do
The Mid Sussex Area Bridleways Group is involved with everything that affects riders of the bridleways and roads in this area. Some affect day-to-day access to and maintenance of the routes we ride, some look to the future to safeguard against future problems.
Protection of Existing Bridleways – our members notice and report bridleway problems; we campaign for better standards of maintenance; we look out for planning applications which might affect bridleways and access to them and take steps to prevent any encroachment or misuse; we monitor proposals to reclassify the status of rights of way in our area; we help and sometimes represent riders in negotiations concerning diversions of bridleways and other alterations to the Definitive Maps.
Creation of New Routes – we request the correct recording of bridleways that are not on the Definitive Map, providing usage and/or archival evidence to support our claims; we initiate and/or support the creation of permissive bridle routes; we propose inclusion of equestrian rights on paths included in new developments where appropriate.
Recording of all Bridleways – not all bridleways are correctly recorded – many were omitted when the first surveys were done (1948) and have never been claimed; we can submit historical evidence that routes existed in the past and should be available to us to ride today and we can lobby that bridleways in the area should conform with the Countryside Commission’s (now Natural England) target that the entire rights of way network should be legally defined and properly maintained.
Safe Riding on the Roads – we campaign for verges to be adequate and kept clear, identifying where wide verges suitable for riding can be incorporated into road building schemes; we press for alternative tracks beside dangerous roads. Our members alert us to any encroachment or obstruction that may hinder passage.
Access to Bridleways – we try to ensure that parking facilities for horse transport vehicles are retained and encourage creation where needed; we identify roads linking bridleways and press for speed limits, horse signs and good surfacing; we identify dead-end/hanging bridleways that could be linked to the network.
The ‘Formal’ Stuff’ – we represent riders’ interests at Public Inquiries; we read and comment on local council strategies and plans to ensure that riders in our area are considered; we attend meetings and conferences regarding all aspects of developments in the countryside; we cooperate with other amenity societies to promote a better understanding of riders’ needs.
Fundraising – we can sometimes exert additional leverage for maintenance work if MSABG can raise money towards them. Our own efforts (finding grants, holding events, etc) and ‘pledges’ of money from those who will directly benefit can all help toward works being undertaken by local councils or permissive path owners.