Steve with horse rider Kerys Jordan

I am geeing up Cambridgeshire County Council in a bid to make a Fenland bridleway accessible for riders.
My call to cut the path known as Wisbech St Mary Bridleway 12, which runs below the river bank at Guyhirn, comes after I met keen horsewoman Kerys Jordan.
Mrs Jordon contacted me in a bid to get action on the over-grown and impassable bridleway after being informed by the county council it was not due for cutting until the middle of next month.
I visited the site with Mrs Jordan to see the problem for himself. During the meeting Mrs Jordan explained it is the only bridleway in the village and is popular with horse riders.
However, the overgrown vegetation together with a broken down wire fence and obscured manhole covers makes it extremely dangerous and riders have been forced to find alternative routes along roads to enjoy a hack out in the countryside.
Mrs Jordan said: “Normally we can ride along here to the end and then turn on to a road for a short distance before getting onto a farm drove. It is a lovely ride out and as we only have to ride on a road for about a mile it is safe. But we are unable to enjoy it at the moment, which is extremely frustrating. This is the time of year we look forward to being able to ride out in the nice weather.”
She said a local farmer had offered to cut the track but a locked gate meant he was unable to access it and now the vegetation is so overgrown it will need more work to bring it back to a useable standard.
“It seems a false economy to me. If it had been cut it would have been quite a quick and simple job. Now it is going to need strimming before they can get a cutter down there, which is bound to be more expensive,” said Mrs Jordan.
I have campaigned to get greater public access to the area’s open countryside and agree action is needed.
While we were looking at the overgrown bridleway a workman was busy cutting the river bank above for the Environment Agency. It would make sense if there was some co-ordination between the Environment Agency and the county council so they could share the cost of the cutter. It would only take a little while longer for the workman to cut the bridleway.
I want to see more of this area’s countryside opened up. I am also keen to see more publicity for our existing footpaths and bridleways including better signposting and maps so people know where they can have access.
I am also looking at a scheme operated in other areas known as Toll Rides, where horse riders pay a subscription to landowners to allow them access over droves and designated areas of their land.
We have been trying to find ways to incentivise landowners to be more willing to allow the public access over their land. Toll Rides could be a potential solution as it will give them an income, which would make it worth their while.
I plan to discuss the idea with the National Farmers Union to see if such a scheme would be acceptable in this area and how it could be implemented.

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