Routes News 2017
Nov 15th. The green lane past Charlton Sawmills in Buckland Dinham is now clear to ride, thanks to a hefty clearance by our MBBA contractor. Several days work but great results – enjoy your riding. Please note; this route is not open to cars, it is the contractor’s wagon in the photos!!!
Spring 2017 Open to ride! The biggest project this year, joint funded by MBBA, SCC and Ammerdown estates. Two new culverts/river crossings on the Coffin Route at Coleford. This route has been closed for three years and will now be safe to use once more. Photos show the collapsed bridge and the new replacement – what a fantastic job! Jointly funded by MBBA, the landowners – the Ammerdown Estate and Som CC. Also band new rails on the culvert by the road and adjusted gates throughout. A big commitment financially but a result that will stand the test of time.
Surface growth on a Right of Way is the responsibility of the Council and side growth, hedges, brambles etc are the responsibility of the landowner. The Council have a clearance schedule for surface growth which should result in all Rights of Way receiving a surface strimming at least once a year. Due to cuts in funding at SCC this now does not happen on all routes and let’s be honest, strimming nettles once a year does not keep a bridleway clear to ride for 12 months. What riders need is a nice clear track with decent head height and no brambles across the path!! With this in mind MBBA has brought in a new approach. We tackle bridleway clearance as a seriously BIG project Side growth, hedges and all vegetation are cut back to as much as twelve to fifteen feet wide, wherever possible, which SHOULD ‘enable’ the Council to strim slightly wider than their usual 3 ft. strip!. Our clearance man then burns all the debris on site and if necessary our contractor goes in to dig out long-lost ditches and repair boggy areas. In many cases, this heavy and lengthy clearance has to be done by hand because the routes have become so overgrown that the landowner cannot get access with his tractor and hedge cutter. However, once it has had the MBBA treatment, hopefully the landowner will be able to carry out his duty. Each route can cost in the region of £2,000 to clear properly so progress will be slow but it will make a huge difference to your enjoyment of your lanes. So let us know if you have a project in your area.
Duck Pool Lane Beckington after clearance. Super job Mike Jennings – our clearance warrior.
Tennantsfield Lane/Shoscombe bridleway, Faulkland. this is a beautiful bridleway through farmland and woods. It offers opportunity to canter and have a superb 3k ride off road through pretty scenery. Except for one area – The boggy ski slope! This is a disastrous 40ft drop of sheer clay which leads down to the bridge over the stream. Needless to say it is lethal and consequently many riders do not use the bridleway at all. MBBA is funding a solution, with the help of Som CC and hopefully a grant from the BHS. The plan is to install sleeper-steps set in concrete filled with stone in an effort to make this route accessible once again. Work will start very soon so please be patient if you find signs showing that work is in progress. Due to the difficult access, our contractors will have to work on this project for a number of days but hopefully it should do the trick and you will be able to enjoy riding Tennantsfield Lane in safety again. Yukky Lane in present state! Work delayed due to wet weather, now a project for 2018.
2016 projects completed
New Gate installed on Batcombe Lodge Route together with ground works to allow better access. New diversion now open offering super field riding. Be aware of cattle during the summer months.
Dagley Lane, Beckington. Another big job which entailed digging out and ditching the lane, then building up with stone. Joint funded with Som County Council. Photo taken half way through job.
Downhead, quarry route now finished. Looking fantastic with all weather stone surface. No more slipping and sliding through the winter months. Big thank you to Norman Baker our contractor. Fully funded by MBBA with the help of Torr Quarry who kindly supplied the stone.
All funds raised by MBBA go towards improving routes. If you ride the bridleways and prefer well maintained and enjoyable rides, please support our work by joining MBBA. Every single new member enables us to achieve more.