Routes News

Routes News 2016

Nearly finished!  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.

Surface upgrade completed to gateway at Greenscombe, nr Bruton which had become very slippery and deep.

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.CIMG0895

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.Torr 2016 a

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of projects in the pipeline for 2017.  Please support our work by becoming a member.  You really can make a difference.

 

All funds raised by MBBA go towards the on-going battle to improve riding routes. This is where your money went last year year – 2015.

Massive Vegetation Clearance of Easton Lane Pylle  – completed

 Surface upgrade of Easton Lane Pylle – completed

New gate and entrance to Creech Hill route – completed

  Upgrade of surface Phase 1 on Cannwood Lane, Brewham.  Completed.

Phase 2 – completed

 Complete revamp of ford crossing at Bruton.  Completed

Clearance and re-opening of UCR at Holcombe  Completed

Total Revamp of surface on Monkley Lane, Rode  Work completed.

Last stage of improvements to Honeycliffe, Batcombe.  work completed

Surface upgrade to bridleway on Burrington Combe, working in partnership with AONB. £1,000 pledged towards this work.

Please contact the Rights of Way Warden in charge of your parish if you have a problem with a riding route. They are your first contact and can usually sort out most issues.  Ask to be kept up to date with the progress of any work being considered and if possible photograph the problem for reference.  If you are able to arrange a site meeting to explain your grievance first hand, so much the better.   If you copy MBBA into any report you make, we can then support and monitor it’s progress.  01749 831276

Clare HaskinsCXHaskins@somerset.gov.uk          07584175255 looks after;

Ashwick, Batcombe, Beckington, Berkley, Binegar, Buckland Dinham, Brewham, Bruton, Chilcompton, Coleford, Cranmore, Croscombe, Doulting, Downhead, Ditcheat, Emborough, Evercreech, Frome, Gt Elm, Hemington, Holcombe, Kilmersdon, Lamyatt, Leigh On Mendip, Lullington, Mells, Milton Clevedon, Norton St Philip, Nunney, Pilton, Pylle, Rode, Selwood, Shepton, Stoke St Michael, Ston Easton, Stratton On The Fosse, Tellisford, Trudoxhill, Upton Noble, Wanstrow, Whatley, Witham Friary.

Chris Eastceast@somerset.gov.uk  07915 540688 looks after;

Axbridge, Badgworth, Baltonsborough, Berrow, Brean, Brent Knoll, Burnham On Sea and Highbridge, Chapel Allerton, Cheddar, Chewton Mendip, Compton Bishop, East Brent, East Pennard, Glastonbury, Litton, Lympsham, Mark, North Wootton, Priddy, Rodney Stoke, Shipham, St Cuthbert Out, Weare, Wedmore, Wells, West Bradley, West Pennard, Westbury Sub Mendip, Wookey.

All other areas please contact Somerset County Council rghts of way department.

January 2014 – New gate and sign post installed at Milton Clevedon on the Greenscombe Estate.  Thank you Somerset County Council.

MBBA members are trialing a unique new bridleway latch – report out soon.

Wider hunting gates with better surface are to be installed at Alham on the Restricted Bridleway past Batcombe Lodge Farm.  Joint project SCC/MBBA

PROJECTS  completed in 2013

Successful bid for Natural England Paths for Communities Grant enables a new bridleway to be dedicated at Kilmersdon.

December 11th turned from a foggy, cold morning into a bright and sunny one as people arrived at Kilmersdon for the opening of the newly dedicated  bridleway – The Kilmersdon Link.  Hot mulled wine and mince pies were served to the many supporters, plus local dog walkers and cyclists, who were welcomed to join the ceremony.

This short, steep  track leading from the bridleway onto the Sustrans Cycle Network had for years been a grey, slippery and waterlogged strip, greatly used for its convenience but with no official status and with an appalling and sometimes dangerous surface.

Mendip Bridleways & Byways Association bid and won a grant to improve and dedicate the route via a Government initiative from Natural England; Paths for Communities.  This enabled MBBA to undertake a total upgrade of the surface, replacing the thick clay with large stone, topped with oolitic dust, thus giving a permanent, all weather and level ride to cyclists, horse riders and walkers. The grant paid for 75% of the costs and MBBA will fund the remaining 25%.

MBBA Chairman Cherry Lawson cut the ribbon and thanks were given by Ginnie Jones,  MBBA Secretary to; Jane Yates from Natural England, Abbie Rood from the British Horse Society, Sustrans for dedicating the land, Kilmersdon Parish Council for facilitating the dedication and Clare Haskins from rights of Way at Somerset County Council.  Nicky Kingman and friend Jane Allen had brought their horses Zodiac and Mars and once the bridleway was declared open, they cantered off up the hill.  OPEN TO RIDE

 

Before – 2012

 

And below, the smart new track ready for use.

 

 

 

 

 

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Southwood  Bridleway – Lydford  2013

Complete upgrade of Southwood bridleway in Lydford on Fosse  Joint project funded between MBBA and Somerset County Council.  A very wet clay track through the Southwood Plantation had been causing problems for riders and walkers for a number of years.  It had become impossible to use during anythinng but the driest weather and was dark, overgrown and badly in need of improvements.  The existing deep mud was removed, the ditches either side cleared, trees felled, debris removed, gateways re surfaced and centre track raised to form an elevated bridleway which should drain well. A very dramatic change and one of the largest projects ever undertaken by MBBA.  OPEN TO RIDE…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

New Permissive Route a substantial new route has been added to the permisive network at Lamyatt.  Completed thanks to the generosity of the landowners, this route now enables riders to access the bridleway network through to Milton Clevedon and beyond.  It also gives a circular field-route around Lamyatt.  Two bridges and gates were installed.  The route is proving popular and will probably be part of the next Greenscombe Ride.  OPEN TO RIDE

 

 

 

 

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Honeycliffe – Batcombe 

Huge improvements have been made to Honeyclife, the only bridleway in Batcombe.  his route had been shut for a year due to erosion.  After many negotiations between MBBA, Somerset County Council and the Parish Council, a series of railway sleeper steps have been installed on the gradient to prevent water running down the lane, taking the surface out onto the road below.  This is proving successful and riding well.  OPEN TO RIDE

 

 

 

 

Deep gullies meant the route was closed for a year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horses are negotiating the steps easily and the repairs seem to be holding up well.

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Creech Hill Lane.  2012After work in November – now OPEN TO RIDE

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Meade Lane, North Wootton Parish.  SCC has made a super job of repairing this route and sincere thanks go to Chris East SCC, for organising and funding this work. OPEN TO RIDE

Kennel Lane West Pennard:  Phase 2 of this route was completed in the summer of 2012 resulting in a firm riding surface for its entire length.  OPEN TO RIDE

The new bridge installed in 2008 opened by chairman Cherry Lawson!

 

 

 

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Duck Pool Lane, Beckington   Improvements due in 2013/2014.………………………………………………………….

Lamyatt Track

WORK NOW COMPLETED AUG 7TH  2012 AND OPEN TO RIDE.The lower half of the lane has been ditched to direct water away from the track.

On the same bridleway, the gateway further towards Milton Clevedon has now been ditched and stoned, permitting riders to use the route once again. Big thank you to landowner Richard Calver for organising this improvement. March 2012

Well and truly stoned!

Yuk!

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Norton St Philip

While riding the route prior to the Faulkland Ride in 2011, it became apparent that the bridleway running from Hassage Manor through to Norton St Philip could do with some upgrading. MBBA was able to have the gates improved in time for the ride but the big job of clearing overhead saplings, which entailed riders dodging overhead branches, would be a larger task. After a site meeting, Somerset County Council’s warden Clare Haskins kindly agreed the work and the results are shown below. Although this route was still passable on a pony it would obviously have been difficult and dangerous for anyone on a larger horse and possibly impossible to use after another year’s growth lowered the branches even further. Thank you SCC – a job much appreciated by all the local riders and walkers.     Now cleared to ride, without the risk of loosing a hat or a whack on the head – Many thanks to Mike Jennings, our contractor, for all the excellent work he does on many of the rights of way throughout Mendip.


Permissive route News

The Route on the Eastcombe side of the A359 opposite Studley lane, (which runs down into Wanstrow) is difficult to use during wet weather as it goes along a stream and the vegetation is often high. Take care with rocks along the path. The small stream bed tends to have the firmest footing. This route is not adviseable during wet months. A Modification Order has been submitted to make the route a bridleway, but this could take several years. In the meantime, rider self help is encouraged – please phone 01749 831276 if you can be part of a clearance party.

Route from Brewham crossing to Saite Lane. This permits horses from Brewham to cross the A359 road and go into the field opposite. Turn immediately right along the hedge line and exit via the first large gate on the right onto Saite Lane. Please make absolutely sure the gates are shut as there are often stock in this field.

The route running through fields at Fred Gould’s farm is accessible along the lane from the Southern end of Kennel Lane in West Pennard.  If there are cows in the field there may be electric wire half way along.  If you wish to continue, it will be necessary to dismount and use the string ‘gate’.  The cows are not always in this pasture and once the silage has been taken the fields will be open to ride without any problems.


Torr Quarry Bridleway Improvements 2013

Aggregate Industries, working with MBBA have completed a huge upgrade to the bridleway which runs around Torr Works.  The first stage, funded by MBBA was the improvements to the track in Downhead leading to the quarry.  see photo.

A huge improvement and riding well  phase one funded by MBBA.

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Faulkland Farm Route

The bridleway running from Faulkland Farm to The Knoll at Faulkland has always been wet and boggy to ride. MBBA has now completed an upgrade to the surface and riders are able to negotiate the route without the deep mud. The wobbly gate has been repaired and sagging and dangerous barbed wire replaced with post and rails.


Riders had to cope with this soggy corner in  2011

A pipe was put in and topped out with stone.  This improvement needed to be strong enough to allow tractors to use the track.

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 East Woodlands Track, Frome

The improvements at East Woodlands nr Frome are now complete and the results speak for themselves. A huge thank you to Somerset County Council Rights of Way, who managed to stretch their funds to cover the whole of this job, rather than joint funding with MBBA, as previously planned – which leaves our money for even more projects!! MBBA is especially pleased to have identified this route as it is a Restricted Byway and thus permits carriage drivers. Minor improvements to a few potholes by the church are in hand, but the rest of the track is now in excellent condition. March 2011.

The damage to this very pretty Restricted Byway was a result of illegal use by 4x4s. The route was nearly impossible to ride in wet weather due to ruts of two feet in depth and dangerous in dry weather as the ruts dry and created a horrid riding or walking surface.


Before work began


The route after the improvement works


Forgewell Lane, West Pennard

The surface has been levelled and a new topping laid after 4 x 4s wrecked this lane in just a few hours.


Greenscombe, Lamyatt

Improvements to the straggling fencing around the gateways have been completed and the barbed wire replaced by wood rails.

Safe for all