This page will update Public Rights of Way/Bridleway problems which have been reported to the appropriate Council or Authority for attention.
Hollow Moor Updates – November 2016
Various works have been carried out on the Moor over the past few months. The North/South Bridleway (Craythorn/Stonequarry) has had the most improvements, with the East/West Bridleway being worked on. More signage is planned for the future. Hollow Moor access is still weather and ground permitting as conditions do vary and it is ride at your own risk. South West Riders are encouraging the Devon County Council Rights of Way Department to keep the improvements going forward.
November 2016 – Update on Pegasus Way Part 2 – Venndown Gate to Halwill Junction.
South West Riders have been in regular contact with Devon County Council Rights of Way Department concerning the slow down of activity on the route. The Rights of Way Department have now informed us they have instructed contractors to forward the rest of the works to get it back on track. Although there is no given completion date as yet. South West Riders are monitoring the situation closely.
November 2015 update from Devon County Council Rights of Way regarding Northcombe Plantation. This will provide a link to the new part of the The Pegasus Way, when completed, plus give a crossing point on the A379.
Devon County Council have now published the diversion order for the Northcombe Plantation, click on link to see Map showing the proposed new route. The Forestry Commission have signed the permissive agreement for the access to the new crossing of the A379.
Pegasus Way Part 2 -
Venndown Gate to Halwill Junction.
Work has started on the next stage of the Pegasus Way and the contractors are working flat out to get it done as quickly as possible. Some months ago a great deal of preliminary work was done clearing the vegetation and now the surface is being laid.
The contractor, Mr Moon, was responsible for the Bowerland plantation bridleway with excellent results. We understand that this stage will run from Venndown Gate past Manstage Farm towards Halwill Junction.
This is a really exciting development and we look forward to this long distance bridleway eventually being opened all the way from Bowerland to Cookworthy Forest.
Steve Gardner of Devon County Council has worked tirelessly on this project for many years and South West Riders would like to thank him for the tremendous effort that he has put in.
Hollow Moor Update – October 2015
South West Riders are thrilled to see that Devon County Council (DCC) have been working hard to bring the 4 miles of bridleway back into use on Hollow Moor. Thank you DCC PROW team. The following is a recent report including photos from our “man on the spot”!
Sue and I recently took a walk on the wild side and can report as follows:
Amazing works have been undertaken at the ford across Wagaford Water. It is well-stoned and has a wide and sound track leading through the copse on the south side onto the moor proper. A brand new set of galvanized hardware including a bridleway gate are waiting to be installed.
The entrance track at the gate of Leasefield is as before. The overgrowth has been trimmed. Entering the moor the big gate is as it should be. We first turned right and checked the gates into and out of the cattle pen, i.e. the route East towards Northlew. These are properly adjusted. The latches aren’t rider-friendly but the bolts slide easily and line up properly. The gates swing as they should.
Generally, the central field at this point is good at the top and gets steadily worse as you go North down the hill towards the ford. On the return we followed the ditch along the western side and found the going much better. We then checked the path going west towards the fisheries, more or less on the “official line”. Nothing has happened here at all. The going is really good and with a properly flailed path would, we reckon, be usable by casual walkers, even by determined cyclists.
As far as the crossings are concerned, the first one is pretty good, having several small logs laid in it as before, making it quite easy to cross. The second is a jump but otherwise OK.
The third is, as before, approached through glutinous mud, in spite of the recent dry weather. The crossing itself consists of a wooden pallet but is passable. All three could be made excellent for all users by having a piece of concrete drain dropped in to replace the assorted logs and pallets. Returning towards the starting point we looked for other good crossings but found none.
Worth noting that the verges on the road to Leasefield have been trimmed. There is now verge parking space for about 4 large cars opposite the entrance to the bridleway and several further spaces on the north verge about 200 yards back towards Halwill Junction.
Devon County Council Update – October 2015
Through October/November we should complete the works on the ford along with installing way-markers to indicate the north/south crossing – access along the legal right of way will be condition dependent and riders will be forced to make their own judgements as the best route to follow.
Also completing the three drain crossings and then fixing the two gates ways – on the south side and west side thereafter. We will also be trimming out the route through the woodland on the west side of the moor.
Hollow Moor, near Halwill Junction, Beaworthy, Devon.
There is a 3 mile east/west bridleway crossing of Hollow Moor from Chilla to Northlew and a 1 mile north/south bridleway intersecting it.
A few months ago SWR were asked to investigate whether these paths could be made rideable. The legal status of these paths is not in question but trying to find the route on the ground appeared to be impossible. Committee members visited the recorded line, but after several hours of floundering around on tussocky, wet culm grassland/bog gave up trying to find a route.
At this stage members from the area stepped in, led by Ken Merron. He had ridden across the moor with the hunt and proceeded to investigate. With a mixture of adventurous riding and historical information gathering he was able to identify a route, and has subsequently ridden on several occasions both bridleways. They combine glorious riding in beautiful countryside with difficult crossings of boggy areas, overgrown areas and very awkward gates. Perhaps the most difficult part is actually finding your way.
We have had positive help from DCC. Members of SWR and DCC have walked the routes on several occasions We are hopeful that a 2 stage process might occur. Stage 1. The local PROW warden has identified measures such as improving ditch crossings, waymarking, and cutting back undergrowth where the route on the ground coincides with the recorded route. We are hopeful that he might get the go ahead to do these soon, following consultation with Natural England. Stage 2 would involve diverting some of the erroneous recorded bridleway onto a route which is passable. This will take longer.
The way ahead
It is possible to walk or ride these routes with care. Because of the nature of culm grassland these will never be routes for people who want a gentle stroll or hack in the park. Realistically, they will definitely be used more by walkers and riders than cyclists. One of the most difficult parts is actually finding your way.
Do you want to ride/walk this route?
Contact us and we can advise you on the routes we have used and the conditions we encountered. Users should note that the route crosses culm grassland which is wet, tussocky and challenging in places. South West Riders always recommend that riders should take a mobile phone, tell someone where they are going and leave a note of their intended route and time of return”. As always in these situations you ride at your own risk.
Bearslake Bridleway Bridge Completed.
South West Riders wishes to thank Dartmoor National Park Ranger, Rob Taylor, for the bridge improvements on the bridleway running past the Bearslake Inn onto Dartmoor and The Granite Way.
Our previous report from a meeting held last year can be found further down this page which details the concerns with the water crossing point.
Update regarding Clay Hole on Public Bridleway.
Devon County Council Public Rights of Way department had been informed of a Clay Hole appearing on a Bridleway near Bratton Clovelly, located at Fursdon a couple of weeks. I reported this myself after my horse went in hock deep whilst opening a gate.
This has now been rectified by both gateway area dug out and stoned as the photo shows making it a lot more horse friendly. Thank you to Tim Freeman from Devon County Council to sorting the issue promptly.
Bridleway Meeting Report “Bearslake” Bridleway
On the 4th September 2014 Richard Leonard attended a meeting between the Dartmoor National Park Ranger, his line manager, and the Chairman and Clerk of Sourton Parish Council. It concerned the bridleway that runs adjacent to the Bearslake Inn at Sourton and, more specifically the ford and bridge that crosses the stream half way along.
Over the last winter the ford had become badly washed out leaving a slippery dangerous and rocky surface. The ford does not cross the stream at right angles but goes up the bed of the stream for several yards before emerging on the other side. Before attending the meeting we studied the BHS guidelines for fords and the problem here is that the river bed is very rocky, slippery and dangerous and it would be extremely difficult not to say impossible to carry out a safe permanent repair.
A bridge has been constructed a couple of years ago in order to allow disabled buggies to safely cross the river. The bridge is substantial and may well be safe to bear the weight of a horse.
After much discussion it was agreed by all parties that the safest and most cost effective solution would be for the National Park to:-
a. Widen the bridge by about half a metre.
b. Construct a parapet on both sides of the bridge.
c Make sure that the surface of the bridge is made safe for horses. The present wire covering may not be suitable.
d. Carry out a careful inspection of the bridge to ensure that it can safely bear the weight of a horse and rider safely and erect a notice to that effect.
Looking at the BHS document that gives guidance on specifications for horse bridges and which we have published on this web site it seems that the proposed improvements will meet this specification and will provide a safer alternative than the ford. It is also a solution that the National Park believe can be carried out at reasonable cost.
If you have ever or are likely to use this proposed bridge in the future please use the website to record your comments or email us. Thank you. Richard.
Devon County Council have been attending to the issues below:
Update – 3/11/14. The gates have now been sorted with some being self closing.
I reported several problem gates on ride near Roadford Lake in September 2014. A copy of my complaint and photos can be found by clicking this link. This matter is still ongoing but a contractor has been instructed to sort the gates satisfactorily to all parties including the landowner.
BW 13, Fursdon to Burrow. The Bridleway is located near Bratton Clovelly and was reported by South West Rider Committee Members. This was reported as in particular one of the gates had come off its hinges and the gate was very difficult to use. This is now sorted and fully working.
Richard reported issues with a Bridleway which leads from the Pegasus Way to Wadland Down Plantations, past Pinnacle Farm. This Bridleway had a narrow gate next to electric fencing. We are pleased to report that Tim is arranging a slightly bigger gate and shut post to, re align the close electric fence and cut back the encroaching vegetation on the stretch into Wadland. This is being completed with full support of the Landowner and should be completed soon.
Pegasus Way Part 2 – Venndown Gate to Halwill Junction.
Devon County Council Rights of Way Team has informed us that the Highway Authority will be working on the road at Venndown Gates, with some buff-coloured high friction surfacing on the A3079 at the crossing point, plus the words SLOW on the approaches on the A3079.
This application was approved but with no access for Horse Riders. South West Riders will continue to monitor and press the Council for Horse Riders to be able to use the route.
Will horses be excluded from next section of Tarka Trail?
Please note that this Application is likely to be considered by the Development Management Committee at their meeting at County Hall, Exeter on 22nd October 2014, please express your views on this before this date following links below.
A planning application has been placed to add a new section of The Tarka Trail, Willingcott to West Down, in North Devon however horse riders are being excluded. This goes against Devon County Council Policy and South West Riders aims for access for Mulit Use on these new Trails.
The full application can be viewed on this Link. They state that because the route crosses a Golf Course due to “perceived difficulties and liabilities associated with the golf course” Horse Riders will be excluded. As many of you are probably aware Horse Riders use routes across different Golf Courses across the Country with no problems, for example, Ashbury, Okehampton, Tavistock, Freshwater Bay Golf Courses etc. Many of us have already lodged our thoughts with Devon County Council. Comments on the Application should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Please also email us with your letter and if you require any help please contact us.