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British Horse Society Ride Out UK Month

Throughout May 2017,  The British Horse Society is celebrating smiley horseoff-road riding and the work that their volunteers, affiliated groups and other organisations commit to protecting and extending equestrian routes.

 As well as events being organised by their volunteers, affiliated groups, Approved Centres and British Riding Clubs, The British Horse Society have teamed up with The National Trust to hold five National Trust rides across the UK, with one being held in Ashclyst Forest on the Killerton Estate on 14th May 2017.  Please click here for the poster outlining all the details.  For further information regarding the Rides click here or visit the BHS Website.

Tamar Trails User Info

You may like to know that a Park Run (an increasingly popular national scheme where runners do a set route and get timed) will take place every Saturday morning from 9 till 10 at the Tamar Trails.  This means that the car park will be congested and there will be a lot of runners on a section of the Trails. You may like to avoid this busy time.

If this is the only time you can ride there is very limited parking in the lay-by on the road leading down to Morwellham, off the Gulworthy to Bere Alston road. You can then access the Trails from the Canal Portal and do a linear route.

Rearing HorseBritish Horse Society Leaflet Updates.

The Specifications & Standards of Bridleways leaflet link has been removed as it has be updated.

The British Horse Society have kindly provided the following link .

This provides access to their Free Advice Web Page which contains guidance, information and leaflets.

South West Riders 2017/2018 membership form on our Membership Page.

FINGLE WOODS smiley horse

When South West Riders first heard that Fingle Woods, near Dunsford, Devon,  had been purchased by Woodland Trust/National Trust and that they intended the public to have access, South West Riders contacted them and asked that horse riders would be included.

We are pleased to tell you that they have indeed taken that on board and although they are still marking the trails, riders can ride them now if you feel like exploring.

The woods are open to various user groups so please be aware that you might meet them on the trails and be courteous and considerate.

They would really like feedback from riders so if any of you do ride there, please contact us with your experience and we will in turn pass it on.  We hope you will try and enjoy the vast amount of off-road riding here.  Their Blog can be followed here

Blocked Drain Report on the Pegasus Way.

Drain on Pegasus Way

Drain on Pegasus Way

There is a responsibility on us all and to keep an eye on the bridleways we use. If there is a problem (such as a fallen branch) and we can fix it ourselves then we should try and do so. Sometimes, however, the problem can be too large. The drain in the photos on the Pegasus way was completely blocked with water flowing over the top and seriously eroding the bridleway. South West Riders Safety & Highways Officer, Richard Leonard tried to clear it with drain rods and was unable to do so.

Drain on Pegasus Way

Richard then called in John Baker, the local Bridleways Officer but even working together they were unable to clear it. John then called in a contractor who had to dig the drain out, clear the blockage and reinstate it. A big job but a stitch in time saves nine.

If you are aware of any problems which you can’t deal with then don’t forget to report it direct to The Public Rights of Way Team of Devon County Council, click here for our Access Page. Let us know as well by E mailing on

The blue bridleway signs have a tendency to become illegible with the passage of time. If you are aware of any with this problem let D.C.C. know and they will replace them. 

 Working together we can keep our bridleways in good condition.


The 2015 Self-Closing Gates Trial Research has now been released.  This was conducted by Natural England and in partnership with British Horse Society (BHS).  For further information and to read the comprehensive report please click here.

Please click here to read an recent article printed in the Daily Telegraph regarding losses of Bridleways to Developers.

Please click here to read a recent article printed in The Western Morning News regarding Shooting and Public Rights of Way.

Bowerland Plantation Updates

Further update is Fountain Forestry will be working to clear remaining fallen trees and make the Bridleway fully accessible very soon.

Richard Bowerland WoodsWith the very windy weather of late the Bowerland Plantation has suffered a number of blockages from fallen trees. Frank and Richard have been out in all weathers clearing the majority of the blockages and ensuring that the bridleway has been kept open for everybody to use. There are some trees that need further attention and have been reported to Devon County Council Rights of Way Department.Bowerland Frank

The surface of this bridleway is quite exceptionally hardwearing to all the wet weather and is incredibly useful as everywhere else descends in to a boggy mess. The only damage that is sometimes caused is from heavy four wheel drive vehicles using it. It really is a first rate job and a perfect example of how this sort of thing ought to be done. Many thanks to Devon County Council Rights of Way department

With the weather conditions in mind please do report any blockages etc that you come across with the Public Rights of Way Department, details of how to on our Access Page.

Whilst on the visit the Fire Service provided us with  “How could You help in an Emergency and What Should I Do?” cards.  Please click on the link to read them.

South West Riders committee and members were recently invited by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service to canstock6575092attend a demonstration on the Rescue work they provide regarding horses and associated animals.  This was a very informative and successful visit.

A full report and photos can be viewed by clicking here

We would like to thank Terry Hutchings and his team for such a fascinating insight into the work that they do to.  As a note of interest the Fire Service were involved with a rescue of a horse on Dartmoor near Princetown very recently, please click here to read a full report on The Western Morning Newspaper website.

AImage result for horse head clip art new Membership Form is now available on the Membership page.
Please help support South West Riders by becoming a member, To Help Us Achieve More Safe Off Road Riding.
Thank you.

Granite Way


Please click on the following link – Granite Way – for an up to date leaflet about the route from Lydford to Okehampton. Improvement work is being done on the Lydford to Bridestowe section for easier access for Horse Riders, which is now open.  Please visit our Multi Use page for more routes and info.


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