Bridleways crossings of Cricket Hill Lane
"I, along with other riders, have been told the only way improvements will be made or signs put up to warn drivers is if there is a fatality."
" I am so glad Lilly is as close to rocket proof as they come!"
Says Sarah Palmer
I'm an experienced Happy Hacker with a heavyweight 15.3hh 18 year old Clydesdale Cob mare - Lilly. We have a lovely selection of places to ride including commercial forests, reclaimed gravel lakes and the heathland & commons.
Unfortunately multi-landownership of public space has led to decades of neglect of the bridleways, some have been officially diverted decades ago, others unofficially diverted by riders when the proper paths became too neglected or dangerous to use.
Triangle Entrance from Cooper's Hill -
A nice big pull-in off the road, perfect for fly-tipping and 'courting couples'!
The landowners have to contend with illegal gypsy encampments, motorbikers and quad bikes as well as fly-tipping so they don't have an easy job. And that's before we get on to the subject of rare flora and fauna! On top of those challenges, riders have to deal with lots of dogs being walked, kite flying, go-karts and airport traffic so the airport side of the common is not for the faint-hearted and I think this contributed to the lack of use and subsequent loss of use in the past.
The current generation of riders from my side of the common are nearly all mounted on sensible cobs, which I think is why we're having a resurgence of interest in the rights of way and looking to go further afield which necessitates the horrible road crossings.
Bye-bye knees - bridlepath 14. Another pedestrian gate fitted on a bridlepath entrance, this time to the entrance of bridlepath 14 on Coopers Hill, Up Green, Eversley >>
Hampshire County Council make reference on their website to the horse-riding opportunities in the district but have a very hands-off approach to their duties in the North of the county (we never hear about these problems happening in the New Forest!). I have periodically raised assorted access and road safety issues over the last six years to Yateley Town, Hart District, Eversley Parish and Hampshire County Councils, on the whole to no avail. They don't seem to want to acknowledge that the more paths we have open and the better the crossing are the less erosion per any one area will occur.
The Busta Triangle crossings and the Cricket Hill crossings are notoriously difficult, even during the weekends and I, along with other riders, have been told the only way improvements will be made or signs put up to warn drivers is if there is a fatality. Not wishing to be a sacrifice for the cause I thought maybe mounted footage might be a sufficient alternative and thankfully it appears to be working. It's not a technique I'd recommend though as it's very 'dicey' to be stood at a busy junction with just one hand on the reins.
Welsh Drive Gate on Butser Triangle -
The new approach to the Welsh Drive opposite Bramshill forest.
The above photograph shows the difference after improvements to the visibility splays. I wish I could take credit for it (even if the darn gate is too close to the road!) but sadly my campaigning had nothing to do with it - it was a commercial decision to benefit the forestry who are logging there now.
Plane spotting Pony - Contrary to popular belief horses aren't that worried about light aircraft . I rode off the beaten track to get this little video, in which you can see a light aircraft on Blackbushe airport taking off. Lilly thought it so exciting she had to eat the hedge ..."