Council honoured for horse routes

DERBYSHIRE County Council has been honoured with an award from the British Horse Society for its work in opening up routes for horse riders.

The county council’s countryside service has worked with local riders to plan access to traffic-free bridle paths and secure parking for horse boxes and trailers at the county council’s country parks.

Rangers, with the support of Councillor Chris Jackson, have made access to country parks easier and safer for riders and horses.

Councillor Jackson attended the recent ceremony at Saddlers’ Hall in London and was presented with the Access Award by BHS president and Doc Martin actor Martin Clunes.

Lynn Bowler, a horse rider from Wingerworth who regularly uses the bridle paths at Derbyshire County Council’s Grassmoor County Park, worked with Derbyshire County Council on designing the barriers and praised the council’s work.

Mrs Bowler said: “The county council is always very keen to get the horsey-person’s perspective and go out of its way to consult riders about their needs, rather than assuming what will work. I’ve been very impressed with the way Derbyshire County Council works.

“It’s very reassuring to have somewhere safe to park my horse box and safe to ride off-road.”

Riders are issued keys for country park barriers so that they can park their horseboxes and trailers in a secure car park.

Councillor Simon Spencer, deputy leader of Derbyshire County Council and cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We’re very pleased our improvements to country parks have gained the recognition of both local riders and the British Horse Society.”

A spokesman for the British Horse Society said: “Derbyshire County Council’s work in the interests of local equestrians is both greatly appreciated and most certainly deserving of this award.”

To receive a copy of the Horse Ride Derbyshire leaflet showing suggested riding routes and trails around the county please Call Derbyshire on 08 456 058 058. Alternatively, download the Horse Ride Derbyshire information by visiting www.derbyshire.gov.uk and searching for horse riding. You can also email countrysideservice@derbyshire.gov.uk.