I attended a meeting of the local bridleway group at Hudswell last night and listened to an interesting presentation from Ben Jackson – our local Countryside Ranger. He reminded us of our rights and responsibilities as well as those of the landowners.
We can cycle on any brideway or byway but never on a footpath. We are not allowed to push or carry our bikes on a footpath. We must close all gates and cycle responsibly through private property. We are allowed to leave the bridleway if necessary to get past an obstruction.
Landowners should maintain the stiles and gates in a safe condition. Landowners should keep all hedges and trees trimmed. Landowners should ensure that all bridleways are free of obstructions. This includes illegal signs, electric fences and locked or fastened gates. Landowners must reinstate bridleways in ploughed fields within 14 days. Landowners should never plough headland bridleways. NYCC should ensure that all rights of way are clearly marked.
There are 10,000km of paths and bridleways in North Yorkshire outside the 2 National Parks and only 9 rangers so it is up to us to report any problems and don’t forget to thank them if new bridleways have been created or old ones have been improved.