An appeal has been launched to raise funds to support a judicial review of public inquiry on access after substantial costs were awarded against the British Horse Society.

Alan Kind, backed by The Byways and Bridleways Trust, appealed against a local authority’s decision to downgrade a bridleway near Richmond, North Yorkshire.

The landowner over whose fields the bridlepath crossed had made access particularly difficult for horse riders by building a wooden style across the boundary. He claimed the path was virtually unused, and on hearing evidence, the local authority downgraded the bridleway to footpath.

As Catriona Cook from the BHS explains, the downgrading of the path wasn’t a problem in itself – but the court’s decided to award costs against the BHS.

“We accepted the court’s decision to downgrade part of the bridleway. We are always fighting these types of cases and unfortunately we lost.

“However, the most worrying outcome was the decision to award costs against us. Already, severalpeople have pulled out of campaigns to stop bridleways being downgraded, but if we don’t stand up against these things, we won’t ever get anywhere.”

Costs for the appeal already stand at £3,000, so, with an initial target of £50,000, an appeal fund has been launched to cover this judicial review and to provide assistance to other volunteers who work to keep rights of way open to riders.

For more information contact Catriona Cook (tel:01723 870333) or click here to send her an email.

To make a donation to the fund send a cheque or postal order made payable to BBT Jack Lane costs appeal, Burgate Farm, Harwood Dale, Scarborough, YO13 0DS.