Riders in Cambridgeshire are fighting for an official right of way along a riverbank.

Supporters of the new bridleway include Wicken, Burwell and Swaffham Prior Parish Councils, The Fenland Bridleways Association and many local landowners.

But ramblers, villagers and boat owners have objected to the plans, put forward by Cambridgeshire County Council, due to fears that their enjoyment of the river will be spoilt by horse dung.

The East Cambridgeshire Ramblers’ Association has written to the county council to object, fearing that “they (horse riders) will completely ruin and foul the whole area, leaving the usual mess.”

The bridleway would run between Upware and Wicken. Part of the route is currently a public footpath and enjoys frequent visits from ramblers, school children and bird watchers.

The final decision is now in the hands of a government inspector who heard both sides of the argument at a public inquiry.

A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesman said: “There is certainly a need in the area for a bridleway but we understand the concerns of the objectors and we will wait to see what the inspector decides.”