Riders take to the beach to boost access rights

  • Riders will be joining cyclists, canoeists, climbers and walkers at Brean Down on the North Somerset coast at noon tomorrow (9 August) to show their support for a coastal access corridor.

    Representatives from the different recreational groups aim to show the government that there is no conflict between their activities, and that they should be allowed a permanent right of access to the English coastline. They want to be able to use beaches, foreshores and cliff tops.

    Mark Weston, director of access, safety and welfare at the British Horse Society (BHS), said he was supporting the government proposal to establish an access corridor on the proviso that it included non-motorised users. As it is currently drafted it excludes riders.

    He said: “A local riding school is sending some riders down to Brean Down to demonstrate that all the activities can get on perfectly well together — just as they do bridleways.”

    He added: “Riders currently only have access to 7% of public rights of way around the coast in England,” and he encouraged all riders to lobby their MPs.

    At 2pm The National Trust and the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) will give a short briefing on the government consultation and what it will mean for the public.

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