London riders have noticed a change in local attitude after a bridleway sign was restored in an urban park in Hounslow.
Osterley Park had been undertaking a pathway upgrade for the past year after owners, The National Trust, wanted to make the tracks more appealing to cyclists. Initially there was no mention of equestrians, however, Access Officers, Alice Pinto and Annette Nienhaus, collaborated with the conservation organisation and local council to erect an official bridleway sign, marking the bridleway encompassing the urban park.
Equestrians have been using the route for over 50 years, at times receiving negative comments from other park users who were unaware of the higher equestrian rights. Alice and Annette said: “We’ve worked really hard to ensure the bridleway which we have always ridden remained suitable for equestrian access, and was recognised as a bridleway, not simply a track.
“Having the council erect an official sign is a huge win for us, as it is visual evidence of the access route, and we can point out this sign to anyone negating our right to ride; something that happens sadly quite frequently in our urban area. Already there is a tangible change in local attitude towards horses- for the better!”