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The Saga of Seanor Lane and Timber Lane in North East Derbyshire

19 Feb 2019

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Local riders are celebrating after finally getting this route re-opened to equestrians after 11 long years.

The historic green lane is thought, by some, to be part of a route connecting Chatsworth House and Hardwick Hall, passing by the ancient woodland known as Broomridding Wood.  In more modern times it provided local equestrians with a safe off road link to the multi-user Five Pits Trail, especially for those keeping their horses at a livery yard on Seanor Lane.

Most of the route falls within the Parish of Pilsley and was recorded as a footpath on the Definitive Map, the other part falls within the Parish of Ault Hucknall where it was recorded as an adopted non classified highway on the List of Streets.

The story unfolds as such:

2007 -   A gate was locked prohibiting equestrians, to be replaced at a later date by two pedestrian gates at either end of a pasture field and official council footpath signs fitted.

2009 March -   Local riders submitted over 34 user evidence forms with a claim for bridleway status showing continuous equestrian use of the route over a 20 year period from 1987-2007.

2012 Jan/Feb -   Informal consultation was held by the County Council.

2013 October -   The Report to Committee recommended that an Order be made for part Restricted Byway and part Byway Open to All Traffic since historical higher rights existed but many objections were received so the case was withdrawn for further consideration.

2014 -   Local resident and rider Julia Hardy, started lobbying local councillors, the County Council and latterly, her MP (September 2017), to get the route re-opened to equestrians as no further action seemed to be happening.

2017 January -   The BHS Derbyshire Committee became involved when local equestrians’ predicament came to light and enquiries were made as to why the case seemed to have gone ‘cold’.

2018 February -   After many more delays a new order is made and, thanks to the persuasion of the PRoW Legal Services Officer, people withdrew their objections.

2018 March -   The Order is confirmed!

2018 October -   A letter from the County Council is finally issued to the landowner authorising the replacing of the pedestrian gates with gates suitable for equestrians which the BHS Derbyshire Committee has offered to help fund.

2018 November 12 -   The cattle are removed from the pasture for the winter meaning that the new gates can be installed.

2018 December 31 -   Julia Hardy takes her first ride up the newly opened route on Madison.

Julia has mentioned that she is very grateful for the support she received from the local BHS Access Team and their tenacity in resolving the case.

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