On Sunday 17 November, the first organised riding of the new Rainford Loop took place. The ride, organised by BHS members on Merseyside, saw 14 riders setting off to complete the ten miles of mainly off-road riding.
This new route, which has been made possible through surface improvements to the Rainford Linear Park, and the re-opening of the route to equestrians, follows a year of works led by St Helens Council, supported by the Rainford Parish Council and financed through the Department of Transports’ Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
Taking three and a quarter hours to complete in walk this new loop follows old railway lines, country lanes and paths to create a safe and largely off-road route throughout. With the Rainford Ex-Servicemen’s Club providing the parking for boxes, as well as a warm welcome for riders and their horses on their return, this new ride is sure to prove a valuable and well used addition to the riding routes available in the North West of England. The organisers now plan to make this an annual event.
Meanwhile, bridleway improvements continue elsewhere in the St Helens and Halton Boroughs with a new multi-user route opening in summer 2014 linking various of the old Lancashire coal pits in the Bold Forest area.