Two applications have been approved in West Cornwall which will see the area benefit from new bridleways and routes for horse riders thanks to the Paths for Communities Scheme, managed by Natural England.
The first successful scheme has stemmed from a joint project between the BHS and BHS Affiliated West Penwith Bridleways Association, and is located in St Euny Well, near Lands End. Funding of £21,000 has been given here to create 200m of bridleway at either end of an already existing bridleway. For many years the non-definitive section of the route had been very difficult to use as the path passed over a very boggy area, where horses could disappear up to their knees in the mud in winter, and so the funding enabled the completion of sections of alternative route and improvement of the existing path, making it passable for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
The second project was on a much larger scale and came about after the National Trust at Penrose Estate got in touch with Adrian Bigg, Regional Access and Bridleways Officer for the South West and Chairman of the West Penwith Bridleways Association, regarding expanding access with P4C funding. The National Trust’s initial plans, as well as some bridleways, included a footpath with permissive cycle access on a major route already used by horse riders on a permissive basis. Adrian therefore put forward more bold and inclusive plans to Mike Hardy the National Trust manager so that horse riders were fully provided for.
Mike Hardy developed these proposals further and the partnership proved fruitful, with the final plans providing 10 miles of definitive bridleways and many completely new constructed paths and useful connections to local communities and county roads.
The schemes are scheduled for completion by the end of February.
The Paths for Communities scheme was set up to enhance the network of Public Rights of Way (PROW) in England, in order to deliver benefits to rural areas. Local community partnerships were eligible to bid to Natural England for funds under this scheme. The aim of P4C is to encourage and support local communities to provide new public rights of way.