As of 1 August Philip Hackett, Access and Bridleways Officer (ABO) for West Devon has taken over as County Access and Bridleways Officer (CABO) for Devon from Jenny Parsons.
Philip has been a volunteer Access and Bridleways Officer for seven years and was previously Chairman of South West Rides, a BHS affiliated group which promoted the Pegasus Way and works tirelessly to develop off road riding opportunities. He sits on the Devon Countryside Access Forum (DCAF) and has been active in trying to encourage Devon County Council to truly embrace multi-use on its cycleways over the last ten or so years.
Philip is keen to acknowledge the work carried out by Jenny, commenting: “She will be a hard act for me to follow and we all owe her an immense debt of gratitude for all the work that she has done as our CABO for many years.”
Jenny will remain as ABO for Mid Devon and is happy to continue with her invaluable research work, in particular for lost ways, which is her forte.
Philip hopes to raise the profile of access for equestrians in Devon and wants to encourage grassroots involvement of members by asking them to report issues to their local ABOs. He would like to encourage riders to report issues and would like to build a network of riders across the county so that when modifications to Public Rights of Way are received, riders who either live in, or ride in a particular parish, can be used to inform replies to consultations from Devon County Council.
The issue of multi-use of cycleways is high on the agenda. Devon’s policy is to promote horse riding on cycleways where appropriate. Currently additional routes are being opened up, for example the Granite Way on the north western edge of Dartmoor, and the Wray Trail which follows the disused branch line between Mortonhampstead and Newton Abbot. However despite the County Council acknowledging that most of the cycle trails are currently being ridden, the policy has not yet caught up with the extensive unofficial usage of certain routes by riders!
Contact details for all of the Access and Bridleways Officers in Devon can be found on the BHS Devon section.
The British Horse Society is a large equestrian voluntary organisation. Volunteers help us with the delivery of our work at a local level. If you would be interested in getting involved please contact your Regional Development Officer or Nation Director.