Intrepid members of the Isle of Axholme Bridleways Association (ABA) braved a bitterly cold morning to clear a stretch of overgrown bridleway in East Lound. Equipped with cutters and loppers, they cut down overhanging branches and foliage underfoot to make the path accessible.
Dennis Oliver from Epworth who organised the clear-up said: “It was more like a jungle than a bridleway! Now, thanks to everyone who got involved, it can be safely used by walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders. We are currently scheduling more clear-ups for late spring and early autumn, outside the nesting season, and if people know of a route that is blocked by vegetation or would like to help out, please get in touch. Safety wear and tools are provided.”
ABA isn’t just for horse riders, as its name may suggest. Its members are walkers, runners, dog-walkers and cyclists as well as riders. The group is aiming to reclaim historic rights of way in the Isle which have been lost over the years. This is because legislation in the Countryside Rights of Way Act 2000 states that all unrecorded footpaths and bridleways created before 1949 cannot be recorded after 1 January 2026. Linked to this, ABA is also working towards reopening routes which were once bridleways but over time have been claimed as footpaths. The group takes its maps to a wide range of events, from Epworth Agricultural Show to local coffee mornings, at which members of the public volunteer their information about paths and routes.
ABA meets regularly for social and speaker activities.
Information about ABA can be found at http://www.axholmebridleways.co.uk/ and see Facebook Axholme Bridleways Association.