Deal made following concerns about horses being ridden along stretch of river (From The Advertiser Series)
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Deal made following concerns about horses being ridden along stretch of river
2:51pm Monday 21st October 2013 in News
AGREEMENT has been reached between the owners of community land on a stretch of river bank and local horse riders after complaints from anglers and other users.
The area, on the river at Gainford, near Barnard Castle, was acquired by the village's millennium green trust in 2000 for the benefit of all residents and visitors.
However, problems arose earlier this year when complaints were made to trustees about horses being ridden away from an agreed bridlepath, on beaches and up and down the river.
Trust chairman Tony Sillars told this month's Gainford Parish Council meeting that until earlier this year, very few horses had been ridden in the area.
“Then we received quite a few complaints," he said.
"There was a woman pushed off a path and another who had quite a nasty fall trying to get out of the way of a horse."
Mr Sillars said the problems had been exacerbated by unconnected reports of mopeds, motorcycles and quad bikes being ridden in the area.
Mr Sillars said meetings had been held with representatives of the local horse riders and the British Horse Society.
Talks were also held with Durham County Council's rights of way officers and the Environment Agency.
It was agreed for horse riders to only use the path leading down to the rive and, after being told of the river's importance as a fish spawning ground, it was also agreed horses would not be ridden up or downstream.
Signs highlighting where horses can be ridden will be put up in tack rooms and on the path.
“I think the attitude shown by the horse riders was absolutely commendable,” said Mr Sillars.
He said the trust was also determined to tackle the problem of mopeds, motorcycles and quad bikes.
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