Horse riders need better rural access
Michael Gove’s announcement of a post-Brexit emphasis on encouraging farmers to create more ‘public goods’ in return for subsidies is to be welcomed.
However, although enhancing biodiversity through the new policy has grabbed the headlines, there was also mention of creating better access to the countryside.
Let’s hope this will cover not just walkers but also horse-riders, currently constrained to using the limited number of bridleways for off-road recreational riding (even though many tracks designated as public footpaths are sufficiently robust to take horses).
Much of the existing public rights-of-way network is not fit for purpose because so many bridleways lead to busy roads and are therefore unusable, and, in many places, even rural roads are too fast and dangerous for safe riding.
Riders are therefore constrained to using schooling arenas or small areas around the stable-yards where their horses live.
What is needed are off-road circuits of five to 15 miles where riders can enjoy pleasant hacking from safe parking places.
Riders are happy to put money into the rural economy – but the infrastructure has to exist to make this possible.
Goodwill and sport
Charitable goodwill abounds at this time of the year and I would like to highlight a few of the worthy local projects with links to sport that capture the best intentions of the many people who are content to give their time, effort, and finance for the benefit of others less fortunate.
Carrie Robinson and her friends at Pauline’s Angels Charity have provided a much appreciated Christmas dinner and gifts for the homeless of our locality and, for the past three years, we at Chorley Cricket Club have been happy to support this wonderful venture by hosting it at our club. We have played only a small part in this enterprise as Carrie and her army of volunteers and benefactors have done all the hard work in furnishing a wonderful event.
Dave Keeley and his wife Lynda, members of Chorley Cricket Club, have for many years been associated with Chorley Guide Dogs for the Blind and Lynda has been treasurer. The couple have trained a succession of puppies for the task and have been a regular sight around the town and at the cricket club.
Lynda has fallen seriously ill and Guide Dog colleagues and friends undertook to raise £5,000 in a short time for a puppy, to be named Keeley. Grace, Vanessa and friends at Chorley Guide Dogs have organised many events and are well on the way to the target. Cricket club volunteers and members have hosted a coffee morning and raffles for funds.
Many people give their time, effort, and contributions to worthy causes throughout the year, and it is heartwarming that our club, and also Chorley FC – which undertakes similar activities, including a commendable recent visit by Matt Jansen and his players to Derian House – play a part. Whilst the cricket and football clubs are specialist sporting clubs, they also make a telling contribution to the spirit of community in our town. Happy New Year and good luck to our clubs.
Chairman/Honorary Secretary Chorley CC
Let’s put our city on the map
Come on, BBC North West. I don’t know if my fellow Prestonians have noticed that, at the end of our regional news, when it gives us the weather forecast and shows the North West map, it never highlights Preston – now a city – whereas Manchester and Liverpool are highlighted. In Preston, we have the Lancashire County Council Headquarters. Lancashire Constabulary is placed within the Preston boundary as well. Granada Reports’ weather forecast always highlights Preston. So come on, fellow Prestonians, let’s get onto the BBC about this matter.
Stephen Nalty Snr
Thoughtful update needed
Had you ever watched an old woman struggling to move a battered old suitcase between platforms, and over the staircase, at Preston Station? You would not doubt the need for a thoughtful re-development of Preston station.
‘I could have wept’
For more letters: https://www.lep.co.uk/news/your-say/readers-letters-january-9-1-8954812