Temporary Bridleway Closure – Combe St. Nicholas to Donyatt

The bridleway, Forest Lane and Brooms Lane, path numbers CH 7/22 and CH 11/14, which runs from Combe St. Nicholas to Donyatt, has become impassable due to overgrowth of brambles, poaching around the stream crossing, and a very awkward gate.

We have agreed with the area warden that she is going to close the path until the autumn.  As the path will be officially closed, it places it high up the queue for remedial works.  These works will be commenced in September as soon as the bird nesting season is over.  Starting from the Combe St. Nicholas end, the planned works are:

  • adjusting the latch on the gate going into the field
  • clear the brambles to give a 3 meter width on the section along the field edge that goes down to the stream.  This is heavy clay, and so poached that in some areas the surface is churned up to a depth of over half a meter. Letting more sunshine and air onto the surface, and widening it so the wear will be more spread should help in the long term.
  • creating a sleeper bridge over the stream close to the pedestrian sleeper bridge with guard rails and a suitable surface (the bank is firmer here and it will be away from the area being poached by cattle)
  • moving the awkward gate a few yards back so there is more manoeuvring space and it is not on such an incline
  • installing a short section of post and rail fence above where the stream turns eastwards
  • clearing the path through the spinney
  • repairing or replacing the gate at the bottom of the concrete track by the road

We never like hearing that a path is going to be closed on a temporary basis, but if it means it will be put into better order sooner rather than later, we are happy to support the council. After the path is reopened, it will be added to the list for biannual vegetation clearance.

New Bridleway at Compton Dundon

If any of you have walked or ridden along the new bridleway recently you will have seen how much work was achieved by the Compton Dundon Rights of Way volunteers who cleared some of the grass during September. The newly planted hedge is doing well and few plants were lost despite the extreme summer heat and drought. It has been wonderful to see how much it is being used and to be thanked by the horse riders who seem to be really appreciating it. The bridleway has definitely been a great success.

There is still a short section to finish plus clearing around the line of trees, planting up a small corner and applying some more wood chip mulch. 

We will be meeting on the 13th November at 10.30am (Peak Lane at end of new green lane) to hopefully finish the work which will set it up well for the next year. Bring gloves, spade, trowel or whatever tool you prefer. There will be cake but do bring a drink. 

If you would like to join us  please email info@southsomersetbridlewaysassociation.co.uk

What defines a good path for you?

Natural England has commissioned the Oxfordshire County Council, Systeme D and the University of Oxford to undertake a project to understand the most important qualities that define a good path (e.g. footpaths, bridleways, byways) for different types of uses. As part of this project, they are conducting a survey to collect feedback from user groups across England to identify the top quality metrics for different use types. The results will be openly available and published on greenspacehack.com/.

The survey comprises of 7 questions and should take less than 10 minutes to complete:


Issues on route in Charlton Musgrove


The bridleway near Barrow running from Stavordale Farm to New Park Farm (WN 8/15 and WN 8/16/1) has recently been fenced with barbed wire making it potentially dangerous for horses and their riders.

We would like to hear from you if rode this route before the fence went up, if you still ride it and have experienced any issues since.

Thank you.

Route cleared to Frogmary Green Farm

Thank you to the owners of Frogmary Green Farm who have kindly arranged to have the restricted byway between Fouts Cross and Frogmary Green Farm near Lopen cleared (see the before and after photos below). 

The result is a clear, wide safe path for horse riders and hoof prints suggest that at least one horse rider has used it.

Fouts cross to Frogmary Green Farm obstruction
Fouts cross to Frogmary Green Farm obstruction cleared – thank you!

Knap Hollow: Bridleway near Wyke Champflower

Do you ride in the Castle Cary/Bruton/Pitcombe/ area?

There is a bridleway near Wyke Champflower, running through the lowest part of a big hill near Pitcombe. We’d like to hear from you if you ride this route or if you’d like to ride this route but find it difficult for any reason.

If you have any comments, please contact Ginnie Jones gjones@mbba.org.uk who is kindly leading on this. Thanks, Ginnie!

Knap Hollow

Lydford Lane – restored and being ridden….

Following on from the post on 9th August, the routes at Babcary are already being ridden and proving popular. Below is a photo of the newly cleared and resurfaced Lydford Lane bridleway, complete with the new bollards. Compare this with the earlier photos showing the damage done by 4 x 4s over the past years!

Our sincere thanks to Ginnie Jones at Mendip Bridleways and Byways Association for all her time and effort in achieving this super result and for the reminder that we should take care of the routes we have as well as legally reinstating the under recorded ones!

Photos courtesy of Ginnie Jones.

The newly cleared and resurfaced Lydford Lane bridleway, complete with the new bollards.
Lydford Lane in 2018
Previous illegal use of the Babcary routes.

Thank you to the Compton Dundon Parish Rights of Way Volunteers

The CD Parish RoW Volunteers usually meet on the second Sunday of every month. On the 8th August they met for the first time since March and did a fantastic job of cutting back scrub and brambles to clear Bridleway L7/17, Emblett Lane. Thank you very much from SSBA.

Huge thanks to the Compton Dundon Parish RoW Volunteers for their work to clear the bridleway in Emblett Lane.

Restricted byways and bridleway at Babcary

A huge thank you to Somerset Council and our friend at Mendip Bridleways and Byways Association for organising the surface improvements of Westover lane (light green line on the map below) and Lydford Lane (dark green line). They are now looking great and accessible again for riders, cyclists and walkers. Bollards are due to be installed on the bridleway section of Lydford lane in Babcary to prevent new damage by 4×4 vehicles. Until the work can be done, part of the path will be blocked to protect the condition of the route. A suitable gap will be left to allow access for legal Rights of Way users.