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Author Topic: Bridleway 19  (Read 59530 times)
« on: November 04, 2014, 11:50:11 AM »

There is a new 'spec' for resurfacing the bridleway from Cannon Court to Long Lane:

The proposed surface specification is as follows:

1.  Excavate a trench 4m wide, 300mm deep, 420m long between points A and B on the location plan.
2.  Lay and compact 200mm as-dug chalk
3.            Lay and compact with a slight central camber 100mm limestone scalpings, topped with 5mm limestone dust
The works are proposed to be undertaken between Mid-July and Mid-August during the cropping window and are expected to take 5 days to complete.

If anyone wishes to comment, the contact is once Andrew Fletcher at RBWM and he needs feedback by 14 November 2014.

Personally, I feel that this is completely out of keeping with the location and does very little to make the bridleway the attractive route it once was for riders in the area.  It looks very much as though passage by farm vehicles is the main objective here and not the reinstatement or safe passage of horses and riders.
James Hatch
Golden Hatch
Posts: 2345

« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2014, 03:19:08 PM »

Sorry that won't work! In the days when Edward Chaplin was farm manager at White Place Farm, he got the bright idea that he would paved a cattle walk ways between the milking parlors and the pasture. Right from the start it became a mire as soon as it rained. I wonder who thought up this hair brain scheme?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2014, 09:43:24 PM »

Thank you Paris for highlighting this.

This has been an ongoing issue for a long time. What a shame our bridleway officer has made no attempt to highlight this latest offering to users involved in the initial consultations. It must be about 1 year since I last heard of the plans to surface the bridleway with wood chippings over tarmac, supposedly to be maintained on an ongoing basis at taxpayers expense. One can only assume the lack of communication on the matter is deliberate. There were lots of objections at the time but nothing more happened and it all went quiet.   

Needless to say I think the latest plans are yet again totally unsuitable as a surface for horses (... and even the supposed cyclists, wheelchairs and pushchairs the council suggested as other valid users.......lets hope they keep the hedge clear of those flapping plastic bags.... my horse might spook).   
Jr. Member
Posts: 68

« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2014, 10:30:11 PM »

The situation on this bridleway is going from bad to worse, or the sublime to the ridiculous.

Last year Andrew Fletcher, the highways officer at RMWM, stated that the southern (Canon Court) section of the route would be covered and MAINTAINED with a woodchip surface no less than 5mm in depth. This had to be done as the surface was changed without permission from RBWM. The landowner pleaded ignorance of this issue at the time. He has since been educated.Undecided

That was back in the summer of 2012 and in September 2012 I have an email from Andrew Fletcher stating that "following negotiations with the Council then landowner a soft surface was laid over his farm track to make the track easier to use for horse riders. The Council is monitoring the condition of this path and I am seeking views from the users of the bridleway about the new surface"

The surface wore away within a couple of months, as many people predicted and nothing has been done to rectify the situation as was promised. The track resembles a tarmac road.

Now the landowner is seeking permission to resurface the northern (Long Lane) end and RMWM is seeking comments (if you are lucky enough to get included). They state that they have complains about the Long Lane end being muddy. Well what a surprise, a field is muddy! When pushed for evidence, Andrew Fletcher reports the council have had 3 legitimate complaints in the last 14 years about this track, (one every four and a half years), but apparently this is deemed serious enough to squander taxpayers money in the re-surfacing and on-going maintenance of the path.

Horse owners in the area do not have a problem with a muddy track, if we did we wouldn't ride anywhere.

The chalk surface they are considering is one of the most slippery dangerous surfaces they could possibly come up with. It beggars belief.

But the most jaw dropping thing about this whole fiasco is that in my last email from Andrew today he states, "the decision was made to concentrate on the issues experienced along the northern section rather than pursue surfacing of the southern section at this time".

So to summarise, they are ignoring putting the track right that has already been resurfaced incorrectly, and now want to concentrate on spending money on re-surfacing a track that they have had NO complaints about, and everyone is happy with, to a dangerous, out of keeping, and expensive surface.

If anyone believes any of these statements to be invalid, please come forward. If you want to ask the council to explain this turn of events, please contact Andrew Fletcher, Highways Officer, RMWM on

« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2014, 08:18:49 AM »

This all sounds so very typical of RBWM council ....
(note, I use a small c as my rating for them registers zero on a scale of zero to 100).

Their mindless ignorance of public concern is staggering and their persistence in doing
things their way is mind blowing.

I too have issues (far too long to bore people on here) with RBWM planning, refuse
and customer services departments ..... and trust me, I seldom, if ever, complain -
but the fact is, they drive my patience to absolute distraction.
Just one case in point - the "Boaties' Bins" on Bell Rope meadow  .... enough said.

I wish you all well with the bridle path ... though I sadly fear for the worst.
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2014, 12:10:13 PM »

Thank you Merlin.

I very much hope that we will succeed, but in all my years I have seen this particular landowner ride roughshod all over the rules with barely a murmur from the council.  (Like you I don't do them the honour of a capital c because of their ineptitude.)

I also hope that like myself, other local riders who initially got involved in this fight find out about the latest proposal before it is too late.  I, by chance, happened among an email in a little used email account so could easily have missed the opportunity to respond.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 02:45:54 PM by Paris » Logged
Cookham Webmaster
Hero Member
Posts: 1253

« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2014, 01:37:58 PM »

A map of the plan is available at

Comments that you might have about this proposal must be in by the 14th November 2014.

If you have any questions or comments contact Andrew Fletcher

Andrew Fletcher
Public Rights of Way Officer
Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
Town Hall, St. Ives Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1RF
Tel: 01628 796122
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 01:42:04 PM by Cookham Webmaster » Logged
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2014, 10:15:46 AM »

The plan has been dropped.

Unfortunately there is no plan to reinstate the bridleway to its original condition, but no further works are to be carried out and it will remain in it's current state.
Jr. Member
Posts: 68

« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2015, 11:51:37 AM »

Hi all,

Really sorry to have to raise this issue again, believe me I wish the whole sorry episode would be over and done with, but riding the track today, I saw a notice posted on one of the trees alongside the track.

It politely asks walkers and horse riders to stay on the track and protect the crop (fair enough) but then goes on to say.....

"if you would like the north end (Long Lane) end to be upgraded to the same surface as the southern end please send your comments to Andrew Fletcher" and then gives is email address. There is no invitation to voice your comments if you don't want to see it changed, and the use of the word "upgraded" I find to be very misleading, most certainly for horse riders.

I believe the landowner is trying to canvas enough support to hard surface the whole track again, even though this has been expressly forbidden by RBWM.

On past experience if comments for both sides are not sent to Andrew Fletcher, he will argue that the over riding opinion is that there is support to change the surface.

Please, please can you voice your coments, once again to Andrew Fletcher at and let others know.

Many thanks.

« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2015, 11:09:31 AM »

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.  I agree with you, it would very much appear like someone is trying to pull the wool, especially as there are fewer walker and even riders about at this time of year.  It's a bit difficult to raise a comment if you've not walked or ridden that way owing to the recent cold weather that has kept many people indoors or not riding out.
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2015, 10:01:08 AM »

My Email previously sent to Mr Fletcher concerning the Bridle Way:

Evening Mr Fletcher,
I have been forward the attached recent proposal in regards to a bridleway affectionately known locally as ’The Pig Track’.
I see there is yet another proposal to change this surface, following another surface not working.

1.            Excavate a trench 4m wide, 300mm deep, 420m long between points A and B on the location plan.

2.            Lay and compact 200mm as-dug chalk

3.            Lay and compact with a slight central camber 100mm limestone scalpings, topped with 5mm limestone dust

I have a concern that not only is the path being widened, but the idea of having a slight camber with the use of limestone scalping’s and limestone dust is potentially dangerous to horses/ riders and walkers. This type of surface will become slippery in the wet winter months and hard under hoof and foot in the summer months.

I understand you are the RBWM’s representative for local bridle ways and public rights of way. Therefore I am rather surprised that a well-known bridle path is allowed to be altered yet again with another proposed experiment.

What happened to good old fashioned dirt, at least this way, the ground would correct itself as nature intended, and provide a natural environment for riders and walkers.

There is no longer a good straight stretch of ground, to allow a safe controlled up-hill ‘canter’ where riders can exercise their horses freely, meaning we are all being pushed of what was a bridle path, to having to use the edge of the farmers field.

I would suggest that the surface would be returned back to its natural state.

In the meantime, should you like to get a feel of what I am imagining this new proposal to feel like under foot, perhaps you would like to walk up the chalk path by Cock Marsh and also the Chalk Pit in Cookham Dean. I believe this would provide you with an idea of what will happen, should this resurfacing be allowed to take place.

I personally would ask the Farmer to return the bridle path / right of way, back to it’s original state, and stop trying to turn it into some form of highway.

Very best regards
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2015, 11:23:26 AM »

Good email jumpinjackflash.

This particular landowner, that some of us in the past have been accused of 'bashing' really should know better.  I really do not understand why the council are letting him get away with not only changing the surface to start with (without planning permission) and then taking up so much of their time and council tax payers money by continually attempting to get what he wants by whatever method he chooses.  It is about time the council put their big brave pants on, stood up to him and told him to stop wasting council funds and that he must re-instate the surface as it once was or be held accountable for his actions.
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2015, 11:59:07 AM »

The council should listen to those that 'vote' them in, and not side with particular land owners.
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2015, 12:32:50 PM »

Agreed, and have you seen the huge poster that has appeared on that landowner's fence at Cannon Court.  If the person pictured comes knocking on my door I shall be sure to have words (though much good it may do) about what he is being allowed to get away with, and I'm not sure she can count on my vote either!
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2015, 08:56:47 AM »

Seems I will have to walk my dog and take a look at the poster on the fence, to ensure she does NOT get my vote!..

What I don't understand is, why councillors are not trying to protect the local area. Fields, Paddocks, old farms, buildings are what make Cookham, Cookham-Rise and Cookham-Dean desirable places to live.

Its okay for these land owners to keep building and making their money, because they go move out of the area and go and ruin another corner of the UK. Its us that have to live here with the rubbish they have left standing behind!
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