VIDEO: Mid Sussex bridleway in memory of Lesley given status

A Mid Sussex bridleway named in memory of Lesley Cook, who campaigned for improved access for horse riders, has been given official right of way status.

Lesley’s Path is found on the B2116 Lewes to Ditchling Road. Lesley, who was a member of the Mid Sussex Area Bridleways Group committee, died in 2006.

Members of Mid Sussex Area Bridleways Group next to the bridleway. Picture: Steve Robards

Members of Mid Sussex Area Bridleways Group next to the bridleway. Picture: Steve Robards

Sue Wylde, chairman of MSABG, said: “Lesley mounted a campaign to improve access for horse riders on various stretches of land alongside the B2116 that had been acquired by East Sussex County Council.

“When Lesley died a member of the MSABG committee suggested that a bequest Lesley had made to MSABG should fund signage for this track.

“Everyone already referred to it as Lesley’s Path because she instigated the establishing of the permission and it would be a nice tribute to Lesley.

“The finger post was soon erected, having gained approval from East Sussex County Council and a commemorative plaque was added in January, 2010.

Picture: Steve Robards

Picture: Steve Robards

“The path has now been dedicated by the ESCC Rights of Way team as a full right of way. It is officially known as East Chiltington Public Bridleway 48.

“The brideway will now be available to all non-motorised users in perpetuity. This is great news and let’s hope that riders will continue to enjoy this safe bridleway.”

Since Lesley died the group have given the bridleway a new lease of life. Sue added: “We have been cutting back vegetation and making it possible for riders and people walking with dogs to walk down there, to ensure it is safe for people, and now this hard work means something.”

The B2116 links many bridleways and country lanes where horses are kept and ridden from.

Picture: Steve Robards

Picture: Steve Robards

The result of Lesley’s efforts was the licence arrangement for a permissive path on the corner of the B2116 and Novington Lane for the MSABG to manage the track and keep the vegetation cut back. A permissive bridleway was then created and sign posted.

The MSABG is an independent voluntary organisation, which was formed in 1978.

The group operates between the River Adur in the west, the River Ouse in the east, and Balcombe to the north; covering 300 square miles and includes approximately 140 miles of bridleways.

They aim to protect and improve the bridleway network in Mid Sussex for horse riding, walking and cycling and have a committee of elected members and a set of rules by which the group operates.

To find out more about MSABG, or to become a member visit www.midsussexbridleways.org.uk