More off road Horse riding in Hastings and Rother

More off road Horse riding in Hastings and Rother

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Alex Bayley started this petition to Hastings Borough Council and

With yet another horse being killed on the road within the Hastings and rother area, we the undersigned would like to to highlight the lack of bridle paths within the boroughs of Hastings and Rother.

The British horse society have had 2, 570 road accidents reported within the last 6 years, 38 riders have been killed and 222 Horses have died as a result of injury

Records state that between 2018 to 2020 in east/west Sussex there were 885 incidents reported, of which 87 horses have tragically died along with four people. These unnecessary deaths could have been avoided if the borough councils allowed horse riders more access to the land that they own.

There are no statistics stating how many of the above were prosecuted for committing driving offences, it feels that a horse’s and riders’ life is unimportant. When in fact the horse is part of a person’s family, and these deaths should be treated seriously.

As you may be aware East Sussex is a largely rural county with an area of 665 square miles, of which 63.4% is farmland, only 155 miles are for bridle ways allowing horses. The south downs have 66% the rest of East Sussex only 34% and the percentage in Hastings and Rother is so small it isn’t recorded. In Comparison this is extremely low compared to other parts of the country.

Here in Hastings and the surrounding areas we have some beautiful open spaces that would be perfect for bridleways. i.e., Hastings Country park which is over 500 acres, a small equestrian trail was granted I believe in the late 80s. it takes less than half an hour to ride around in a walk and has not been properly maintained. The trees hang so low in places that even on a 14hh pony you have to duck.

East Sussex has the largest population of horse owners, (10.4%) within the whole of England, after researching this information, Hastings and the rother have the lowest access to bridle paths.  This needs to change. Many of the riders who live in Hastings and St Leonards area are ordinary working people who feel they are being discriminated against. Many of us have found that accessing nature-filled green spaces has provided a sense of freedom, helping us to stay healthy and appreciate the area around us during such difficult times.

We request that Hastings and Rother Borough Councils along with East Sussex County council  address our issues and open up more of their land to horse riders.

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