Some occasional musings on mountain bike rides and walks in North Yorkshire, with odd bit of discussion on mapping technology thrown in for good measure
If you have read this blog, you'll know I take an interest in local rights of way issues. Dead end bridleways are a particular pet hate of mine. For various reasons, when the rights of way were recorded in the 1950s, stuff got left off or wrongly categorised. Sometimes this means you have a right of way which stops in the middle of nowhere, yet an obvious path or track continues, as somehow only part of the route was recorded. These anomalies are annoying, as it means that the remaining section of right of way is fairly useless, unless you want to ride to the end and turn back.
In the National Parks, the rights of way people are sympathetic towards these issues, and will help try and correct any errors, if it can be proven that there was an error. Generally, the North York Moors are have very few dead end rights of way compared to the surrounding area, but one of two anomalies remain.
The particular bridleway I'm talking about starts at the A171 near Whitby, between Hawsker and the junction with the B1416 (OS grid ref NZ 924 052) and heads along the edge of the moor, in a south-westerly direction, crosses over the road to Fylingthorpe at Brow top, and then carries on in the same direction to a point near Partridge Hall farm (NZ 931 043) where the right of way ends, where it joins a footpath. However, a reasonably good track carries on in the same direction, to join a BW at NZ 933 040. It's fairly probably that the actual route used by horse drawn traffic, didn't just stop where the bridleway ends (as there is no 'destination' it serves), but carried on along the track to join the other bridleway.
So, if you are a local horse or bike rider, who has previously used this track, or you can produce some evidence of others using it, please get in contact with me, or directly with the National Park Rights of Way people. Any evidence of use can be used to allow a right of way to be recorded (or rather correct a previous error). With a new bit of bridleway, it would allow local riders to form some new routes, and avoids the busy and hideously steep hill at Brow Top, which has easily got to be one of the toughest hills in the area, other than Chinney Bank in Rosedale.
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