Village Web Site Forum

Sunday, August 12, 2007 12:36
Just thought i would ask what happened to the bridleway that ran partly up sutton clough? where are there any bridleways in sutton (excluding the mere few at the extreme end of sutton) all surrounding villages have plenty of routes, we have hardly any bridleways even though we are surrounded by fields and countryside? how can new bridleways be set up as i Know 2 leading members of brideway commitees that can set them up and would do so with permission? I am asking this because i have travelled as far as newsholme dene and lothersdale (on horseback)to find a pleasant bridleway that is through the countryside. Please reply if you have any information as it will be useful. Thanks. gail :)
Sunday, August 12, 2007 17:19
Hi Gail, I am new to Sutton so can not answer your question. However I strongly agree with you. I am a keen mountain biker (as well as a keen walker) and would love to see bridleways around the village and nearby countryside.
Sunday, August 12, 2007 20:26
Thanks Sherby, i am glad you agree. It's good to know other people think the same :) Gail
Sunday, August 12, 2007 22:34
Hi Gail

On the Parish Council page in the local information section there's a June 2006 news item that says...

"New signs for the Clough. There is some dispute over the route of the bridle path which runs through part of the Clough. Until this is resolved the signs cannot be erected as their locations are dictated by this bridle path."

...presumably the dispute is still unresolved! Perhaps a Parish Councillor can give you an update.

Monday, August 13, 2007 08:57
Thanks Paul that will be useful to me :)
Tuesday, August 14, 2007 10:13
any more information ?
Tuesday, August 14, 2007 10:18
noticed on the village plan 2006 for local countryside that the commitee stated they will signpost footpaths and bridleways(thats what most people thought was important). Now yes i have seen footpaths signposted in the village but not one bridleway, is that because there isn't any in sutton? or that they presume nobody wants to ride there bike or horse off a busy road?
Wednesday, August 15, 2007 01:14
Hi Gail,

Paul's link to the parish council minutes read as follows:

"New signs for the Clough. There is some dispute over the route of the bridle path which runs through part of the Clough. Until this is resolved the signs cannot be erected as their locations are dictated by this bridle path."

However the next sentence reads:

"The Council is particularly keen to discourage use of bikes in the Clough and to retain its relaxing atmosphere."

I think this pretty much sums up why there are no bridleways in Sutton!

One of the main reasons I moved to North Yorkshire was to get out on my bike more and perhaps reduce my carbon footprint whilst enjoying the lovely countryside.

Looks like I will have to use the car instead ......... Oh boy, I can almost feel the CO2 levels rising!!
Wednesday, August 15, 2007 07:36
The last thing the Clough needs is mountain bikes bombing up and down churning deep ruts in the pathways and grass areas and endangering life and limb of others. Most mountain bikers by nature can't ride at a moderate speed and treat evry bit of land as being there for their own personal challenge .Have any of these Councillors promoting its use as such visited the Chevin at Otley and seen the damaged caused ?If you want peace and quiet Sherby stick to the multitude of of quiet back roads in the area

Lest anyone thinks I am anti cycling - I have been a ROAD cyclist since the late 50's and still clock up a moderate 6000 miles per year,all on public roads
Wednesday, August 15, 2007 09:06
On the ordnance survey it shows sutton clough as a bridleway, so horse riders and bikers should be able to use it. "Over 50% of all road accidents involving horses happen on minor roads" So wouldn't it be a better idea to give a chance for riders and cyclists off the roads? There are so many footpaths in sutton but i cant seem to find any bridleways only sutton clough which clearly shows it as a bridleway on the map ( longer green lines or pink )
When Sherby or I want to use a bridleway it doesnt mean a quiet back road, it is not your decision to make. The whole point of a bridleway is to be off road and out of the way of traffic.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007 10:54
I keep my horse in sutton and i agree it would be nice to see more bridleways as i have to use the road so much its nice to be out of traffic and to be safe on a bridleway
Wednesday, August 15, 2007 11:12
Gail you seem to have misinterpreted my comment .If you read it again CORRECTLY you will see I referred to mountain bikers and not horses.The definition of a bridle path/way is fit for riders (of horses).I'm not aware that I made any suggestion that a bridle path was the same as a a quiet back road..Nor did I imply that it was "my decision to make".As a matter of fact I think horses are magnificent animals and a joy to see.One presumes that you would have to use public roads to reach a bridle path anyway

I'm surprised that you being a horse rider find cyclists and riders compatible,I wouldn't like to count the numbers of times I've seen horses skitter/rear/bolt on approach of cyclists

There used to be a sign (not sure whether it is still there) that used to say "horse riders use the ford" (or similar)at the end of the lane which runs down the side of the cricket pitch to the stream so presumably that is or was a recognised route for horses.Perhaps some older resident (Alan or Dennis ?) can elucidate further.

Or perhaps some of the routes have fallen out of use due to the fouling of paths etc as appertains to dogs
Wednesday, August 15, 2007 20:40
I dont mind using the road stan as long as it comes to somewhere i can get some peace off the road. My horse is expierienced as he is older so he doesnt bat an eyelid at anything sudden but it's not worth taking the risk. Sorry if i was a bit harsh in trying to put my point across. i'm glad you like horses :) thats a good thing.
The reason why i would like to find more bridleways is that it would be nice to have a change of scenery rather than continuously walking on road, my aunt used to ride up sutton clough (horse) and come out on the ellers road but im not sure if it is still open as a bridleway? It should be because the ordnace survey clearly shows it as a bridleway. Thanks :)
Thursday, August 16, 2007 00:10
There you are Gail, Stan was only having a pop at me and all other mountain bikers!

I have never endangered the life or limb of anyone whilst riding my bike. Indeed I stopped road cycling over 10 years ago after I was knocked down by a thoughtless speeding driver (on a minor road) and spent a week in hospital and a further 3 months recovering at home from multiple fractures.

Stan, mountain bikers are not inherently reckless people and I would kindly ask you not to generalise. My wife and children often accompany me and we always give horses and walkers a wide berth.

Bridleways are there for everyone to enjoy..............
Thursday, August 16, 2007 08:59
Hi Sherby,
I have never had a problem with cyclists or mountain bikers they always keep at a very steady pace while passing so i wouldn't mind seeing one on a bridleway. They are there for everyone.
Thursday, August 16, 2007 11:37
Sherby ,
Not having a pop at anyone,each to his own in a suitable location.

If you also re- read my original message you will see that I said MOST mountain bikers and therefore did not generalise.You obviously class yourself as one of the minority and from your self description sound to be more of a leisure cyclist on a mountain type bike rather than a "keen mountain biker" who is GENERALLY determined to tackle almost impossible terrain. I can't see the particular attraction of the Clough to dedicated mountain bike riders,it can't be much more than half mile return journey (if that !),unless they are rash enough to cross the stream and ride on the high path on the right upstream path

The gist of my message was that the Clough should remain one of the few areas left of peace and quiet where people can walk their dogs off the lead without bikes racing up and down,in the meantime churning up paths and grassed areas.Nearer home than Otley Chevin one has only to recall before re- surfacing the ankle deep mud and ruts on the lane from the cricket pitch to the main road caused by (mostly) mountain type bikes riding up and down

Sorry to hear about your accident.Touch wood I've managed almost 50 years (including 5 in Central London and suburbs and 10 years racing) without any incident involving cars although crashed many many times at speed, fortunately without serious injury

Thursday, August 16, 2007 13:35
So if your so "keen" not to let this biker ride in the clough you know somewhere else he can ride ?? a bridleway? not a quiet lane a "bridleway" because the clough is the only one there is isn't it ?!
Thursday, August 16, 2007 14:20
Well there's always the 120 miles or so of Leeds and Liverpool canal towpath to negotiate for a start.More or less completely flat and no traffic,was used by horses for a hundred years or so.Would have thought it ideal for leisure cycling with a family

quoting Sherby's reference to the Council feelings :

"The Council is particularly keen to discourage use of bikes in the Clough and to retain its relaxing atmosphere."

Seems I'm not the only one with the same view and I'm pretty sure there's a lot more genuine Suttoners out there agree
Thursday, August 16, 2007 15:38
Stan i think you are very selfish. i hope you know people pay council tax to use the facilities of their village so i don't care what other people think Sutton clough IS a bridleway so i will use it with pleasure for riding my horse :)

And im "SURE" all the other horse riders (from buckstones,harrisons,up the ellers there are a few horses too) would AGREE ! If you are just referring to bikes i don't care but i hope you know that it IS a bridleway so riders,cyclists and current walkers can use it. Even the up to date ordnance survey shows it as a bridleway. The parish may have been keen to discourage the use from cyclists however not many riders or cyclists would agree. "Peaceful!" since when has barking, fighting dogs(not all of them) which i regulary see up the clough been quieter and less frightening than a bike!

Or raving parties that can't be kept under control... If not lets all ride in your garden... if you have one :)
Paul Wilkinson
Thursday, August 16, 2007 15:54
It's good to see lively debate on the forum but please let's not descend into name calling or squabbling.
Thursday, August 16, 2007 16:21
Too right! lets keep it friendly it's only debate, and at the end of the day everyone is entitled to their own opinion :)
Thursday, August 16, 2007 19:02
Well said Paul and Gail. The Clough is a precious part of the Sutton inheritance and environment and if used sensibly with thought for others, can be enjoyed by all. To descend to immature comment is no way to express your point of view. Sensible debate and reasoned argument gets much more attention.
The Parish Council will no doubt have the interests of all residents at heart, not just a minority.
Friday, August 17, 2007 08:39
Thanks Alan. I agree if everyone was sensible and courteous to each other then yes we could all enjoy it :)
Friday, August 17, 2007 11:25
To ...
You may be interested in the definition of a bridle path from Wiipedia pasted below

Bridle path
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about horse trails. For part of the mane where the bridle lays, see bridle path (horse).
For the Toronto neighbourhood, see Bridle Path, Toronto.
A bridle path, also called a bridle road or bridleway, is a trail for horses. They frequently serve as hiking or walking trails as well. Bicycles, on the other hand, are often prohibited. In industrialized countries, bridle paths are primarily used for recreation. However, they are still important transportation routes in some areas. For example, they are the main method of travelling to mountain villages in Lesotho

You may also refer to p15 of the Craven Herald August 10th relating to irresponsible mountain bikers on the Leeds liverpool Canal

nuff said ?????

You also have not read my contributions to this subject correctly.Nowhere have I made any adverse comment about horses or their use of bridle paths.In fact quite the opposite both admiring horses and asking Alan above if he could aid Gail in her quest for somewhere safe to ride her horse,this being the original topic of Gail

Neither have I singled out any particular bike rider and in the case of Sherby he sounds to be more of a leisure cyclist with family than a dedicated mountain biker racing up and down narrow paths

Regarding immature comment, those made regarding cycling are completely irrational.The reasoning being that if they can't ride in the Clough then there is nowhere else to ride.What nonsense. In terms of immaturity Sherby stated that if he couldn't cycle in the Clough he would have to use the car !!!!!! (Though I'm sure he didn't mean it).This is tantamount to saying that if the Clough is opened up to cycling then the whole of their cycling career would be spent riding 1/4 of a mile up the Clough and then back again constantly as there is nowhere else to cycle !.Not very rewarding I might suggest

last comment on the subject except that I hope someone can come up with some suggestions for Gail and that whoever it may be, whether horse rider,cyclist or walker gets as much pleasure from their chosen recreation as I have had out of mine
Friday, August 17, 2007 15:39
Thanks stan may be quite short up the clough for cyclists but the bridleway runs onto the ellers road. Dont think my horse would be bothered if it was a short walk, he would enjoy it more, a change of scnery :)
Nathan Jack Productions
Friday, August 17, 2007 16:07
Can I but in to this 'conversation'! Stan can you suggest some other places to go bikeing then, if we are not to use the clough?! 'cos you seem to think it is a load of nonsense that there is no where else to ride bikes around here!
Friday, August 17, 2007 16:12
You're welcome Gail. Watch out for those cars and try and make sure that dedicated mountain bikers are not allowed to use the link from the Clough to Ellers as a proving ground
Friday, August 17, 2007 17:45
A leisure Not quite!

Stan, my concern is not necessarily with the Clough per se, but rather the lack of any bridleways at all around Sutton. I agree with you that just riding up and down the Clough would be pointless without any further linked bridleways.

As I have said in an earlier post, I am new to this area and love the surrounding countryside, but I have only seen miles and miles of footpaths.

I along with a great many others enjoy the thrill of off-road cycling (mountain biking). If anyone could tell me where the nearest bridleways are I would be very grateful.
Friday, August 17, 2007 19:14
Hi Stan,
Nice to see you are back and in good form. You have certainly entered into the spirit of the debate. Bridlepaths as I understand it were originally meant for horses and foot passengers. Cyclists appear to have now gained access to most public rights of way. Whether or not this should be so is not for me to decide as I may be viewed as biased. My own personal feelings are best left out as I enjoy walking along the Canal Bank. This has now become a hazardous pastime. I may not making a positive contribution to the matter in hand so I will take time out. I could not resist welcoming you back on the scene. At the end of the day it's all good to get the blood racing. Keep smiling.

Saturday, August 18, 2007 12:21
Hi Alan

good to hear from you too on this subject.Your sentences 6 and 7 say it all and on that I rest my case !

Cycling on pavements is illegal due to the danger it presents to pedestrians and can only be exacerbated on footpaths with less traction and braking efficiency.I can state that with a degree of certainty as I was one of the original mud plodders engaged in the early days of cyclo cross racing (forerunner of mountain biking ?) in the late 50's as a means of keeping fit in the winter months.None of the courses were allowed on public footpaths and involved carrying the bike as much as riding it.No such thing as 30 gears in the those days nor extreme low gears designed for "mountains" not footpaths!

Gail, I'm so sorry your perfectly good original topic has been hijacked by a debate on the merits of mountain bikes.Perhaps Paul will let you re - submit and bar any submission other than your request for information on possible new bridle routes.I doubt whether some of the contributors have read your original submission.Good luck in your quest
Saturday, August 18, 2007 13:13
It's ok stan thankyou for your time :) you have been of good help
cheers. Gail
Newton Rigg College
Saturday, September 1, 2007 10:27
Hello all, I have over the last few months watched the appeals for bridle ways with interest.

To give my qualification in this subject I believe I am one of the few, if not the only student to study in depth the evolution of the Sutton Landscape and subsequently its rights of way, as I completed a short dissertation on the linear features of Sutton.

The information provided below should clear up some of the issues being disscused above.

It is fair to say nearly all of the parish’s footpaths evolved as means to travel to between one farm and another then when the footpaths were fixed these routes were opened to all. However interestingly from this authors research it appears most of the bridle ways in the parish are some what suspect.

Before discussing the bridle ways we must understand the historic access required;

This occurrence of single farm tracks with short bridle ways is largely due to the way in which the enclosure system within the village evolved. Until the 1600’s the land surrounding the village was farmed in large medieval fields with occupants of the village working long strips of land and crofts at the back of their houses off the high street. Then for an unknown reason during the 17th centaury piecemeal enclosure of land started (parcels of land being taken from the commons to be used by private landowners) this continued un-till at most 1815 when parliamentary enclosures covered the rest of the parish.

The land closest to the village would have been enclosed first and can be seen in the random, rounded field patterns between the western edge of the village and the Bent Farm. Then as the enclosures pushed free land away from the village, out farms were created. Interestingly in Sutton, on what became the OLD moorland edge, or at the end of the old medieval field lanes such as Crag Lane and Jack Field Lane. As such access routes to these farms could be made from common moorland roads or straight down into the village through private land.

The idea behind a private track is very reasonable as any jointly owned un adopted road round the old Victorian terraces in the village, bears testament to how people fail to work together to maintain a decent passable road surface.

The way people travelled requires examining; usually when travelling between farms people walked, forgoing horses due to the cost (most farmers in the past were poor tenants, who had to weave at home or work in the mills as well as farm to survive) and the valley steep valley side slope coupled with the need to continually be opening gates etc would have made this mode about as quick as walking.
Each farm would also have had its own main access track for carts etc. but would have been a private road so making it hard to declare it a public bridleway as it would only every be farm traffic using it.

The areas historic maps also support this as before the invention of modern OS cartography footpaths were marked with a black dashed line and fp.

These are the most probable reason for the rights of way forming as footpaths apposed to bridleways and can be summarised as:

In Sutton bridle ways exist over the site of old lanes, usually enclosed on both sides, where multiple users required access with horses to individual holdings.

Suttons footpaths largely exist as small un made tracks cutting through enclosure features and open land or over farm tracks where single private parties had right to access with horse. Most were also used as routes for pedestrians to visit farms or to move from one are to another by foot.


The Clough

The access up the clough was initially created Mr Hartley of Sutton Hall as a private drive and scenic run. This is easily proved as on maps prior to the creation of the Hall the two header dams of Hetton Mill can be seen laying to the E of the beck where the path now runs. Indeed the earth works can still be seen at the middle (concrete) bridge, as the path has been cut through the upper dam wall (this in now covered in laurel and other under story). Meaning that the bridle way that now exists up the clough is an entirely new affair created some time after the 30’s when the lower portion of the clough was given to the village.

As to the portion of the bridleway that runs up the hall drive (between the Gate Way and the Dog Bridge) Miss D. Riley has stated that this access was provided as permissive access up the private road. So the occurrence of a bridle way on the track requires further research.

Historically there have only ever been three real ways in the clough, the first to be detailed the original footpath from Bankfoot farm to Wood Vale and the other farms in that area. This was always a footpath and when the Clough was part of Sutton Hall an Iron rail fence similar to the bellows bridge ran across the width of the wood to keep the public out. This then went to the eastern edge of the wood in to the felid below smelt mill brow, and on smelt mill brow lane. This is now where the bridleway up the Clough now runs turning north to meet the Ellers. The problem being that historically this was not a bridleway so the gates are for pedestrians and the path is not made.

This route also raises an interesting point, to reach the Little Clough (the South Eastern upper branch) no right of way actually exists in the wood, the proper way is up the field and back down smelt mill brow, this is why there is no stile in the broken down wall at the Fairy Bridge.
In a way a bridleway down smelt Mill Brow makes sense; there are several farms leading off the track so public access would be required to the lower farms. However this would also serve to highlight why most bridleways are dead ended or were declared footpaths as when the second to last house is reach the last part is then private access so the pubic do not need right of passage over it.

While this might not appear obvious at first the smelt Mill Brow track can be observed to continue over the Fairy Bridge (previously a ford) and up what is known as Crooked Lane then up and along the Western side of the Little Clough. This after study appears to be the old access to Wood Top Farm (Clough Head being a newer building) from the old main pack horse route out of the village at Ellers Road. Meaning that the portion through the little Clough was the private access so only classed as a footpath.

The third access route in the Clough has nothing to do with bridle ways but as access in the Clough is being discussed it may as well be mentioned. This footpath is the one that runs up the main Clough on the western side of the beck. I have not fully researched the ages of creation but after discussing with Miss D. Riley, and reading Mr. M. Dickinsons notes on the subject it is most probable that this path was established as the access from the 17 centuary smelt mill to Bankfoot farm then on to the Glusburn Lead mines via the “road” network.

Gaten Lane/Wettings Lane

This is the path that runs up the side of the Church School to the Bay Horse; this is another anomalous bridle way, on maps going back to 1853 these are marked as occupation roads i.e. a road that is only used by people who need to use it to get to their occupation in this case to their land. All though not fully researched in the archives, it is probable Mr Hartley changed this when he had Springfeild Mill built for access to the mill dam (this is very apparent at the bay horse end with the fine cast gate and railings leading along the beckside). However further research is needed on the ownership etc to explain this up grade from occupation lane to bridleway.

Old Lane

This is the path leading from where Bairstows Mill stood to Landis Lunds. This is an unequivocal bridle way. The Route is shown on the 1853 survey as “Old Lane and ford” this was an old access route in to the village possible the predecessor to Sutton Lane. The way was so well maintained as it was in regular use until the middle of the last centaury when workers at Landis Lund and the foundry would use it as a way to walk to work.
The unfortunate part of this bridle way is when it leaves Sutton and North Yorkshire and enter west Yorkshire it stops being a pubic right of way all together. Just show the varying choices made by different authorities.

Green Aden

This bridle way runs along the parish boundary across what would have been until after 1815 open moorland, having been told on several occasions the author believes that this way was cobbled and served as a short cut to Newsholme Dean apposed to walking round the appropriately named “ Long Gate” (Gate usual meaning to walk in historical terms). Its positioning seams rather odd compared to the modern road network but if the map is carefully observed the path leads from the Pole Stoop across the moor. This stoop is an old standing marker stone which would have prior to the enclosures stood at the side of pole road marking the townships boarder, so would have served as a good starting or end point to move over the open moor with. (it was easy to get lost before maps, made roads and wall were made to guide people).

Cranberry Hole

This is another short rather pointless bridle way which is hard to understand any reason for its creation. It stops just out side the opposite end of the farm to where it enters. The logical route for it to continue is up to the pinical but on every map since 1853 this route track has been show but never as any sort of public right of way.

The second alternative is that it follows the footpath that heads East to the Delph Nook. This is another erroneous path invented when the entire system was mapped, as on all the historic maps covering the area up until at least 1935 show no record of this path existing at all.

There are also two possibilities from past as to this status of bridle way; the first is the case of Old Hollin Root, which had an access from Lane top cottage along the lower portion of track to the Cranberry Hole. This access was abandon when the farm burned down and was rebuilt lower in its field making the access from Stubbing Hill more preferable.

The final possible reason is a personal theory based on information found on the 1815 enclosures map the track in question is lightly marked and is named as Smiths Road at Lane Top. This Smiths Road label, then appears again on the boundary between the old and new enclosures in a walled lane. A third label then appears at High Jack Farm in a walled track, but is indecipherable.

The labels appear in small walled sections but no actual route is shown on the 1815 map or any map that has ever been published since. This has lead me to form the theory that “Smiths Road” ran on the moorland side of the pre 1815 piecemeal enclosures which became disused by 1815, when the area was enclosed becoming private fields apposed to open common moorland. A likely suggestion for the use of this route is extraction of quarried materials from the old moors and wasted to the east of Earls Crag which shows heavy signs of disturbance.

(A note on the word road; from my personal study and work edited by A. Wood it has been found that in the past a distinction is made between a lane and a road, lanes existed within pre 1815 enclosures but when the route left cultivated land it became a road. These roads are not the modern sense of the word, but meandering rough tracks that moved their course with use. The course was only finally decided when the moor was enclosed after 1815 with the roads being designed to fit the field and housing pattern.)

Unfortunately none of these offers a satisfactory reason for the bridleway as I have just discussed the possible extensions are long disused or phantoms.


Having evaluated all the bridle ways within the parish of Sutton in Craven, the landscape they evolved in and other factors effecting the classification of rights of way. This author finds the idea of the creation of any new bridleways within the parish would be a very unsound idea from a conservation perspective.

This conclusion is drawn for the following reasons:

1. Historically the parish has not required bridleways as the road and private track system has been developed satisfactorily to allow access by horse to most areas without need for bridleways by those who need it.

2. As bridleways have not been a feature of the historic landscape, their introduction would spoil the character of the area. This would be due to new infrastructure and other capital works required to make them conform to the local historic standard and passable by their intended users.

3. Access within the parish of Sutton is currently a contested subject, many of the footpaths are questionable or cause landowners issue. This coupled with the landowners being unused to heavy use of the linear access or even any use of the new open access land leads to a need for the current access problems correcting before any others are created by designating even more access rights.

4. With the exception of Newsholme Dean and Rivock Edge which have special circumstances, the surrounding parishes are bereft of bridleways. This is other than ones that have been established as a result of multiple users requiring historic horse access over a lane, to change this would change the story of the land making Suttons landscape the odd one out and historical inaccurate.

5. regular passage by bikes and horses is very destructive to soil structure and ground flora on un-made linear paths and ways, causing loss of biodiversit and encourages paths to widen and wander due to erosion and bogging.

As to the public access issue I am a scout leader and as such play an active part in encouraging young people to take part in outdoor pursuits. We regularly use our surrounding countyside and accept what we are given. The area around Sutton is very good for walking, orienteering and climbing but for push biking etc. we find, that as we only live at most 10 miles from one of the countries largest national parks, so we use the facilities it was set up to provided.


Having studied the Newsholme Dean bridal system on a map but with no back ground reading I can offer the following theory for such a wide and branching bridalway network:

The area above Goose Eye is very steep with several farms and old quarries s in the bottom valley and main easily passable roads on the upper less steep slopes of the valley. There is also an easily passable road at Goose Eye. It is most probable the bridleway system had to develop in the complexed formation as to extract stone, access all the farms, their land and the outside world, a common set of tracks had to be created so people were not travelling through each others land disturbing stock etc. due to the main roads avoiding the valley bottom and steep sides.

Why these tracks were not adopted as roads is probably due to the low population and quarry closure, but do not present a case why bridle ways should be a feature of the Sutton Landscapes. This is as a very specific set of circumstances seams to have lead to the need for horse access to this area.
Paul Wilkinson
Saturday, September 1, 2007 12:07
What an excellent, informative article. Many thanks for taking the time and effort to add it.
Newton Rigg College
Sunday, September 2, 2007 16:58
Apologies all

when I discuss the Wettings/Gaten Lane bridleway I mean Greeenroyd Mill (Hartley’s Mill) instead of Springfield. I mixed up two village names (Springfield is the old Bairstows house that stood near the kennels on Sutton Lane).

Also the typos must be forgiven as I typed the article in rather a rush.
Friday, September 21, 2007 17:19
Well I think that Stan just doesnt like mountain bike riders altogether. I am a keen mountain bike rider and have enjoyed riding through the clough numerous times I am not damaging anything or anyone so why can't I?
Any how, how can anyone go up the clough, there are tree's just like there were in the park????
And whats that dangerou's chicane all about at the holme bridge entrance to the park? The bollard's have already been knocked down, so just how long will it be until a child get's knocked down? It would have been safer to close that entrance to the park, or is this too much like common sence.
Sunday, March 23, 2008 16:45
I would just like to point out that there are no signs in the clough stating that bikes are not allowed. I was up there the other day with a friend and cycled past a lady who started shouting "it is not a place for bikes" then her dog came after me and she did nothing to stop it as though she thought it was right.

I do not think that this is fai on the people who want to have fun on their bikes.
Andrew Monkhouse
Tuesday, March 25, 2008 08:37
Gees JW, why can’t women restrain their dogs in the same effortless way they keep their men-folk on a leash !
John Reid
Tuesday, April 1, 2008 12:09
JW, you are right it is not fair on the people who want to have fun on their bikes. I have lived in Sutton all my 36 years. We used to play up the Clough all the time as kids (my Mum hardly saw us through the summer holiday, except for the 'welly' incedent!!) & I never once saw a bike (or a horse for that matter) up there. We wouldn't even take our own up. After a 'few' years away from the bike I am now getting back to it, along with my young family. We do struggle for safe routes around Sutton but I would never take my kids up there (we do walk up there fairly frequently). It is a haven of peace (withstanding the odd barking dog & the annual rave). It's just not suitable for bikes, MTBs or otherwise! If the OS states it is a bridleway then I suppose it is but if you must have your fun, folks on bikes should use their 'common' (something in short supply these days) & go somewhere else, as we do. So there!!
Saturday, April 5, 2008 19:00
You say that but can you suggest anywhere else around here for people on bikes??? and what are you on about using our common?
John Reid
Monday, April 7, 2008 11:26
Hey I'm on your side!!! I wish I could suggest somewhere else for you. If there were somewhere I'd use it myself. As I said I have young children & we also struggle for off road routes. If I'm out on my own I like to get into the 'rough stuff', where suitable. However this is where I have chosen to live & I accept the cycling limitations of the immediate area. We are, however, well catered for in other department (walking, running, fishing, geocaching, etc). If a particular 'service' does not exist within an area it should not be forced through to suit the minority (I'm making the 'minority' assumption on my own experience & not on any hard facts). Im all in favour of improving or adding cycleways etc. if they add value to an area. I do not see that MTBs using Sutton Clough would add value it. Quite the opposite as it happens.
Re. my 'common' statement, I refer to common sense. Something that seems to be residing in St. Thomas' church yard these days.
Denis Pickles
Monday, April 7, 2008 14:50
Careful John! It's not all in St Thomas' Church Yard. It's pretty well shared out! My paternal grandfather had a fair bit and he's resident in the Chapel Grave Yard.
Monday, June 23, 2008 10:37
the issue of bridelways will always be contentious. i enjoy mountain biking, as both transport and recreation. i travel to the other side of skipton regularly, mainly using the towpath as the roads are frankly unsafe for cyclists. having spent 5 years in a wheelchair due to a carelss driver, i may be a little paranoid, but the roads around sutton and beyond, where the large exhaust nova's and citreons fly (on their way up to earl's cragg for a spliff and to leave used condoms...niiiiice) on almost single carriageways is an accident waiting to happen.

as for the clough, if it's a bridleway you can cycle it. it really is that simple. sorry to anyone that thinks otherwise. they are rights of way, for all.

if cyclists are already using the clough for recreation, all welkl and good. i see no signs of over use by the mountain bike fraternity, so what's the problem? i don't think it would ever be used as dalby forest, just by us locals who live here. it's common sense, surely... if everyone respects each others right to use the right of way, by cyclists not tearing into unkown areas, dog walkers learning to control their dogs and clearing up the muck, riders taking their care as well, we can all use what's legally available.

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