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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Cumbria’s first bridleway link created in Eden Valley

Cumbria is about to have its first recognised route of bridleways thanks to a grant and generous donations from equestrian organisations.

Riders, cyclists and walkers will be able navigate their way through the Eden Valley Loops thanks to a project led by the Cumbria Bridleways Society and the Cumbrian branch of the British Horse Society.

The 135km route runs from Kirkby Stephen to Ullswater and meets up with the Pennine Bridleway.

It contains five loops so people can either try the whole length, which would take about four days, or break it off into sections.

The bridleways already existed but this is the first time they have been linked together and promoted as an attraction.

The works, which have included some maintenance and production of a special waterproof guidebook, have been partly paid for with a £18,500 grant from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Matching funding was obtained thought charity events and donations including £1,000 from the Cumbrian branch of the British Horse Society

Jay Parkin, Cumbria Bridleways Society committee member, said: “It’s very good news and it won’t just benefit riders it will benefit cyclists and walkers as well. A lot of walkers and cyclists like bridleways because they don’t have styles.

“It will also hopefully be good for tourism, equestrian or otherwise.

“People will stay in bed & breakfasts and spend money in the villages, it could be a boost for the local economy.”

Ms Parkin added that if the Eden Valley Loops prove popular they could be extended.

Alison Roper, from local trail riding company Stonetrails, said: “This is a massive step towards promoting the Eden Valley for horses.”

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