Riding school allowed on moor, Middleham town councillors told


A minute’s silence was held at the meeting of Middleham  Town Council on June 22 in remembrance of Cllr Nigel Hopper who died on June 8.

This leaves a further vacancy on the town council. At the meeting Douglas Palethorpe was co-opted as a councillor to fill the vacancy that existed after the elections in May.

Equestrian school. – It was reported that some racehorse trainers had objected to the local equestrian school holding riding lessons on the moor before 1pm.

The council was concerned at the allegedly confrontational approach by some trainers which had upset the children. Cllr Honor Byford said that when the trainers contacted her she had told them that the equestrian school was entitled to access the moor before 1pm without charge.

It was agreed to draft a letter to trainers and the equestrian school setting out the scope for access to bridleways during the times that open access was restricted.

Cllr Sue Fairhurst confirmed from her own observations that cars were very often being driven at excessive speeds when passing the equestrian school and this was causing concern.

Unitary authority. – It was reported that there were concerns about the current lack of knowledge of new organisation structures and potential implications for continuity of service provision when the new North Yorkshire unitary authority  comes into being.

North Yorkshire County councillor Karin Sedgwick said that the key services provided by the district council such as planning and refuse collection would continue with Mercury House at Richmond remaining as the local office for Richmondshire.  At present, she added, there was not a ‘blueprint’ for the likely arrangements.

She assured the council she would take on any of its concerns and she would continue to report back. The town councillors will seek to attend online briefings

The town councillors had some concerns about the possible implications of staff departures from the district council and that there could be reduced scrutiny and accountability when district council and committee meetings were not so well-attended.

Film documentary. –  The council was informed about the proposals for filming community life in Middleham during September.

The filmmaker from The Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University had reached formal agreement with local groups interested in taking part.

Canaan’s Lane. – There was discussion about the deteriorating surface in Canaan’s Lane.  The council felt that residents and businesses along the track should liaise to improve the surface.  It was agreed to write to Mr Haslam as it was the larger vehicles regularly accessing his stables that were the principal users.

The deteriorating condition of the adjoining adopted road at Castle Hill cum Back Lane would be reported to North Yorkshire Highways.

Pinkers Pond. – It was agreed to contact the tree consultant about whether the loose guards around the young trees near Pinkers Pond should be removed or reattached.

It was reported that there had been an increase in camping close to Pinkers Pond but as the weather had been dry few vehicles had become stuck in mud. It was agreed to proceed with an earlier plan to ask Middleham Trainers’ Association to create a mound and trench similar to that near Penhill.

Events. – A trip to Whitby has been booked for the seniors’ coach outing.

The Super Feast Day will be held over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The Middleham  Pleasure Ride on Sunday August 21, organised by Racing Welfare and Hurworth Hunt in agreement with racehorse trainers, was approved by the council.  The Oktoberfest will be on October 1.

Dog waste. –  Rosemary Thompson,  Adam Gray and Cllr Fairhurst were thanked for ‘adopting’ the three dog waste dispensers. They will ensure that the dispensers are restocked.

Next meeting. – Will be in the Key Centre at  6.30pm on Wednesday September 7.


    • The Low and High Moors at Middleham are registered common land that is owned by the Middleham community charity. The Town Council is the charity Trustee. The land is leased by the Council to Middleham Trainers Association to be used for racehorse training. Although it is common land, the Right to Roam does not apply to this land during racehorse training times, currently from dawn to 1pm. This is for everyones safety and is a legal restriction. The Right to Roam only applies to walkers not to horse riders or cyclists. However, the public and permissive bridleways around the Low Moor may be used by them at any time, including during racehorse training hours. We ask and expect that all users of the Moors be sensible, considerate and polite towards each other.

Comments are closed.