New route for horse riders to explore Diamond Wood
A GRANT from the British Horse Society has helped create a new path for horse riders at Rugby's Diamond Wood.
The £1,000 grant from the society's Paths for Communities Fund helped pave the way for the one-and-a-half kilometre permissible route for riders, giving equestrians safe, easy access to off-road riding.
The path was officially opened earlier this month to mark Ride Out Month UK, the British Horse Society's campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of off-road riding for both horses and riders.
Equestrians can access the path from Onley Lane, via a specially-constructed, horse-friendly gate.
The route takes riders through part of Diamond Wood, planted in the Rainsbrook Valley in 2012 to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
The wood was one of only 60 nationwide to be chosen for the Woodland Trust's flagship Jubilee Woods project and was supported by grants from the Forestry Commission worth nearly £300,000.
Cllr Lisa Parker, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for environment and public realm, said: "Planting at Diamond Wood six years ago was a real community effort, with families, schools, businesses and community organisations all volunteering to help plant around 75,000 trees and shrubs.
"Now the whole community enjoys the benefits of having a natural woodland habitat growing in the stunning countryside of the Rainsbrook Valley, and I'm delighted the British Horse Society has supported our efforts to create a safe, accessible path for horse riders to enjoy Diamond Wood."
Mark Weston, the British Horse Society's director of access, said: "The provision of this route is an ideal opportunity for riders to ride a one-and-a-half kilometre route away from the roads and to enjoy the new Diamond Wood at the same time.
"The society's Paths for Communities scheme was created to provide safe, off-road opportunities like this for horse riders. We are delighted to work in partnership with Rugby Borough Council to create this route and look forward to exploring other such opportunities with the council."
Photo caption: (left to right) Mark Weston, the British Horse Society's director of access, Cllr Lisa Parker, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for environment and public realm, and Mary Stephens, a British Horse Society access officer, at the new riding route in Diamond Wood.