Message from our Chair
I hope you are all keeping safe and well during this very difficult time. I wanted to contact you all to let you know EBA is still very much active. Our rides have temporarily stopped but there is still work going on.
The question of whether our annual membership subscription will be extended has been raised and this has been discussed in detail by the Trustees. EBA has always maintained ‘we are more than just rides’. Our constitution states we aim to ‘Protect, preserve, improve, promote and develop the network of equestrian rights of way for the benefit of the horse riding public so that conditions of life may be improved’ and we still continue to do this for our Essex riders. Because of this we have made the decision not to waive or defer our membership at this time.
For several years now we have used our funds from both membership and the rides to resource our 3 contractors. Their work, albeit reduced, is still going on. We are still continuing with our plan to research historic routes before the cut off in 2026, draw up the Rights of way action plan and several other projects that can be done from home. We are fortunate to have funds in reserve which will keep this important work going. It is vital to ensure continuity with projects and campaigning, we have really started to make an impact and need to maintain momentum. I know you will all support our decision because I know how important equestrian access is to you all.
We will, of course, review the situation as time goes on. Unfortunately we do not know how long the current uncertainty will last, so it is not possible to make definitive decisions at this stage. We are mindful of the financial impact that this crisis is having on everyone and that will be a contributing factor as we review.
Please remember to report your local issues via the ECC web site and keep in touch with your local reps. This could be a good time to start some research of your own, make sure your local routes are on the definitive map. We are all missing our rides and I can assure you we will be looking to restore our schedule as soon as it is safe to do so. So I thank you for your loyalty during these challenging times. Together we can improve our network and your membership subscription will enable us to do this.