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Difficult and unsafe gates

Gates are often a big problem for riders and a cause for riders to avoid otherwise very good bridleways.

We are all familiar with the issues

  • broken gates
  • rusty gates
  • gates on one or no hinges
  • tied gates
  • narrow gates
  • self closing gates
  • gates not openable from horse back
  • nowhere to easily remount

and more.

We often tend to give up too easily on getting gates improved. Highways Authorities (Councils) often do not take these issues seriously.





Survey of Cornwall Gates

Please help us to help you!

If we continue to keep quiet and just accept/believe that nothing can be done about broken and diffcult gates then nothing will be done.

We therefore ask all riders to give us a report on the gates on the bridleways you ride.

We have made this easy for you. If you click on a bridleway on our interactive riding maps a detailed map of the bridleway is now shown which marks the gate positions that we know of.. Then just click on the gate to give a report.

Self Closing Gates

These are becoming very common on new installations especially for conservation grazing. One self closing gates are proving extremely hazardous because they always close too quickly

Also see the British Horse Society information leaflets on gates:


Gate Installation

Remember that:

  • A gate is there only for the convenience and needs of the land owner, ie stock control.
  • A gate which is unsafe or impossible to use is of direct concern to the Highways Authority (HA)
  • If an unsafe gate is reported to the HA who take no action, they can be held partially liable for the accident.
  • There is no statutory requirement for gates to be openable from horse back or for mounting blocks to be provided.
  • A gate on a bridleway should be a minimum of 5 feet between the posts.
  • A new gate or change to gate type on a Right of Way must be authorised by the Highways Authority, Cornwall Council
  • A gate can only be authorised where needed for control of stock and not to restrict usage.