Following negotiations between the Iford Estate and the Ramblers, alongside other access organisations, a new bridleway has been opened between Southover, Lewes and Iford, via Rise Farm. The public notice has been published today.

The route, which runs from the bridge under the Lewes  by-pass at Cockshut Road, Lewes across the levels to Iford, is a new route for equestrians, cyclists and walkers.  It is part of the growing network of routes for non-powered users south of Lewes and fills a large gap in the rights of way network locally.


The bulk of the route has been dedicated as a right of way by the Iford Estate.  The Estate does not own the road north of Rise Farm so the County Council is to make a right-of-way creation order for this stretch.  However it can all be used now.

Funding for the necessary fences and gates to protect livestock is being provided by the Egrets Way Project, The British Horse Society, the Mid Sussex Area Bridleways group and Iford Parish Meeting.

Ramblers local footpath warden Chris Smith says “This is a fine example of a progressive landowner recognising that leisure and agriculture can co-exist.  I hope other landowners will follow suit. I would like to thank the organisations that are providing funding”

Iford Farms manager Ben Taylor comments” Iford Estate is delighted to be able to facilitate access to this beautiful and unspoiled part of the Ouse Valley. These wetlands are a haven for wildlife, and many birds can be spotted from the track.  However we ask users to stick to the marked route to avoid disturbing nesting and wintering birds.

This dedication is the latest in a series of new paths created by Iford Estate”

For the Egrets Way Group Neville Harrison says this is “great news” and the British Horse Society’s Mark Western expressed delight. He says “The funding we gave to the project came from the BHS Ride Out UK fund, our fundraising campaign which goes towards creating or repairing bridleways in local areas, as well as funds from our affiliated Equine Access group”

Unfortunately the Iford Estate has decided not to keep the former permissive path which enabled walkers to take a short cut, except for residents of Iford.


There is still work to be done.  The current signs will come down and the county council will erect bridleway signs. A gate north of Rise Farm needs adapting for equestrians.

The new bridleway does not link directly link to the Egrets Way route which, when completed, will run along the banks of the Ouse but users of this route will be able to get to the new bridleway via Ham Lane.

Some of the route is surfaced, but there are no plans to add further surfacing.  Cyclists may find one or two stretches are muddy.


 Separately, today East Sussex Council has published confirmation that 2 bridleway in the Winterbourne area of Lewes and a footpath in Southover  have been added to the rights of way map.  These additions are the result of applications made by the Ramblers and confirm the status of routes already in use.

These routes are:

  1. An extension to Love Lane in Winterbourne so that the right of way now runs past the allotments and up to Hope in the Valley (it used to stop half way)
  2. A link between Love Lane and Glebe Close along the side of the railway line- a short but important link between two bridleways
  3. A footpath between Grange Road and the Course via garages, used regularly by children going to Southover and Western Road schools

Article date 18/6/21