RIDING on horse back from Danby Dale over to Little Fryup Dale, via Ainthorpe Rigg, we saw five trail riders (offroad motorcyclists) tearing up the west side of this historic lane.

When we arrived at the bottom of the hill at North End Farm, we found the gated section of the lane totally trashed. Huge ruts in the surface made it impossible to use this section.

Fortunately, the farm kindly gave us permission to use their land to divert round and join the UUR/Green Lane higher up, which although rutted was passable.

This green lane, called Church Way, was recognised by the National Park Authority to be vulnerable and they suggested that a ban on recreational motor vehicles be put in place. This was back in 2014 and what has happened? Nothing.

The local bridleway group supported a ban, but it seems the Highways Authority is not doing enough to protect our precious heritage and stop one inconsiderate group spoiling it for the rest, ie walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

The damage to green lanes by 4x4s and trail bikes is happening all over the North York Moors and something needs to be done. It is no good spending our money repairing damaged lanes only to let the persons responsible back on them.

On good solid lanes vehicles are less likely to do damage, but I suspect that these thrill seekers like uneven and challenging surfaces to ride on to the detriment of all other users.

Repairs need to be done, but on vulnerable routes nothing short of a ban on offroad vehicles is needed.

Bill Tait, Helmsley

Incredible chance

BREXIT makes it essential that the UK is able to provide a stable, secure and affordable energy supply for itself to economically succeed. The UK gas industry will invest billions of pounds into the UK economy and in particular the rural economy, creating jobs, business opportunities and tax revenue to fund public services.

Cuadrilla in Lancashire has just been granted permission by the government to undertake the first hydraulic fracture on a shale gas well in the UK since 2011. The facts do not lie and Cuadrilla has already contributed £10 million into the local economy with one well pad and the first two wells. This figure is independently verified so not PR spin. Yes, there will be challenges with shale gas development, but with commercial extraction will come investment by the gas companies into ways to reduce and mitigate their impact. Long-time Ryedale residents already know that the gas industry, farming and tourism can co-exist.

How can we ignore local issues of rural deprivation, fuel poverty and a lack of opportunity just to import our gas requirements instead of creating the jobs and investment here?

Imports are not good for the environment and contribute zero to our economy. The EU and the USA have just agreed to ship fracked gas across the Atlantic, while we have gas under our feet, how ridiculous.

The “chocolate box” image of the countryside contradicts a recent Commission for Social Mobility report revealing that in terms of deprivation indices, “poverty in rural England was as bad, if not worse, than it was in the inner cities”. Ryedale was ranked near the bottom yet potentially is sitting on huge gas reserves. With shale gas comes the incredible opportunity to positively transform the lives of many, not just in our rural communities but in our county and our country.

Lorrainne Allanson, Allerston

Beware of the dog

I DO not agree with any kind of dog-friendly eating establishment in Malton, and certainly do not welcome it.

I accept dogs in pubs, and other non food business, but not around food. From recent experience I have seen the following. At a local museum I saw two small dogs sat on a picnic table. I went for lunch with a friend to a local restaurant and the smell of dog hit me as I entered the establishment. I’ve seen a Labrador shake itself in a local pub restaurant and we could see hairs and dust in the atmosphere as we were eating.

I do hope these dog-friendly establishments display prominent signs so people like myself who do not want to eat around dogs can avoid these businesses.

Sally Raines, Amotherby

Better out of EU

I READ a letter in another newspaper which appeared to be self contradictory when using trade agreements in an argument to remain in the EU.

In respect of the regional trade agreements that Canada, Australia and New Zealand have with other local countries being the reason that they “manage so well” is probably quite true.

He, then, uses that to as an argument for the UK to remain in the EU. He fails to say that the regional agreements which Canada, Australia and New Zealand have, locally, and now Japan with the EU; is that those agreements do not contain “freedom of movement” and “customs union” clauses.

Whereas the current EU Treaty to which the UK is signatory does and it is this which severely restricts our ability to trade with non-EU countries. This is why we will be better off out of the EU; which is becoming an oppressive dictatorship (ruled by the Council of Ministers, analogous to the State Duma).

As such the EU will, in all likelihood, fail in a few years time to the detriment of those countries which are members.

David Loxley, Hartoft