A 91-YEAR-OLD is set to saddle up and ride through an historic ford in Ryedale.

Elizabeth Lady Kirk has been campaigning for the re-opening of Cowl Dyke Wath for decades and now, with the help of riders from local riding groups, she will be riding across it.

She will be accompanied by riders from Friars Hill Riding Stables in Sinnington and Ryedale Bridleways Group and will ride her New Forest Pony when crossing the ford.

Fran Mason, one of the riders who will be helping, said: “For some 20 years she has campaigned for the Wath to be

reopened as it is a bridleway on the Definitive Map, and a valuable link to many other ways open to horse riders in the area.

“Only last October, due to her efforts and negotiations with local landowners, and the efforts of the Bridleways group and the British Horse Society who provided some funding for necessary work, the ford was reopened.

“We plan to ride from Southfield Farm to the Wath around 11am on August 6 where we will take photographs and raise a glass to getting this bridleway reopened.”

Cowl Dyke Wath - a ford on the River Dove south of Kirkbymoorside - is sometimes labelled Cold Dike Wath on earlier maps.

The word “Wath” is of Norse origin and means ford. It was re-opened after reinstatement work was completed over the winter.

Grants from the British Horse Society Paths for Communities fund, the Ride Yorkshire Foundation, the Bridleways Trust, Ryedale Bridleway group and individual donations - in total more than £2,000 - were instrumental to the work eventually being done, with the North Yorkshire County Council’s rights of way department making up the difference.