The Trails Trust Management Board is delighted to announce that its Project and Development Officer, Mrs Rachel Mary Thompson, who lives in Priddy near Wells in Somerset, has been awarded an MBE for bridleway creation services in Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2013.
Rachel and her late husband Michael, were the founder members of the multi user countryside access charity The Mendip Cross Trails Trust, now The Trails Trust (TTT).
Rachel Thompson, MBE
Over eighty routes have been opened for horse riders and cyclists in the Mendip area since The Trust was formed in 1997 and £500,000 raised in grant funding to establish these routes.
TTT's biggest achievement though, has been the development of the use of Express Dedication at Common Law, a little known ancient legal principle that TTT has used to negotiate directly with landowners for the creation of new rights of way instead of depending upon statutory creation methods administered by Local Highway Authorities. This work - now often referred to as the TTT method - has come to the attention of successive Government Defra Ministers, which led to Rachel writing a book in cooperation with Defra and Natural England. This book is used to enthuse, enable and empower individuals and voluntary groups to create multi-user rights of way, while giving other bodies, such as local authorities, landowners and managers, the information to have confidence in the process. Since the launch of the book, the EDCL method has become more widely used with the Government making funding for routes available through the Paths for Communities (P4C) fund administered by Natural England.