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Reporting a problem with off road riding or carriage driving

The British Horse Society and our dedicated network of more than 280 volunteer Access and Bridleway Officers work hard to promote and secure the provision, protection and preservation of rights of way and access for ridden and driven horses over highways, byways, bridleways and other land throughout the United Kingdom.

Our team works hard to defend, extend and promote safe, easily accessible off-road riding and carriage driving for everyone. BHS Access and Bridleways Officers work with members of the public and the BHS HQ Rights of Way team reacting to threats to your access, answering your questions, representing equestrians on a local and national level at relevant meetings affecting access, working to establish new access, and promoting what exists through the BHS National Equestrian Route Network.

Information which is needed

It is helpful to provide details of the route and of the location on the route where you encountered a problem, as well as a clear description of the issue. Marking the location on a map (i.e google) of the route is always useful. You then need to take the correct course of action for the country you live in.

The information below applies to England and Wales. Access to the countryside in Scotland and Northern Ireland is very different, so please direct questions on access in those countries to Helene Mauchlen (Scotland) at helene.mauchlen@bhs.org.uk or Susan Irwin (Northern Ireland) at susan.spratt@bhs.org.uk.

How to report a problem 


It is the highway authority’s responsibility to maintain bridleways and byways to a safe standard, so any issues should be reported to the relevant authority. Even if you think someone else may have already reported the problem, you should still report it, as this gives the authority a clear indication of demand and will help the authority to prioritise resources. 

You can also contact your local BHS Access and Bridleways Officer, who may be able to help. Contact details for your local BHS officer can be found by visiting your area page.

A landholder is responsible for keeping public bridleways or byways free from overhanging vegetation, from obstructions and for ensuring gates are safe to use. A highway authority is usually responsible for the surface and for the way being clearly marked and available.

You may also find your answer in our range of free advisory leaflets based on frequently asked questions.

If you have suffered an incident whilst riding or carriage driving off road, please report it.

If having assessed the above resources you still have any queries or require assistance, please call the Access and Rights of Way Team on 02476 840515 or email access@bhs.org.uk

You can help the BHS in this crucial work by joining the Society and perhaps helping as a volunteer, too. Find out how you can get involved.

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