A route in Felbrigg, Norfolk, has been upgraded from footpath to bridleway thanks to BHS County Access & Bridleways Officer for Norfolk Helen Chester, preserving its equestrian rights past the 2026 cut-off.
Section 53 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act provides for a cut-off date in 2026 in England, meaning that had an application not been made to upgrade this route before the cut-off it would have been lost to riders forever.
Helen was alerted to the route when riders were stopped from using the path, she explained: “This was a combined claim of historical evidence backed up by 20 user evidence forms. It had been under dispute for years as the Ramblers also believed that it held higher rights.
Having it upgraded to bridleway status and preserving equestrian access for generations to come is a real win for us here in Norfolk.”
BHS Director of Access, Mark Weston, added: “Congratulations to Helen, and those horse riders that provided the user evidence, on getting this route upgraded. A lot of effort goes into these applications and Helen has done a brilliant job, I have no doubt that local riders will be very pleased to have this bridleway and that it will be enjoyed by walkers, riders and cyclists alike in years to come.
I hope her success will inspire other equestrians to start researching their routes before the 2026 cut-off..”
To find out how to check if your routes are recorded and if not how to save them, download the BHS 2026 toolkit.