Five BHS members have enthusiastically supported the BHS in volunteer roles in Lancashire and the North West for decades. Their dedication and tireless work was recently celebrated at an award ceremony at the BHS Headquarters, in Warwickshire. The five remarkable women are Judith Burton, Anita Knagg, Chris Peat, Elizabeth Tyson and Christine Worthington. All share a passion for horses and have freely given their time over the last 15 and 20 years to support and promote the BHS, the UK’s largest equestrian charity.
Judith Burton: 20 Years Service, County Access and Bridleways Officer:
Judith was inspired to join and volunteer for the BHS following her Father’s ground breaking bridleway campaigns in the 1960s. At the time, there was great opposition from the local County Council and local landowners and Judith recalls the support and pivotal intervention from the BHS. Since then, Judith has successfully worked on many equestrian rights of way campaigns and is working on new routes with leisure developers in the local area.
Anita Knagg: 15 Years Service, County Riding & Road Safety Officer, and County Safety Representative:
Anita has been the Riding and Road Safety Officer for Lancashire for 15 years and is a passionate believer in the value of the ‘Riding and Road Safety’ examinations, because in her own words, "It is one of the few exams you can take which has the potential to save your own life as well as the life of your horse."
Chris Peat: 15 Years Service, District Access and Bridleways Officer (Rossendale), Regional Access and Bridleways Officer (North West) and County Treasurer:
Chris was introduced to BHS Lancashire by Mary, Lady Towneley, MBE, the instigator of the long distance Pennine Bridleway National Trail. Chris worked with Mary and others on a ‘Strategy for Bridleways’ in Lancashire and received an award from the BHS in 2011 in recognition of ‘doing most for equestrian access as a BHS member and volunteer’. Chris is also founder of the influential BHS affiliated Bridleway Association, Forest of Rossendale Bridleway Association (FORBA). Recent success includes the reopening of an ancient highway between Edenfield and Rawtenstall, and in her own words,"I’m battling on!"
Elizabeth Tyson: 20 Years Service, District Access and Bridleway Officer Hesketh Bank and County Committee Member:
Elizabeth's volunteering for the BHS was driven by the need to protect three much loved routes near her family home. This included Harrock Hill where she had enjoyed in her childhood, a route she had walked, cycled, ridden and driven in horse and cart. The claims process was challenging, lengthy and involved public enquiries. Eventually there was some success, but unfortunately the route around Harrock Hill was lost at a judicial review and the route is closed. Determined not to let this happen elsewhere, Elizabeth continued supporting the BHS, both on equestrian rights of way claims and as an active member of BHS’s Lancashire Committee. It soon became a family affair - her husband and daughter (a qualified BHS AI Instructor) undertook various training activities, particularly Riding and Road Safety.
Elizabeth believes that everyone has something to offer the BHS as a volunteer, whether horse riders or non riders. Elizabeth also believes in the BHS reaching out and supporting the wider equestrian community including horse owners and riding establishments outside of the BHS membership or registration. Elizabeth is set to carry on the good work!
Christine Worthington: 20 Years Service, BHS Trustee:
As a volunteer, Christine has had many roles from committee member of BHS Lancashire through regional roles in the North West, to her recent appointment as a Director and Charity Trustee of the BHS, working at national level. An incredible journey! Christine is keen to be involved with the BHS, whether it is welfare matters including understand and learning about equine behaviour, access to off-road riding, safety of horse and rider, or training and education. As Master NLP Coach she works with horse riders to help with confidence, competition nerves and performance generally. Christine was honoured with two BHS awards in 2012, an Award of Merit for services to the Society and Chairman Emeritus North West.
Christine’s passion for horses leads her to take this path and stick with it as, "I believe the horse needs a voice. Here’s to the next twenty years!"
The BHS recognises the major contributions made by the five members from Lancashire an their incredible achievements. Shelly Mee, Chairman of BHS Lancashire said "Lancashire can be very proud of the fact that it has so many dedicated people who give their time voluntarily fighting for the right ways forward and who have been doing it for such a long time, it really is an honour to have such a knowledgeable team working with me." As a charity, the BHS relies on volunteers. If you have been inspired to get involved, please contact the BHS for more information.