We lobby to protect the network of equestrian routes we currently have and increase the number of off-road routes for riders and carriage drivers across the UK.
The Agriculture Bill - Access Provisions
The forthcoming Agriculture Bill will set the agenda for the future of our countryside. The British Horse Society believes that opportunities to improve and enhance access to safe off road riding should be integral to the Agriculture Bill.
Please contact your local MP to support The British Horse Society’s call for farmers and landowners to be paid to widen the network available to horse riders, and to help maintain the network as part of any future subsidy scheme under the Agriculture Bill.
Download the template letter (word doc)
You can find and contact your local MP from the websites below:
Write To Them
Parliament.UK - Contact Your MP
BHS submits response to the Welsh Government on the 'Taking Forward Wales’ Sustainable Management of Natural Resources' Consultation. Download a proforma response
BHS submits response to Government's Draft Cycling and Walking Strategy.
BHS submits response to the Welsh Government on the 'Improving Opportunities to Access the Outdoors for Responsible Recreation'.
BHS submits response to the Highways Agency on the Cambridge to Huntingdon A14 improvement scheme Public Consultation
BHS submits response to the Lake District National Park Authority on the Keep on the Right Track Code of Conduct consultation
BHS submits response to the Department for Transport on the draft Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2015
BHS submits response to the Canal and River Trust on the Sharing Towpaths Consultation
BHS submits response to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport regarding the proposal to authorise motor sport events on public roads
BHS submits response to the Department for Transport regarding the maximum speed limit for tractors on public roads
BHS submits response to the Department for Transport regarding the maximum weights of agricultural trailers and combinations
BHS submits response to the Department for Transport regarding the Draft National Planning Policy Statement for the National Road and Rail Networks
BHS submits response to Defra regarding CAP (Commons Agricultural Policy) Consultation
BHS submits written evidence to the Joint Committee on the Draft Deregulation Bill
The British Horse Society has been campaigning hard in respect of the proposed rights of way provisions in the Draft Deregulation Bill. We have submitted written evidence on the Draft Deregulation Bill to the Joint Committee.
BHS submits response to Department for Transport proposed changes to the cycle racing on the highways regulations
Mark Weston, Director of Access has submitted a response on behalf of the BHS to the DfT, regarding the ‘Proposed Changes to the Cycle Racing on the Highways Regulations (1960)’.
BHS submits response to the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill
The Society has submitted written evidence to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee in July regarding the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill.
The British Horse Society is concerned about chapter 2, clauses 55 - 68 of the Bill, which introduce public space protection orders (PSPOs). We fear that these will lead to the loss of safe off road riding and carriage riding opportunities, when public space protection orders are made which prohibit access to registered commons and equestrian public rights of way.
BHS submits response to DfT speed limit consultation
The Society has published its response to the Department for Transport’s ‘Examining the speed limit for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes on single carriageway roads: a consultation document’. The consultation applies to England and Wales.The consultation closed on 1 February 2012.
Express dedication of public rights of way letter from DEFRA
The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published a letter to Natural England offering guidance on legal and practical issues relating to the express dedication of public rights of way at common law (EDCL) with regards to Natural England’s Paths for Communities Scheme (P4C).
BHS submits response to the 2012 Welsh Government Consultation Draft Road Safety Delivery Plan
National Nature Reserves
Natural England will be carrying out an assessment of National Nature Reserves to see if access can be given for equestrians on these sites pursuant to section 16 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.
We believe letters would be best sent to local MPs when Natural England are considering proposals for the specific reserves in the MPs' constituencies. When we have the details of Natural England’s proposals we will post them here, together with a standard response letter.
High Speed Rail
Read our response to the 2011 High Speed 2 consultation (pdf).
We have lobbied Natural England and the Government for equestrians to have a right of access to the English coast.
Unfortunately, Natural England's view is that ‘it would be impracticable and unreasonable for horse riding and cycling rights to apply along the length of the coast’. They state they will be seeking local opportunities to improve such rights, with the agreement of the occupier, as part of the coastal access project, and that they intend to publish separate, non-statutory criteria to guide this work.
The BHS are working to ensure that access rights for equestrians to the coast are secured wherever possible and feasible.
We continue to campaign against what we consider to be discrimination against equestrians seeking to ride in Forestry Commission forests.
Lobby your MP for this access by downloading and completing the letter version of our postcard.
The BHS successfully campaigned to save safe off-road access in Forestry Commission Forests in England when the Government proposed to sell off the forests.
Read a letter from the Forest Access User Group to the Independent Forestry Panel.
There are currently no active petitions that we support.
Campaign to save your Stewardship Access Schemes
Horse riders in England currently only have access to 22 percent of public rights of way and horse-drawn vehicle drivers only 5 percent. Any other safe off-road riding opportunities, such as stewardship access schemes, are therefore of the utmost importance to equestrians.
You can find out whether there are any of these schemes in your area by visiting the Conservation Walks Register, which gives details of access to land as part of agri-environment schemes.
If you are concerned about the possible loss of these safe off-road riding routes, please write to your MP asking them for their support to preserve such schemes.
Policy on Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs)
TROs should be temporary and preserve horse riding and carriage driving rights.
Policy on Definitive Map Modification Orders (DMMOs)
The Society’s aim in applying for and responding to Definitive Map Modification Order Applications is to seek to establish the true legal status of a route on the Definitive Map and Statement. BHS Access and Bridleways Officers are under a duty to seek the highest equestrian rights that the evidence reasonably suggests.
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