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BHS Ride Out Fund helps secure a safe off road route for riders


The BHS Ride Out Fund has helped secure a new off-road route in Ickwell, Bedfordshire, England.

Riders in the Bedfordshire region now have access to a new permissive bridleway, linking an existing permissive bridleway running adjacent to Warden Road, Ickwell to Old Warden bridleway 12. This new route takes users off a dangerous narrow and twisty section of road in the area. This road can be very busy, especially on days when local air displays and other events create a large influx of traffic to the area.

The need for this route was identified in the preparation of the parish’s neighbourhood plan and local BHS member, Jacqui Sutton and her husband, Neville, together with the Shuttleworth Trust charity agreed to allow a route to be created. Local councillor, Frank Firth and councillor officers, Chris Dorow and Chris Nicol worked with BHS local volunteer, Ann Kennedy, to deliver the route which was formally opened in mid July 2021 after the grass had time to grow.

Central Bedfordshire Council was unable to fund all the works required, which involved a lot of tree and shrub clearance, route levelling and the installation of several horse stiles. An application was submitted to the BHS Ride Out Fund, and funding was granted to support the works alongside additional contributions from a local charity, Peter Maudlin Community Trust, and from some local individual donations.

Ickwell Bridleway Before and After

The Sutton’s generously provided the fencing on their land and the Shuttleworth Trust cleared the headland alongside their field. A truly collaborative effort which is now being enjoyed by many local riders.

Vicki Freeman, a local rider, comments; “It’s such a brilliant bit of bridleway. Thank you so much to all involved in making this happen! It has opened up such a huge amount of off-road hacking. I can’t wait to get out exploring over the coming months! Thank you all again!”

The British Horse Society recognises the importance of safe off-road riding, not only for our members but for all equestrians. We pledge to keep equestrians safe, horses happy, and support the continued growth of our sport and the equine industry.

The BHS Ride Out Fund provides funding for projects which open and/or enable safe off-road equestrian access throughout the UK. You can find out more about the BHS Ride Out Fund here.

Our Rideathon Challenge raises funds for the Ride Out Fund, and is open to everyone to take part. Get involved in Rideathon here.