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Landmark 3000th application in the race to save bridleways

The BHS reaches a milestone in the race against time to save historic off-road routes in East Yorkshire and beyond.

The British Horse Society (BHS) has reached a landmark 3,000 applications across England and Wales to save bridleways and byways, with the 3000th application seeking to protect a route in East Yorkshire. However, time is running out to save many important and historic routes. The BHS is urging people in East Yorkshire and beyond to help ensure their local routes are not lost to the public forever.

Tragically, many public routes not formally recorded on the Definitive Map, the legal record of rights of way, could vanish forever on 1 January 2031, due to changes in the law introduced by The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

In the wide-scale project, the BHS secured generous funding from Sport England through British Equestrian, which the BHS have matched, to train and support volunteers in saving these public rights of way.

The 3000th application seeks to protect a local route called Drove Lane, just outside of Hull. The route runs northwards from the village of Wawne towards Tickton and is currently recorded as only a footpath. Recognising it as a bridleway will open up the network and protect a popular ride for local equestrians. Without the crucial work of volunteers, bridleway rights could have been lost from the map for good.

This milestone application comes at a crucial time for the equestrian world, with the BHS recently launching our ‘Keep Britain Riding’ campaign to safeguard the long-term prospects of the equestrian industry and nurture the special horse/human bond for generations to come.

Hacking is an essential part of developing this unique horse/human bond. Getting out in the great outdoors and spending time with horses have proved to significantly enhance people’s mood, as well as reduce stress. The registration of these routes means that generations old and new can enjoy the countryside with their horse and develop that bond in a safe environment.

Will Steel, Head of Access at the BHS said:

“We’re thrilled to have submitted 3,000 applications, but we know there’s still a lot of work to be done to ensure thousands more public rights of way are protected for future generations to enjoy and treasure. We want people to be able to get outdoors, to benefit from that life-changing horse-human relationship, and to feel confident and safe while doing this. Protecting Drove Lane and other safe off-road riding routes will be critical to achieving this.

We will continue to work with our brilliant network of access volunteers to research and record routes in the Hull area, and across the rest of England and Wales. Working collaboratively to save many important historic routes will help to keep Britain riding safely for generations to come.”

The rights of way network in England and Wales is vital to the equestrian community and must be protected. The 3000th application is an important milestone. However, there are still many more that are not registered. By the equine community coming together and mapping these routes we can Keep Britain Riding.

To join our network of volunteers working to protect historic bridleways and byways, visit our Project 2026 page.

Learn more about Keep Britain Riding.

Notes to editors

Contact: The British Horse Society Press Office


T: 02476 840521

The British Horse Society:

As the largest equine charity in the UK, The British Horse Society is dedicated to education, equine welfare, protecting and increasing access to bridleways and places to ride and carriage drive off road, and safety for horse and riders. The Society’s thriving and active community of staff and volunteers is committed to improving the lives of horses everywhere.