The 2026 Toolkit
The BHS has produced the 2026 Toolkit so that you can protect your local bridleways from closure following the deadline. It contains all the information you need to check whether the routes you ride are recorded, and if they aren’t how you can protect them beyond 2026. It takes you through marking up your local routes that aren’t currently shown on the OS map, and how to gather the evidence you need to back up the existence of your route.
It’s an exciting process that will give you a deeper insight into the history of where you live and ride, and keep you interested as you travel back through time using the historic maps. The toolkit will make it much easier for anyone wanting to help to save the routes so loved by equestrians.
Using the toolkit you can check that the routes that you currently enjoy riding are safe from closure, and you may even be able to save a route that you can’t currently ride but would love to! Getting all the historic riding routes accurately recorded on the Definitive Map is the only way to ensure that they are safe for future generations.
We now also have a guide on Researching a Route to help you further.
To get a head start on researching your routes, get your copy of Rights of Way, Restoring the Record by Sarah Bucks and Phil Wadey. This informative read includes helpful hints and time-saving tips on carrying out research.
To enable volunteers to coordinate work, avoid duplication, share evidence and to support each other, we have developed a mapping and research site at bhsaccess.org.uk/Project2026/. Using this, anyone can plot paths of interest and gather and share evidence online on a county by county basis.
If at any stage you feel you need further help or advice with researching your routes you can contact your BHS Regional or County Access and Bridleways Officer. These experienced volunteers will be able to put you in touch with someone who can guide you through the process of getting your routes on the map. Find your local Access Officer now.
You can find out more background about the Definitive Map process by downloading our free leaflet, Recording a Right of Way (pdf), or contact the Access team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 02476 840515 to be sent a hard copy.
Resources and Further Reading
Find out more information