Mapping the missing pieces
Many equestrian routes are fragmented and can now only be reached using busy roads. Our research has shown that there have been over 3,700 road incidents reported to us since November 2010, which involved the deaths of 315 horses and 43 riders. Therefore the need for off-road places to ride has never been so important.
Project Jigsaw aims to enable every rider and carriage driver to access a safe network of off-road paths. We are aiming to tackle the issue of our limited and fragmented routes, and connecting them to build a full and complete picture.
There are four strands of our work to bring together:
We have been successful in recent years at lobbying central and local government to ensure that equestrians are taken into account in plans for new routes and proposals for existing ones, and we will continue to leverage our expertise.
We want to increase participation in recreational riding and carriage driving by promoting local and national off-road routes, and by making routes more easily identifiable via maps, GPS and way marking. We’ll use our website and campaign activity to encourage more people to explore their local routes, particularly with our amazing Ride Out UK campaign.
Paths for Communities
Paths for Communities is our fundraising initiative, supporting us to work positively with landowners to create new routes and ensure existing routes are kept open and maintained. Our fundraising helps us connect up the route network and deliver safer local routes by securing key links on behalf of the equestrian community.
The last piece of our four-part jigsaw focuses on protecting and reinstating existing routes. Current legislation means that riders all over England and Wales are using historical routes that may be lost forever on 1st January 2026 if they are not recorded on the definitive map. Our volunteer BHS Access Officers are undertaking crucial work to protect these vital routes for future generations.
How You Can Help
All equestrians deserve to enjoy life outdoors to the fullest extent, wherever they live. The UK is blessed with amazing countryside, stunning landscapes and coastal vistas that deserve to be used and appreciated.
But we need your help protect our routes for the next generation of horses, riders and carriage drivers.
Our 2026 Toolkit
Many historical routes of use to horse riders and carriage drivers may be lost to the public by 2026 if they are not formally recorded as a bridleway or restricted byway.
We’ve created a 2026 Toolkit detailing how you can ensure your routes are recorded so they won’t be lost.
Just because you currently ride on a route doesn’t mean it’s recorded and protected. Find out more information here.
Take part in Ride Out UK
If you love to hack, ride your bike, or enjoy spending quality time with your horse, then Ride Out UK is for you! The money raised will go towards restoring our bridleways and multi-user routes.
There’s plenty of ways you can get involved from taking part in our hacking challenge to attending an organised ride.
Volunteer to help
Are you passionate about the importance of off-road routes? Our specially trained and valued volunteers work hard to protect, extend and promote our network.
The BHS provides extensive training, so please contact us if you can spare some time to help.
Become a volunteer.
Make a donation
Without your support and funds, we would not be able to continue all the valuable work we do. There are many to donate to us, or alternatively you may want to consider a future legacy to support one of our larger access projects.
Support us today.
If you’re concerned about the routes you ride please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 02476 840515.
Find Out More About Our Work