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Ireland | Our Equestrian Access Work

BHS Ireland is limited in its work to improve and extend safe off-road access for equestrians to Northern Ireland only. This is due to the fact that The British Horse Society as a charity can only lobby for change in British led governments. BHS Ireland does work to promote existing safe off-road riding and carriage driving throughout Ireland and any new opportunities that arise.

Northern Ireland

Access to safe off road routes and access in Northern Ireland is sadly extremely limited compared to Britain, however, the places that do exist are in some stunning locations. From the picturesque toll ride around Grey Abbey estate and hack around Tollymore Forest Park in Co.Down to the miles of flat sand on the stunning causeway coast, there are places for you to escape the busy roads.

BHS Ireland and the Ulster Rural Riders Association (a BHS Affiliated Bridleway Group) work hard to protect Northern Ireland’s access and are your voice when it comes under threat at a national level. They avail of any opportunities that arise to increase existing or open new access, and would welcome support from all over Northern Ireland to aid them on their work with this.

Riding Out in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has very few safe off-road places to ride or carriage drive, however BHS Ireland has been working to improve that.

However you enjoy the outdoors, please watch and share this short video:

Current Off-Road Access Provision in Northern Ireland

Download our list of the current off-road access provision in Northern Ireland. 

If you are aware of any access that is not included, please let us know by emailing

Consultations & Lobbying in Northern Ireland

BHS Ireland submits response to the Department Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Northern Ireland - The provision of access for outdoor recreation in Northern Ireland (2021).

Protecting what we have

Existing access, like anywhere in the UK, can come under threat at any time. From proposed changes in policies or rules by local authorities to land developments, poor maintenance, ending in permissive agreements or new legislation, BHS Ireland is here to react quickly, and to protect what we have. In 2009 BHS engaged with fellow local equestrians and local authorities to protect and keep your rights of access to the beaches on the North Coast.

Extending access

Extending, increasing, or just opening up new access to somewhere for equestrians usually involves negotiation, sharing, and funds. BHS Ireland has been very successful in recent years in opening toll rides, including equestrian access and agreeing temporary access to routes for organised rides.

Promoting safe off-road routes and using them

BHS work hard to protect what we have, and encourage safe, responsible use of our routes, particularly those which are multiuser. Our range of free advisory leaflets online (link) may be of interest to you.

There are two BHS Affiliated Bridleway groups in Northern Ireland who work to increase awareness of our need for safe routes for riders and carriage drivers and responsible use by all users of public access areas and routes.

Contact Us

If you have any concerns or queries over Northern Ireland Access matters, please contact Susan Spratt or the Access Team at HQ, and we will do our best to help you.

If you wish to get more involved in the improvement of access in Northern Ireland, please contact Susan Spratt.

For further information and the latest news visit BHS Ireland.

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