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We lobby to protect the network of equestrian routes we currently have and increase the number of off-road routes for riders and carriage drivers across the UK. 

Ask Your MP To Prioritise Horse Riding and Carriage Driving In Nature

Whether it’s on a bridleway, byway or elsewhere, research shows that exercising in green space makes us healthier and happier. Many of us have found comfort in exercising in open green spaces and nature since COVID-19 restrictions were introduced.

The Environment Bill returns to the House of Commons for its remaining stages and we believe now is the time to be ambitious. We must put people and nature first and create places that make us happier, healthier and more connected. Amending the Environment Bill is a perfect opportunity to do that.

You can find and contact your local MP from the websites below:

Write To Them

Parliament.UK - Contact Your MP


The British Horse Society Ireland welcomes the draft Environment Strategy setting out Northern Ireland’s environmental priorities for the future. The Strategy includes delivery of a healthy and accessible landscape that everyone can connect with and enjoy which includes access to outdoor recreation and natural space. (January 2022)

The benefits of countryside access and horse riding not only to physical health but also to mental health and wellbeing are well proven. Increasing and enhancing access supports the Government’s aims to connect people with the environment, to improve health and wellbeing, including more remote and rural areas.

Whilst it is important to protect the access that exists in Northern Ireland which critically links with the historic environment, our work to ensure there are greatly increased safe places for the next generation of equestrians to access outdoors remains of paramount importance. We hope that this strategy will recognise equestrians and multiuser access as a fundamental part of the strategy.

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)

BHS submits response to the Welsh Government on the 'Taking Forward Wales’ Sustainable Management of Natural Resources' Consultation. Download a proforma response

BHS submits response to Government's Draft Cycling and Walking Strategy.

BHS submits response to the Welsh Government on the 'Improving Opportunities to Access the Outdoors for Responsible Recreation'.

BHS submits response to the Highways Agency on the Cambridge to Huntingdon A14 improvement scheme Public Consultation

BHS submits response to the Lake District National Park Authority on the Keep on the Right Track Code of Conduct consultation

BHS submits response to the Department for Transport on the draft Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2015

BHS submits response to the Canal and River Trust on the Sharing Towpaths Consultation

BHS submits response to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport regarding the proposal to authorise motor sport events on public roads

BHS submits response to the Department for Transport regarding the maximum speed limit for tractors on public roads

BHS submits response to the Department for Transport regarding the maximum weights of agricultural trailers and combinations

BHS submits response to the Department for Transport regarding the Draft National Planning Policy Statement for the National Road and Rail Networks

BHS submits response to Defra regarding CAP (Commons Agricultural Policy) Consultation

BHS submits written evidence to the Joint Committee on the Draft Deregulation Bill

The British Horse Society has been campaigning hard in respect of the proposed rights of way provisions in the Draft Deregulation Bill. We have submitted written evidence on the Draft Deregulation Bill to the Joint Committee.

BHS submits response to Department for Transport proposed changes to the cycle racing on the highways regulations

Mark Weston, Director of Access has submitted a response on behalf of the BHS to the DfT, regarding the ‘Proposed Changes to the Cycle Racing on the Highways Regulations (1960)’. 

BHS submits response to the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill

The Society has submitted written evidence to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee in July regarding the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill.

The British Horse Society is concerned about chapter 2, clauses 55 - 68 of the Bill, which introduce public space protection orders (PSPOs). We fear that these will lead to the loss of safe off road riding and carriage riding opportunities, when public space protection orders are made which prohibit access to registered commons and equestrian public rights of way.

BHS submits response to DfT speed limit consultation

The Society has published its response to the Department for Transport’s ‘Examining the speed limit for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes on single carriageway roads: a consultation document’. The consultation applies to England and Wales.The consultation closed on 1 February 2012. 

Express dedication of public rights of way letter from DEFRA

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published a letter to Natural England offering guidance on legal and practical issues relating to the express dedication of public rights of way at common law (EDCL) with regards to Natural England’s Paths for Communities Scheme (P4C).

BHS submits response to the 2012 Welsh Government Consultation Draft Road Safety Delivery Plan

National Nature Reserves

Natural England will be carrying out an assessment of National Nature Reserves to see if access can be given for equestrians on these sites pursuant to section 16 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

We believe letters would be best sent to local MPs when Natural England are considering proposals for the specific reserves in the MPs' constituencies. When we have the details of Natural England’s proposals we will post them here, together with a standard response letter.

Coastal Access

We have lobbied Natural England and the Government for equestrians to have a right of access to the English coast.

Unfortunately, Natural England's view is that ‘it would be impracticable and unreasonable for horse riding and cycling rights to apply along the length of the coast’. They state they will be seeking local opportunities to improve such rights, with the agreement of the occupier, as part of the coastal access project, and that they intend to publish separate, non-statutory criteria to guide this work.

The BHS are working to ensure that access rights for equestrians to the coast are secured wherever possible and feasible.

Forestry Permits

We continue to campaign against what we consider to be discrimination against equestrians seeking to ride in Forestry Commission forests.

Lobby your MP for this access by downloading and completing the letter version of our postcard.

Forestry Sell-off

The BHS successfully campaigned to save safe off-road access in Forestry Commission Forests in England when the Government proposed to sell off the forests.

Read a letter from the Forest Access User Group to the Independent Forestry Panel.


There are currently no active petitions that we support.

Campaign to save your Stewardship Access Schemes

Horse riders in England currently only have access to 22 percent of public rights of way and horse-drawn vehicle drivers only 5 percent. Any other safe off-road riding opportunities, such as stewardship access schemes, are therefore of the utmost importance to equestrians.

You can find out whether there are any of these schemes in your area by visiting the Conservation Walks Register, which gives details of access to land as part of agri-environment schemes.

If you are concerned about the possible loss of these safe off-road riding routes, please write to your MP asking them for their support to preserve such schemes.

Policy on Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs)

TROs should be temporary and preserve horse riding and carriage driving rights.

Policy on Definitive Map Modification Orders (DMMOs)

The Society’s aim in applying for and responding to Definitive Map Modification Order Applications is to seek to establish the true legal status of a route on the Definitive Map and Statement. BHS Access and Bridleways Officers are under a duty to seek the highest equestrian rights that the evidence reasonably suggests.


We work on behalf of all horses in the UK to protect and promote their interests.

Help us to continue our vital work to build a better life for horses, riders and all who care for them.

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