2026: Why is this important?
Changes to the law introduced by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 meant that many historic routes used by horse riders and carriage drivers in England and Wales would be lost on 1 January 2026 if they hadn’t been formally recorded. In 2022 the government announced its intention to repeal the 2026 deadline, but reversed that decision in 2023 and instead says it now intends to implement it in 2031. In the face of such uncertainty and regardless of the deadline, our work must continue to record these routes as this is the best way protect them from obstruction, development and neglect.
What can I do to help?
The BHS is committed to saving as many bridleways as possible before 2031; but we need as many people as possible to help us out. How to get involved:
Check your favourite route
You can do this by seeing if it is recorded as a bridleway on an OS map or by checking with your local authority.
Contact our Access and Bridleways Officers
Attend a Training Day
Learn how to identify historical routes and the key resources used to study them from experts in the field. Find out what your evidence can unlock and how to create a systematic research method to investigate your routes.
Become a volunteer
Join our network of over 260 volunteers all working to protect our bridleways.
Submit an application
We’ve created a 2026 Toolkit detailing how you can ensure your routes are recorded and protected. 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 ride in the future.
- 2026 Toolkit (PDF)
Consult our 2026 Resources
We’ve gathered together a comprehensive guide on all the resources you’ll need to get started on protecting your favourite routes.
Making an expenses claim for DMMO applications
The BHS has received generous support from Sport England through British Equestrian, allowing us to offer funding to volunteers to help cover the costs of making Definitive Map Modification Order applications to their local authority in England.
Once your application has been registered by the local authority, complete and return the Project 2026 DMMO Record of Application form below. The eligibility requirements for the grant are set out on page two of the form.
Action list for equestrians
✔ Check the status of all the routes you’ve ever ridden on your Local Authority’s definitive rights of way map, or an OS Explorer Map. Ordnance Survey mapping is also available from Bing.com or streetmap.co.uk.
✔ Take action if there’s a problem with your routes by downloading the BHS 2026 Toolkit for advice on what to do next.
✔ Buy ‘Restoring the Record’ from The BHS Shop - it’s an essential guide for the novice, and an invaluable reference book for the experienced.
✔ Help to fund volunteer training by donating to the BHS. Donate now.
Support our work
Find out more about our membership options, volunteering opportunities and learn about other ways you can fundraise and support our charitable work. Without your support we couldn't continue the work we do to protect and promote the interests of horses and equestrians around the UK.