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June 2008 

Welcome to The Bulletin!

In this Bulletin:
New Senior Executive
Fighting fund update
Join the Ride for Access
BHS Access Conference 2008
Petition Update
BHS members elect new Trustees at Society’s AGM
BHS Article in countryside Jobs service newsletter
Self-closing gates
Planning Application forms
Habitat/Nature conservation
Training Dates
Access in the news
Public Inquiries
Useful Links



New Senior Executive

We are delighted to announce that Heather Holmes has been promoted from Executive, Access to Senior Executive Access. Heather became Senior Executive on 26 June, and we wish her all the best.


Fighting Fund update
Current fund total:  16,789.51

Please donate what you are able to afford at www.justgiving.com/accessfightingfund. Money raised will be used to engage in legal proceedings on behalf of all equestrians.

If you'd prefer not to donate online, you can send a cheque, made payable to the 'The British Horse Society' , to: Access and Rights of Way Department, Stoneleigh Deer Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2XZ. Please indicate that you'd like the money to go to the Access Fighting Fund.


Join the Ride for Access

The BHS is encouraging riders and carriage drivers throughout the UK to hold a BHS ‘Ride for Access’ to raise money for the Access Fighting Fund.

Ride organisers can get a Ride For Access pack by contacting BHS HQ, enabling them to publicise their event, raise funds and invite others to join in.

Access Senior Executive, Heather Holmes, said: “Organising a Ride For Access is a fun, sociable way of raising funds for the BHS, and getting together with other riders in your area.”

Contact the Access department for more details.


BHS Access Conference 2008
21 September
The George Hotel, Devonshire Street, Penrith CA11 7SU

Following last year's very successful conference in the South West, the BHS Access department has decided to hold a conference with many of the same speakers, and some new additions, for our volunteers and members in the North of England.

Tickets cost 35 (this forms a returnable deposit for our BHS Access Officers, BRC Access Officers and Affiliated Bridleways Groups). 

Confirmed speakers so far are: Pennine Bridleway team; Roger Wright, Highways Agency; Catriona Cook, RABO Yorkshire; Richard Brooks, MOD and Durham County Council.

A full programme and booking forms can be found here and can also be obtained from the office by calling 01926 707712 or emailing access@bhs.org.uk


Petition Update

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to provide funding and use legislation for creation of new public bridleways

Horse Riders have access to less than 25% of the current public rights of way network, and face danger when using today's busy roads.  

To ensure appropriate funding is in place and legislation (Highway Act 1980 S26) to be used by local authorities for new bridleways to be shown on definitive maps and ordnance survey maps. 
To ensure the Highway Agency develops a national programme of re-instating severed crossing points by creating new dedicated bridle bridges or underpasses as safe crossing points for motorways or trunk roads. 
To ensure local authorities and parish councils develop local joined up community riding circuits of 5-15 miles to rebuild the national bridleroute network.

Find out more at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/publicbridleways/ 


BHS members elect new Trustees at Society’s AGM

British Horse Society members elected three new Trustees at the Annual General Meeting, held at Saddlers’ Hall in London.

Sarah Bucks, David Kerry and Margot Tiffany were elected following a keenly-fought contest and Hilary McKenna was co-opted to the Board as the representative of British Riding Clubs. Hilary replaces Laurie Punnett, who stood down after serving the maximum term of six years.

Sarah Bucks is a committed access volunteer who specialises in historical research and whose goal is to improve the off-road riding and driving network. A graduate engineer, Sarah has worked in management consultancy in New York and London and has run her own property business. She keeps horses and rides daily.

David Kerry is Senior Road Safety Officer for Cumbria and has assisted with access and rights of way in Cumbria. He has been involved with government consultations and established equestrian safety links worldwide. David has been a Riding and Road Safety Trainer since 1983.

Margot Tiffany is chairman of the Society’s NE Yorkshire committee and has spent her life teaching and helping riders of all types, from competition to leisure riders. She represents all Registered Instructors on the Training and Examination committee and feels that increased membership of the Society is the way to facilitate improved access through a good bridleway network.

Hilary McKenna is best known to the equestrian community for her role as British Riding Clubs’ National Representative for Area 2 (North East). This involves acting as official steward at local area qualifiers, assessing new clubs applying for affiliation and offering help and advice to clubs and members. Hilary has been a past team manager for the British Riding Club Team that competes in Europe and still contributes towards the riders of the team.

At a Board Meeting following the AGM, Robert Pickles FBHS was confirmed as the Training and Examinations representative, Ian Maclellan was co-opted as Treasurer and Christine Casey was co-opted as representative for Ireland.

For further information and pictures, please contact: Alison Coleman, Communications Executive, The British Horse Society, 01926 707737 or email her. 


BHS Article in countryside Jobs service newsletter

The Access work of the BHS was featured in the recent special edition of the Countryside Jobs Service magazine. 

View the newsletter 

Countryside Jobs service will now also advertise BHS volunteer vacancies in their job listings. As this site reaches a wide audience, we hope it will help recruit new Access volunteers throughout the UK.


Self-closing gates

The Access department is interested to hear of any incidents that horse riders have had with self-closing gates. We are trying to establish whether there are particular problems with particular types of gates, catches or self-closing mechanisms, and whether the British Standard for gaps, gates and stiles will require any amendments. If you have had such an incident, please email or post details to us, including the location of the incident and a description of what happened.


Planning Application forms

The deficiencies of the new government-devised planning application form that all local authorities are now expected to use are starting to become apparent. 

Instead of identifying applications that will affect rights of way, the question about rights of way on the new form asks the applicant whether the application will require the diversion, stopping up or creation of a right of way. 

This means that any right of way on the site, or adjacent to the site, or that is to be used as the vehicular access to the site is unlikely to be identified unless the applicant actually intends to build over it. So enjoyment of the right of way could potentially be severely damaged, for example by a large increase in vehicular traffic over it, but the fact that the application affects a right of way will not be advertised, nor are the highway authority’s rights of way department or user groups likely to be consulted.

The BHS and the Rights of Way Review Committee pointed this out to the Department for Communities and Local Government when the draft form was being prepared but DCLG refused to amend it.

The BHS would like to receive details of any applications that illustrate this point so that we can them put this evidence to DCLG

Please email details to access@bhs.org.uk  


Habitat/Nature conservation

The British Horse Society would like to receive details of locations where existing Access to Horse Riders has been denied or made more difficult for habitat/conservation reasons. Once we have such information we will be able to make representations to Natural England regarding the exclusion of horse riders from such areas. 

Please email details to access@bhs.org.uk 


Training Dates

 2 October Rooting Street Farm Riding Centre, Little Chart, Ashford, Kent, TN27 0PX, Day 1 

Please visit our training pages to get information on 2008 training days.


Access in the news 

 Access Press releases are available here



National Parks 
Rights of Way 
Rights of Way: Vehicles

Northern Ireland 
Recreational Use of Forests


National Parks

Motions and Amendments
S3M-2086 Jim Hume: Hawick Common Riding-That the Parliament warmly congratulates the organisers of this year’s Hawick Common Riding, the first of the Borders’ festivals; notes the historical importance of such an event which celebrates the ancient custom of riding the boundaries of the parish and the capture of an English flag in 1514; recognises that common ridings festivals allow Borderers to pay their respects to those who risked their lives protecting the townspeople, and wishes all participants well.


Public Inquiries

Below is a list of the PIs the BHS has been notified of for the next two months. If you are involved in any PIs (at all, not just these), let us know quickly, so we can provide you with any assistance you may require in a cohesive and timely way.

FPS/M1900/7/47 08/07/2008 Chorleywood Mem Hall Common Rd WD3 5LN
FPS/Z0645/4/31 08/07/2008 Hartford Moss Farm Rec Centre Northwich CW8 4BG
FPS/Y3235/7/40 09/07/2008 Worfield Recreation Room Worfield Nr Bridgnorth
FPS/J1155?7/69 10/07/2008 Morxhard Bishop Mem Hall Church St Crediton EX17 6
FPS/M1005/5/3 15/07/2008 The Council Chamber Amber Valley Council,Ripley
FPS/G4240/7/13 16/07/2008 Committee room 1 Council Offices Aston-under-Lyne
FPS/J1155?7/68 22/07/2008 The Village Hall Offwell Honiton
FPS/Q9495/7/16 29/07/2008 Loweswater Village Hall Cockermouth Cumbra C
FPS/D3450/7/27 29/07/2008 Rm 4 Peel Building St Chads Place Stafford
FPS/P0430/7/23 29/07/2008 Evreham Ctr Swallow St Iver Bucks
FPS/J1155/7/71 30/07/2008 Village Hall Northleigh Honiton
FPS/G3300/4/77 05/08/2008 Council Chamber Deane House Belvedere Rd Taunton
FPS/W4515/7/1 06/08/2008 Wallsend Town Hall High St Wallsend
FPS/E0535/7/23 19/08/2008 Jubilee Hall School Lane Eaton Socon PE19 8GW
FPS/E1855/4/16 19/08/2008 Classroom F24 North Bromsgrove H School B60 1BA
FPS/T1600/7/54 19/08/2008 Leonard Stanley Vill Hall Marsh Rd Nr Stonehouse Gl
FPS/F4410/5/1 27/08/2008 Auckley Community Centre Auckley Doncaster


Useful Links  


Legal and Technical
Strategy for the Equine Industry in Northern Ireland
View decisions on public inquiries since 19 Feb 2007 
Paths For All holds equestrian access factsheets for Scotland
Planning Inspectorate
Law Library 
Historic maps online 
Defra's updated access newsletters (updated)
MAGIC - web based interactive mapping

Foot and mouth advice for horse owners

Ministry of Justice Statute Law database
Request a copy of Natural England Discovering Lost Ways E Bulletin (updated)
Highway Code 
British and Irish Legal Information Institute  
Horse Industry Strategy

Report potholes directly to your local authority
Report obstructions directly to your local authority
Find out who your MP is and write to them directly  
Take long distance riding to the extreme with the Long Riders Guild  

Off-Road Riding
BHS Access Campaigns
Ride UK 

Shropshire riding
National Trails
South of Scotland Countryside Trails
Riding in Northern Ireland

Horses Welcome

Equine Ramblers 
The Open Spaces Society 
Ramblers Association 
The Forestry Commission 
The Countryside Agency's interactive mapping page
The British Wind Energy Association.
South Pennine Packhorse Trails Trust
The National Federation  of Bridleway Associations
The Byways and Bridleways Trust
Endurance GB
Mendip Bridleways and Byways Association 
Hants and West Sussex Borders Bridleways Group 
Walking and Riding in Buckinghamshire   
Mendip Cross Trails Trust : newsletter available
BHS Access: Cornwall
Natural England 
Forest of Rossendale Bridleways Association  
BHS Ireland 

The Bulletin is produced by the Access Department of The British Horse Society.  

The Bulletin
welcomes material from outside contributors, and views expressed in such material may not be the opinion of the BHS.  To contribute to The Bulletin, email the editor. For all other equestrian access queries, email the Access Department.

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