BHS adds voice to Forest Access Group

13th May 2011

The British Horse Society has joined The Forest Access User Group, a group believing that protecting and enhancing public access to our woodland and forests must be at the heart of the work of the Independent Panel on Forestry.

The Group has issued a statement to the Chairman Panel, Bishop of Liverpool James Jones, expressing their concerns and hopes for the future of public access to all our forests and woodland.

The BHS’s Director of Access, Safety and Welfare, Mark Weston, said: “Horse riders currently have access to only 22 percent of public rights of way and horse-drawn vehicle drivers to only five percent, so the permissive access they enjoy in our forests is of immense importance, and would be best protected by the dedication of higher rights for equestrians pursuant to section 16 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.”

Through its component organisations, the Forest Access User Group represents more than eight million people who use woodlands regularly and has a broad recreational, conservation and management interest in all forests and woodland. The Group includes The British Horse Society, British Mountaineering Council, Open Spaces Society, the Ramblers, Sport and Recreation Alliance, CTC, IMBA, British Orienteering and The Kennel Club.