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Saving our forests is seeing the wood for the trees

Maureen Comber is now the
BHS Hampshire County Bridleways officer

Expect ACTION !!

Says Maureen Comber

Says Maureen Comber I have lived at Frith End, Farnham for forty plus years and have been a Parish Councillor for Kingsley and District Councillor for Selborne Ward. During that time I have also been and continue to be, a volunteer for The British Horse Society with a special interest in off road access.

As I have just accepted the role of Hampshire County Access Bridleways Officer (CABO) for the BHS I thought I should start by trying to find out what the public bridleways are like in your area. Good or bad or just so so, I would like to hear from you, for example

  • do the bridleways link to other bridleways or are there gaps which force you on to a tarmac road?
  • are you able to ride unobstructed by vegetation such as brambles?
  • are there many gates and if so can you open them easily?
  • what is the surface like?
  • Are you worried by dog attacks?
  • Is electric fencing too close for comfort?
  • Is it safe to ride on your local minor roads?
  • Is the speed limit which is set at 60mph on minor country lanes, a safe speed to drive or do you think it should be lowered to 30mph. This is the speed at which it might be possible to survive if hit by a motor vehicle.

If you have had any accidents or near misses or if there is anything at all which you would like to tell me about, please just email me at I shall be pleased to hear from you.

In the meantime here are a few facts and figures for your interest.

  • 43% of GB households (11 million) have a household member with some form of interest in equestrianism (including racing).
  • 65% of equestrian participants are from socio-economic groups C,D and E
  • 31% of horse riders are aged under 16, 18% are aged 16 – 24
  • 75% of horse riders are female
  • Leisure riding is the main equestrian activity.
  • Of the 188,700 kilometres of Public Rights of Way in England only 22% carry rights for horse riders, meaning that the bridleway network is very fragmented.
  • Of the 153,246 hectares of land which have been made available for open access by walkers in England under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, only 0.24 hectares has also been made available to horse riders
  • 80% of road accidents involving horses which were reported to the BHS were on minor roads. The BHS believes that road accidents are significantly under reported.

If you have a road accident or a near miss please report it to:

The Governement should sycamore rider-friendly policy !

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