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‘Fit for purpose, justified and fair for riders’: woodland riding permits under review


Forestry England is asking equestrians for their views on riding permits as part of a review to ensure protocols are “fit for purpose”.

H&H reported last year that conversations were taking place between the British Horse Society (BHS) and Forestry England around riding permits (news, 10 February 2022). At the time BHS director of access Mark Weston told H&H that the society “opposed” permits in respect of publicly owned land where access for other users is free – and said there should not be any “discrimination” against equestrians.

Forestry England has now launched a review of riding permits, and as part of this is seeking equestrians’ views in a survey, which will be used to support the organisation’s decision-making.

“In some forests, where Forestry England needs an enhanced relationship with riders to help manage sensitive environments, they use a permit system to allow horse riding,” said a spokesman for the agency.

“We are reviewing these permit systems to ensure our protocols are fit for purpose, justified, and fair for riders. We are inviting riders, equestrian organisations and their members to share their views to feed into this review.”

  • Take the Forestry England survey


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