Throughout May The British Horse Society's Ride Out UK Month will be encouraging riders to saddle up and explore the scenic routes in a joint effort to promote their work in protecting and extending safe off-road routes for riders and carriage drivers.
Events will be running throughout May, organized by BHS HQ, BHS county committees, Affiliated Equestrian Access Groups and BHS Approved Centres, so there’ll be plenty to get involved with. This year’s BHS Ride Out UK Month is supported by Equisafety, an international company specialising in sophisticated reflective sportswear. We encourage all riders to be safe when riding out – wear hi-viz to make sure you’re visible, wherever you’re riding.
Not only is Ride Out UK Month a great opportunity to get outside and explore the beautiful countryside, the fundraising events organised will benefit the BHS Paths for Communities Fund, which can help local riders and carriage drivers to create off-road routes in their areas.
Last year the BHS raised more than £8,200 during the week, and expect to raise even more this year. Since the creation of Paths for Communities in
2015, the BHS has received more than 32 applications from riders wanting to benefit from the fund. In total, nearly £20,000 has been used to fund Paths for Communities projects. This has created five new routes in the UK.
The BHS has also teamed up with the National Trust to offer five pleasure rides on UK National Trust sites – a great opportunity to get out and explore some of the most beautiful estates on horseback. These rides are suitable for all ages and abilities; you can even bring non-horsey friends and family to come along and watch. Visit www.bhs.org.uk for more details on these rides and more near you throughout May.
RECORD YOUR ROUTES
As well as applauding the efforts of BHS volunteers, local authorities and organisations that help protect and extend off-road routes for riders, the BHS will be using Ride Out UK Month to raise awareness of the diminishing bridleway and byway network in England and Wales. We have until 2026 to record all pre-1949 routes as bridleways or byways, otherwise they will be extinguished from the maps.
The BHS Access team and their volunteers are working tirelessly to register as many of these routes as possible, but really need your help.
Just because you ride on a route, doesn’t mean it’s recorded. Ride Out UK Month is a great chance to record the routes that you ride, to ensure future generations can enjoy them.