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Countryside Access

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 18 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the policy is of his Department on encouraging equestrian access to the countryside. (116097)

We have worked closely with both the British Horse Society and British Horse Industry Confederation on the production of the joint “Horse Industry Strategy for England and Wales” which was launched in December 2005. Improved equestrian access features strongly in the strategy which is available from the Defra website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/horses/topics/strategy.htm.

The Government are committed to improving access for equestrians by increasing the number of bridleways and improving the off-road riding and driving network. A number of current initiatives, such as Rights of Way Improvement Plans and the Discovering Lost Ways Project, aim to achieve this objective. Local access forums also play an important role in pressing the case for equestrian access in the development of the bridleway network.