Equestrian activities are beginning to get back into action, a welcome change in fortune for businesses such as saddlers and farriers who have been hit hard by FMD.

The BHS has contactedlocal media to put across the message that riding in an indoor school or arena carries minimal risk of spreading FMD and for many riding schools and livery yards, who do not rely on hacking or trekking it is business as usual.

In many unrestricted areas, local authorities are beginning to reopen rights of way, particularly where the path is in an urban or livestock-free setting.

Local authorities are also responding to the requests of the community and horseowners are advised to get in touch with council rights of way officers to ensure that riders’ views are heard.

The website of the Institute of Public Rights of Way www.iprow.co.uk gives up-to-date information on which paths are open, provides links to other useful sites such as the National Trust and Forestry Commission and publishes contact details for local authority rights of way officers.

For more information on how the rest of the industry is coping in the crisis, see full report in this week’s Horse & Hound (12 April).