The British Horse Society (BHS) is urging riders to air their views on the use of forests and woodland in England.

The government has set up an independent panel to advise on the future of England’s forests and woods, and has asked the public to share their opinions. The panel has called the consultation “an ongoing dialogue with everyone who is interested in forests and woods”.

The panel’s remit includes public, private and charity-owned forests, and will consider access for leisure pursuits.

BHS director of access safety and welfare Mark Weston said: “As equestrians were not represented on the independent panel, it is imperative that riders make their voices heard. We are campaigning for fairer access for equestrians to forests and woodlands, as riders and carriage drivers are often restricted in their access to forests where other user groups are not.”

The consultation is open until 31 July.

For full details, visit http://archive.defra.gov.uk/rural/forestry/documents/forestry-panel-callforviews-110519.pdf

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (16 June, 2011)