The British Horse Society (BHS) is inviting all riders to sign a petition asking the government to consult them in access and rights of way legislation.

Henry Whittaker, senior executive of access and rights of way at the BHS, said equestrians had been neglected in recent access-creating legislation.

“The ramblers always get consulted but smaller groups often get overlooked by the government,” he said. “But the BHS does represent over 100,000 people — including the affiliated groups — so we think we should be consulted through the whole legislative process.”

Mr Whittaker cited as an example the Countryside Rights of Way Act 2000 “when ‘open access’ was, in the end, just for walkers”. He said he thought the forthcoming coastal access legislation was “going the same way”.

Mark Weston, BHS director of access, safety and welfare, said: “It is vital we use all means available to impress on the government that equestrians need more and safer access. E-petitions are one way of showing the demand.”

The petition can be signed at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Equestrianaccess/