Hampshire County Council has backed new guidance created by the Hampshire Countryside Access Forum which puts equestrian safety, and access to public rights of way, at the forefront of developer’s minds.

Executive Member for Countryside and Rural Affairs, Councillor Edward Heron, said: “Hampshire has a thriving equestrian population, I therefore hope this guide will remind those planning new developments that equestrian access is very much in demand. I would like to thank the Hampshire Countryside Access Forum for researching this topic in great depth and raising its awareness.”

Chairman of the Hampshire Countryside Access Forum, Alan Taylor, said: “There is very little information available to decision makers about equestrian needs.  Unlike other people using the countryside for recreation, horse riders are not automatically included in the planning process. We hope this guide will start to remind developers that horse riding is in demand in Hampshire and thinking about it in the planning process could increase safety for all recreational users.”

The new guide is intended to help developers think at an early stage about connecting more rights of way, as well as creating more paths which can be used by cyclists and horse riders alike.

The guide is available on the County Council’s website: http://documents.hants.gov.uk/countryside/Equestrians-in-Hampshire.pdf and is full of advice and information about equestrian use in Hampshire and the country.

The Hampshire Countryside Access Forum is a statutory forum established to advise organisations on access issues.

The guide has also been supported by the British Horse Society.

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