Friday 18th February 2022

Important news from the BHS – Defra has repealed the 2026 cut off point for claims in England

Sent to all BHS Affiliated Equestrian Access Groups
 
On behalf of Will Steel, 2026 Project Manager
 
Dear all,
 
Hopefully, you will have already seen the wonderful news that on Wednesday (16 February 2022) the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs announced that the Government intends to repeal the 2026 cut-off date in England. This follows the decision of the Welsh Government last year to do away with the provision there.
 
The BHS has lobbied extensively for a significant extension to the cut-off date to ensure that the health, well-being, and economic benefits of many unrecorded routes are protected but the decision to repeal altogether was as unexpected as it was welcome!
 
We would like to extend a huge thank you to you, your EAG members and all our volunteers who have been working frantically to save as many routes as possible before the deadline. Project 2026, enabled with financial assistance from Sport England through British Equestrian, has been a great success with over 2,100 DMMO applications already submitted to over 50 authorities and I’m sure the scale of our response must have been a significant factor in the Government’s decision.
 
Of course, this does not mean the end of Project 2026; to the contrary it has highlighted the value of the work we are all doing in extending the equestrian network and providing extensive and safe off-road riding and we intend to continue our efforts for the foreseeable future.
 
We are still hoping to secure further funding from Sport England to continue financial support for volunteers after the current scheme ends on 31 March 2022 and will keep you posted on any developments.
 
Best wishes,
Will