Paths, Greenways, Bridleways, Tracks - Patchetts Green Bridleways Trust
The British Horse Society designated 1991 as the year of the ARROW - Access and Riding Rights of Way. Part of the year's objectives were to ride equestrian routes and to note:
  • whether the route was signposted (and whether any signage was illegal or misleading)
  • whether the route was open for use and unobstructed
  • whether any path furniture was fully functional, for example whether gates opened easily from horseback
When the survey was completed, a report was compiled of the findings and copies were supplied to the county and district councils as a record of how the route were that summer. The report was very useful subsequently in showing how things had been, for example when new obstructions appeared on paths, we had evidence that they hadn't always been there.

We were also able to identify paths that had not been recorded by the County Council and so make applications to put things right.

Image of 1991 BHS Survey Form
1991 BHS Survey Form
Now it's time to repeat the survey so we can keep paths open!
This time we will work from photographs emailed back, instead of asking for forms to be filled in.
StepHow to join in
1First identify which area you will be surveying. This might be a parish or it might just be your normal riding routes. We don't mind - all surveys are helpful!
2Get a map of the area. If you don't have a map, you could print off from Streetmap or another internet source.
3 We define a route as being from one road to another, or if the route has a T-junction, from the road to that junction. Mark the route you will survey on the map either electronically or on paper. If on paper, please take a photograph of the paper map showing the route clearly. Please keep North at the top of the picture! Or, if you are on a mobile phone, take a screen shot when zoomed in enough.

We've marked the route in red here, but this is not essential, so long as we can tell which path you are describing from your email.

4Walk or ride the route. Make a note of the date, and while you are walking or riding the route, answer the following questions and take photographs as needed. If you are riding, please take care not to put yourself in any danger while taking photographs.
4AAt the start of the route, take a close up photo of any signage, and another of it in context.
It is important that the wording is legible, so please be close enough.
4B Take a photograph facing along the path.

Landscape (rather than portrait) photographs usually show the path better in context.

4C Continue along the path, taking photographs facing along the path every 200m (220yds) or so. Take an extra picture if anything is 'interesting', such as a bridge, gate, defined gap or other piece of path furniture, a sign or waymark. If the surface changes or there is a pot hole, take a photo!
4DKeep going until you reach a junction with another path, or the next road. If you can't finish because of an obstruction (perhaps a tree is down or a gate is locked), take photos of the tree or gate (and one of the lock!).
4EAt the end of the route, turn around and take a picture of it looking along the route. If you have reached another road, take two photographs of any signage, one close-up and one in context.
5Please now send us your photos and map (or photo of the map).

From your phone: If the email size is bigger than 10Mb, please split into several smaller emails, but make sure each one has the same subject line, for example, "Survey: From Bell Lane to London Colney lake". If you survey more than one path, please send each survey separately, and with its own subject line so we can tell it is a different path. If you have any comments about the route, please let us have those too.

Or We Transfer: You can zip all your photos together and send them via We Transfer (free file transfer service, up to 2Gb). The recipient's email address is Please put the details of your path in the 'message' field.

© 2020 Patchetts Green Bridleways Trust. Registered Charity Number 1109497 (unincorporated body) and 1189953 (CIO). Affiliated to The British Horse Society and the Open Spaces Society.