Pathway to success

British Horse Society

British Horse Society - Credit: Archant

A new woodland bridleway for horses, cyclists and walkers has opened in Northaw thanks to the British Horse Society, dedicated equestrians and local authorities. Alex Tuck of the BHS explains

Opening of the Northaw bridleway

Opening of the Northaw bridleway - Credit: Archant

At the start of this year the British Horse Society launched the British Horse Society Paths for Communities Fund that is designed to create new bridleways and byways in England and Wales and multi-user routes in Scotland and Northern Ireland to extend access to the countryside. There have already been a number of applications received and new bridleways are coming to fruition throughout the country. Hertfordshire is one of the first counties to see the benefits of this fund, with money being approved for a new bridleway, also open to walkers and cyclists, in Northaw, near Potters Bar.

Dr Phil Wadey, the society’s historic research adviser, worked to get this wooded route on the map to enable riders, cyclists and walkers access away from the nearby heavily-used Coopers Lane Road. The new Northaw Bridleway 17 is a mile-and-a-quarter long and links two existing bridleways. Dr Wadey previously added Northaw Bridleway 10 to the definitive map. Both these routes will form part of the Potters Bar Community Circuit, a Ride-UK route in development.

The BHS Paths for Communities Fund provided £500, which was match-funded by Patchetts Green Bridleway Trust, a British Horse Society-affiliated access group. Further funding was given by Hertfordshire County Council and Northaw and Cuffley Parish Council. The route was officially opened in August by the deputy mayor of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Pat Mabbott (pictured above).

Dr Wadey was at the opening to see people enjoying the route. He said, ‘It has taken real teamwork across a wide variety of interests to get this path to happen. I am grateful to all who have contributed and I hope that many walkers, riders and cyclists will be able to enjoy this woodland path in preference to the busy Coopers Lane Road. I hope, too, that we can continue this excellent path to get even more people off the road.’

The BHS would like to hear from anyone who has used the new route and to see any pictures that riders, cyclists or walkers have taken. To send these and donate to, or make an application to, the BHS Paths for Communities fund, visit