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Rights of Way

As a horse rider you can use bridleways, restricted byways and byways. Carriage drivers can use restricted byways and byways. There may also be permissive paths that you are allowed to ride and/or drive along. 

You can buy maps online or in local shops that will have public routes on them. The key at the bottom of the map explains which symbol denotes which type of route.

The authorities work with a definitive map that is continually updated as routes are added or removed etc. The maps we buy will not necessarily be completely accurate as they are only updated and reprinted every few years. When an authority is approached to change the status of a route they will consult us and other user groups whilst researching the route in the archives. This process may take several years and sometimes the matter will be debated at a public inquiry. The appointed Inspector will look at all the evidence presented and reach a conclusion. Cumbria is the second largest county in England after North Yorkshire and we have the highest total of bridleways in a county. 

Local Access Forums.

Established under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 Access Forums are advisory bodies of which there are over 80 in the country and we have one in Cumbria, The Cumbria and Lakes Joint Local Access Forum.

They have appointed members and there is a wide range of representation of user groups, landowners and other interested people for example those representing disabilities all resulting in an important resource of expertise.

They provide independent advice on public access to land for open air recreation and other purposes.

The forum meets regularly and the meetings are public. If you have an issue you would like to raise then you can find out more about the forms work and how to raise a question by visiting the Cumbria County Council website.


Gatescarth Working Group.

Cumbria Bridleways Society has been involved with this working group from the start. The route is of a sensitive nature and the working group have been managing vehicle use for a number of years.

This resulted in the gates at either end being locked so horse riders also need a permit so they can open the locks (available from the Lake District National Park).

The society works hard on establishing and maintaining good relations with other users groups

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