Do You Know Your ROW (Rights Of Way)? 1

Do You Know Your ROW (Rights Of Way)?

Let’s face it, if you are on this website then you like to use public Rights Of Way (ROW). There are all sorts of rights of way on an OS map, ranging from footpaths to Byways Open To All Traffic. Lets have a look at all the different types of rights of way and establish what rights we do or don’t have as the case may be!

Rights Of Way Legend

  • Footpath – The green dashed line (on OS Explorer Maps) or pink dashed line (on OS Landranger Maps) are footpaths with public right of way. These footpaths are legally protected routes open to the public. Local authorities keep and maintain the definitive map of Rights of Way. These are the legal documents for the status and alignment of Rights of Way. Local Authorities pass details of amendments to the definitive map to Ordnance Survey for inclusion in our maps. Footpaths may cross private land and in such cases the footpath must be kept to, the public only have the right to walk along the footpath. If a landowner wishes to divert a public right of way they must obtain a legal order from the local authorities to amend the definitive map. Footpaths are sign posted, usually with yellow or green arrows.
  • Bridleway – Bridleways are also legally protected routes that the public have access to either on foot or on horseback.
    Cyclists can use bridleways however according to the Countryside Act 1968 there is no legal obligation to facilitate the cyclists on the routes. If pushbike riders use bridleways they must give way to other users.
    Bridleway signs can be recognised by the blue arrow.
  • Byway open to all traffic – These are the Rights of Way that will be of interest to Greenlaners, these byways are open to all forms of traffic as the title suggests. Pedestrians, horse riders, cyclists and motorised vehicles can use these routes. If you use these routes in a 4×4 or on a motorbike, it is worth noting that normal highway laws apply, this means the vehicle must be taxed, have an MOT certificate and be roadworthy. Insurance and a driving license is also required to use these ROW. BOAT’s are usually marked with a red arrow.
  • Restricted byway – These byways have restrictions in place which prevent users from traveling along them in motorised vehicles. You can only use restricted byways on foot, horseback, bicycle or horse drawn carriage.
  • Other public access route – Whilst these routes are rights of way, the exact permissions of the routes need to be checked with the local highway authority prior to traveling on one of these routes.
  • Recreational route – These routes are created by Local Authorities, Government Agencies or volunteer organisations, Usually these routes follow existing rights of way which are waymarked by the organisation that created the route.
  • National Trail / Long distance route – As the title suggests, these are long distance routes.  Restrictions apply, some will only be open to walkers, others may also be open to cyclists and horse riders.
  • Permissive footpath – A footpath which crosses over private land and isn’t a right of way. Permission for access will have been granted by the landowner, they have the right to withdraw permission at any time. These paths are usually closed for one day per year, doing so protects the landowner against any future claims of continuous public right of way. The date of closure will be well signed in the area or access.
  • Permissive bridleway – Exactly the same rules apply as with the permissive footpath. These routes cross private land with permissive access granted by the landowner.
  • Traffic free cycle route – A designated traffic free cycle route, these are not part of the national cycle network.
  • National cycle network – A national, sign posted cycle routes that are either on road or traffic free.
  • Danger area – These routes usually cross areas such as a military firing range, always adhere to the warning signs around the area! It is advised to contact the Ministry of Defence when planning your trip to find out about any restrictions in the area.
  • Managed access – This could also be on a military firing range and again the warning notices around the area need be observed and adhered to at all times. Access is restricted and managed in this area and you can contact the Ministry of Defence ahead of your trip to find out about any restrictions.
  • Open access land (England & Wales) – These areas in England Wales is shaded in yellow on the map. This is open access land and within this area you are free to roam, this means you do not have to stick to footpaths and trails running across this land. Boundaries to open access land is a thicker tan coloured line.
  • Right to Roam (Scotland) – The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 gives the public the right to be on any land for recreational, educational and certain other purposes and to cross the land if exercised responsibly. In some circumstances it may be required that you get permission from the landowners, however you have the right to roam on foot, cycling or horse riding.  Dog walkers are permitted, however dogs must be kept under control at all times. Hunting, shooting, fishing or access to motorised vehicles is not permitted.

Whilst most of you are probably only interested in BOAT’s, it is useful to know your right’s of way. If you come across a blocked right of way or you are unsure about access, then your first port of call should be with the Rights of Way Officer with the local authority. They will hold the definitive list of the rights of way in that area and should be able to advise or help clear the route.

If you are looking to plan a ‘green laning’ day using ‘green roads’ or BOAT’s then check out our guide to planning a greenlaning route.

New to greenlaning? Check out or beginners guide to green laning



byway open to all traffic

Newbies Guide To Greenlaning

You have just brought a 4×4 and you are looking to do your first greenlane, so what do you need to know? This comprehensive guide will answer most questions you may have about your first time out green laning.

A Green lane trip may seem like a daunting experience, nobody wants to actually damage their vehicle or get stuck, however out of all the off-roading you can do, typically green laning is the least damaging as long as you approach it sensibly!

Green laning is great fun, but it needs to be done safely and legally, that’s why we have made this guide for you. So get reading and digesting then get out there and explore all the trails you can in a safe and responsible way.

Q/ What are green lanes?
A/ Green lanes are usually un-surfaced lanes, tracks or trails that are open for motorised vehicles to use. These ancient lanes also known as Byways are often overgrown and network around the countryside which is where they gained the unofficial name of ‘Greenlanes’ or ‘Green Roads’. When plotting a route you are looking for Byways Open To All Traffic (BOAT’s) or Unclassified Country Roads (UCR).

Q/ Do I need Tax and MOT to drive a Green lane?
A/ Greenlanes are actually public highways and as such you need to abide by the same laws which are applicable to main roads, so you need tax, MOT and insurance as well as a current driving license. You vehicle must be road worthy when traveling on byways.

Q/ My vehicle is legal does this mean I can drive any green lane?
A/ Not all byways are open to motorised traffic, some of them may have had a Traffic Regulation Order on them (TRO). It is up to you to make sure that a greenlane is open to all traffic and does not have any restrictions in place. It is also worth checking that the lane is suitable for your vehicle.

Q/ How do I find green lanes?
A/ There are a few tried and tested methods to finding greenlanes which are listed below:

Join local clubs – Local information is often the best
Join Facebook groups or websites pertaining to Green laning – Often there are localised groups that are worth joining to organise trips or gain local knowledge on specific lanes.
Buy and OS map of the area you wish to go laning – OS maps can fast become outdated, always check with a definitive map or local council that the lanes do not have TRO’s.
Try Trailwise – Its free to use, however if you join GLASS, TRF or CALM you will have access to more features. For more information on using Trailwise and the memberships etc, check our guide on ‘Planning a route the easy way‘.

Q/ I have found some greenlanes, now what?
You have joined some groups, you have planned a route and checked they do not have any restrictions, now you need to make sure you and vehicle are prepared to go laning!

Basic Fundamentals:
Fully charged mobile phone / phone charger.
First Aid Kit
Suitable off road Jack such as a Hi-Lift Jack
Spare wheel and wheel brace
Food and drink
Basic Tool kit
Suitable clothing and footwear
Satnav and mapping applications, paper maps.

Make sure your vehicle is reliable and roadworthy.
Carry recovery gear such as strops, shackles, ropes and possibly some digging equipment such as a shovel.
Consider a winch, if you do not wish to spend out on a winch right away, a Hi Lift Jack or Tirfor would suffice for the interim. Long term a winch is a good investment.
Waffle boards or mats are useful in the event you lose traction.

Vehicle Accessories:

Not essential, but would certainly help on some of the more challenging lanes.

Diff guards
Rock sliders
Axle Breathers
CB radio

Q/ Got all that now what?
A/ Never go out alone, but you are now ready to go out there and have some fun! Just remember the following:

Remember it is a public high way and a shared route, so respect others and give way to pedestrians and horse riders.
Make sure you check that the green lane is open for you to use
Stay on the track… Do not go off-piste!!
Keep to a nice slow speed.
A maximum of 5 -7 vehicles in recommend in convoy, if there are trucks split up into groups to keep numbers down.
Respect the the countryside, if the weather has been bad for long periods, avoid lanes that suffer from water damage.
Always ensure some one knows where you are, having said that you should never go laning alone.
Carry all the listed gear and more. Be prepared!
Avoid driving extremely damaged green lanes, we do not want more lanes being closed for good.

Last but not least, go out there and have fun!

Hero 4x4 Driver Calls For Decrease In Road Tax 2

Hero 4×4 Driver Calls For Decrease In Road Tax

During the recent snow storms that brought the country to its knees last week, an army of 4×4 drivers took to the roads to help those in need. All over the internet videos were popping up of 4×4’s towing lorries to safety, pulling cars out of ditches, ferrying people to and from Hospitals, railway stations and aiding the Emergency services.

All over the Facebook ‘Off roading’ community groups brave 4×4 drivers have been telling how they have generously spent their free time and fuel helping those in need:

Richie J Tatman: “Since half 2 Thursday I’ve been out till midnight and up at half 6 doing runs for the NHS getting staff to and from the hospital between that was helping care workers get round to see the elderly and make sure they had everything they needed. Been rescuing cars and lorries and vans out the way to keep traffic all around Exeter and surrounding areas. Been helping friends get to and from as well”

Marcus Blakeley: “300tdi disco been towing people up hills in Willand and Cullomoton also a lorry getting though Willand and a few recovery dragging people out of snow drifts let’s say I’ve had hardly any sleep and I’m feeling it today lol”

Hero 4x4 Driver Calls For Decrease In Road Tax 3

Bradley Turner: “200tdi Land Rover 90. Taking elderly people shopping. Giving people lifts to and from work helping people get there cars out. Taking people to there animal(horses)”

Hero 4x4 Driver Calls For Decrease In Road Tax 4

Adam Pagett:Drove a doctor around Tiverton area calling on urgent patients, delivered prescriptions and took a hospice career to a remote property.”

Trevor Burridge: “Since it’s started snowing Thursday helped family members get home from work which then turned to friends of family, friends of friends and By Friday/Saturday it was just anyone & everyone who needed transport including Hospital staff to and from work. Towing people out the snow as and when I came across them.”

Hero 4x4 Driver Calls For Decrease In Road Tax 5

Ollie Woods: “Since 1pm till gone 1/2 in the morning both nights started at 8am yesterday constantly picking up NHS staff to and from work rescued many of motorists stranded at their cars on passing taken someone from Chudleigh to Newton to care for heavily cancer ridden family member rescued a few cars that blocked roads running out of talent. And taken people with their children to seek refuge with family that have electric/gas/water non stop covering between Newton abbot to Exeter and everywhere in between.”

Levi Hamilton: “Been towing people out, giving lifts, picking people up who have been stranded and dropping them to there homes met many nice people and nice to see so many 4x4s out and about helping Hero 4x4 Driver Calls For Decrease In Road Tax 6???? well done everyone Hero 4x4 Driver Calls For Decrease In Road Tax 7????Hero 4x4 Driver Calls For Decrease In Road Tax 7

Hero 4x4 Driver Calls For Decrease In Road Tax 9

These are just an example of some of the brave 4×4 drivers that risked their own safety to help others, social media is full of examples just like those above, a community of 4×4 drivers pulling together to help those in need, a community that is usually frowned upon, a community that is penalised for driving the very vehicles that aided emergency services and rescued those in need last week.

One driver has actually started a petition for a decrease in road tax and some recognition for all the hard work many of us 4×4 owners put into helping out those in need.

“To the Minister for Transport

Dear Sir
Now that the worst of the winter weather for 2018 is over I ask you to consider this. Over the last week, most of the UK has been battered by winter storms which have left thousands of people stranded, and thousands of essential workers unable to do their jobs. Ordinary people. Care workers, School teachers, NHS staff, shop workers, delivery drivers….Thousands of people. Into this mess have stepped hundreds if not thousands of 4×4 drivers who have freely given their time to venture out in the worst of the weather to rescue those stranded. To ferry midwives out to pregnant women. To tow stranded 44 ton articulated lorries with their 2 ton Land Rovers. To recover cars which have become bogged in snow drifts, or stuck on hills. Mums and kids trying to get home. Plumbers trying to get to old people with no heating. Teachers trying to get to school.

This army of 4×4 drivers has kept so much of this country moving in the last week, do you think it out of place for a very public “Thank You” from the government? We have given our time, fuel, cheerfulness all without any thought of reward, other than a most heartfelt “Thank You” from those rescued, and that means the most to us.

But you and the government seen hell bent on driving us off the road with Punitive tax increases! Most of those out there this week have not been new £100,000 Range Rover drivers who can afford £2000 a year for their new cars, but ordinary people who use their 4×4’s every day for work. Farmers, construction workers, and hundreds of enthusiasts who keep these vehicles because they love them. People who need 4×4’s. And it feels like the government want these vehicles off the road with extortionate tax rises.

So please, think on this volunteer army who have done so much to help keep this country moving this week, don’t kick us too hard, or in future when you need us most, we may just not be there…….

An Old Land Rover driver…..”

The petition is almost at 15,000 signatures, if you haven’t done already, please show your support and sign the petition.

What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 10

What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads?

Greenlaning or green laning is an outdoor pursuit of driving along the network of public byways that run the length and breadth of the country.  The greenlanes are typically unsurfaced and only suitable for “off-road” vehicles. The byways are often overgrown which is why they are known as “Green lanes”. Green lane or green road is not a legal term, under the Countryside and Public Rights of Way Act 2000 there are four categories of Public Rights of Way in the UK. Not all are open to motorised vehicles so it’s worth checking the legality of the lanes before driving them.

What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 11

Public Rights of way types:

Footpath: Pedestrian use only What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 12

Bridleway: Pedestrians, horse traffic and cyclists What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 12What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 14What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 15What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 16 What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 17

Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT): Open to all types of traffic usually only suitable for 4×4 vehicle, ‘off-road’ bikes, pedestrians, horses and cyclists. What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 12What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 14What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 15What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 16What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 17What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 23What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 24

Restricted Byway (RB): Allows horses, pedestrians, horse drawn carriages, no mechanical vehicles.  What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 12What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 14What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 15What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 16What Is Green Laning | Greenlaning | Green Roads? 17

The byways each have their own unique symbols on Ordnance Survey (OS) maps of England and Wales but not of Scotland. The symbols can be found on the maps key:

Footpath: ……………

Bridleway: ———–

Byway Open to All Traffic: +++++++ 

Who can legally use Greenlanes / Green Roads / Green Lanes / Byways

In short, byways are highways and publicly owned and therefore they are open to use by the general public. As these green lanes are public highways the same laws regarding the use of vehicles on the road are applicable to these routes. That means that drivers must posses a current driving license, vehicles must have MOT, tax and insurance.

Rights of way on Greenlanes / Green Roads / Green Lanes / Byways

There is no legal rights of way, the common etiquette is that motorised vehicles give way to cyclists, horses and pedestrians. As greenlanes are shared routes a common sense approach should be taken by all users to ensure that everybody is safe whilst using the lanes.

How can I find Greenlanes / Green Roads / Green Lanes / Byways

There are a few ways of going about finding greenlanes. The first thing you should do is get an OS map which covers the area you want to go laning in. Just remember an OS map isn’t foolproof, it may be outdated.

Join a Group: Such as GLASS (Green Lane Association), TRF or CALM. Joining one of these groups will get you access to Trailwise, you can find out how to use Trailwise in our tutorial.

Find Local Groups: There are usually local greenlaning groups on Facebook, this is probably the easiest way to get introduced to the local lanes in your area. You can use Viewranger or other mapping applications to record your route for reference at a later date.

Use Trailwise: Trailwise is accessible for free, although the features are more restricted, it is certainly worth becoming a paid up member of one of the groups above for full access. TrailWise brings together Rights of Way information in the United Kingdom to aid those carrying out research into old roads and highways. It is especially valuable for finding lost roads and un-recorded lanes. TrailWise also helps people find out where they can drive green lanes. Free users get a 3km search radius, whilst subscribed members get access to a much wider search range and additional features. Trailwise features a very handy “maps browser”, which searches a database of green lanes and places an overlay onto a map.

Plan a route: Plan a route in advance, cross reference your route against the local definitive maps which can be found online. Also visit the lanes to check for any prohibition notices.
Greenlanes vary in length and also difficulty. Most lanes are quite short, when planning your route try and link as many together as you can in the area. Make sure the lanes are suitable for your vehicle, some can be low and unsuitable for taller vehicles, whilst others may be narrow and unsuitable for wider vehicles.

Be Prepared: Make sure you carry suitable recovery gear, strops, D-shackles, Hi Lift Jack etc. Never go laning on your own, the last thing you want is to run into trouble and get stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Useful Links for Green Laning

Throughout this article we have briefly touched upon certain organisations or mapping software, you can find out more about each of them by following the links below. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments, we will be only to happy to help.

Ordnance Survey

Green Lane Association

The Trail Riders Fellowship




Nant y Moch, Ceredigion Temporary TRO Lifted SN7186-01 30

Nant y Moch, Ceredigion Temporary TRO Lifted SN7186-01

The temporary TRO that had been placed on U1056 at Nant y Moch, Ceredigion has now been lifted. The complete loop, highlighted, is is now open to all traffic again.

All repairs work is now complete.  Repairs were made to the road due to deterioration caused by water ingress over the last few wet winters. This byway has been subject to weather damage over the years, so please use this byway with care.

TrailWise UID: SN7186-01

Nant y Moch, Ceredigion Temporary TRO Lifted SN7186-01 31

Trailwise has been updated, massive thanks to GLASS.

Wetton Hill Byway Staffordshire Proposed TRO - Help Fight It! 32

Wetton Hill Byway Staffordshire Proposed TRO – Help Fight It!

Popular byway ‘Wetton Hill’ is under threat of permanent closure to all mechanical vehicles by the Peak District National Park Authority, help fight the full time TRO!

Wetton Hill is a popular 1.4 km route along the Manifold Valley. The route does suffer from waterlogging during the winter months, however it is sustainable during the drier conditions.

GLASS have picked up the gauntlet and are opposing a full time TRO being placed on the route as they believe given the sustainability, a full Traffic Regulation Order, which would be unjustified.

A GLASS representative said “We believe the evidence on this route does not justify a  be disproportionate and illogical. GLASS would – in view of the specific circumstances of this route – be prepared to support a proportionate seasonal TRO during the wettest months of each year.

If you enjoy greenlaning and do not agree with the lanes being closed where it is not warranted, please have your say by responding to the Consultation on a Proposed Traffic Regulation Order by Peak District National Park Authority: (Wetton Hills Prohibition of Mechanically Propelled Vehicles) Traffic Regulation Order 2018.

You can have your say using the online system by going to the comments submission form or you can write to Rights of Way at Aldern House, Baslow Road, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1AE.

Representations must be received by 5pm on Thursday 6 April 2018.

If you are writing to us please ensure you include as part of your representation:-

  1. your full name and address;
  2. whether you are representing your personal views or the views of an organisation;
  3. whether your comments are in favour of the proposal, objecting to the proposal or are general comments. If your comments object to the proposal, please set out the grounds on which your objection is made.

We can not stress enough that you are posting a comment as an individual, and you are OBJECTING to the Authority’s proposals for a full time TRO.

Please encourage your local club members and greenlaners to do the same, lets not loose yet another sustainable lane.

Representations must be received by the Authority by 5pm on Thursday 6 April 2018.

How To Plot A Route For Greenlaning The Easy Way 33

How To Plot A Route For Greenlaning The Easy Way

How to plot a route for greenlaning? It’s the most frequently asked question by newbies when they first discover the joys of traversing BOAT’s (Byways Open To All Traffic).

Greenlaning has grown in popularity over the past few years, more and more people are taking up the activity but it’s getting a bad rep by the press. The reputation of greenlaning is being literally dragged through the mud by those that do not find the legal routes to drive, or mistreat them.
We believe that by educating people how to locate a legal byway and how to use them responsibly is the way forward, hopefully more people can enjoy the hobby without fear of being Off-Piste.

Greenlanes, Byways, Greenroads, whatever you wish to call them are having restrictions placed on them all the time, whether they be voluntary, temporary or permanently, so checking the legality of a lane is essential when plotting a route.

Finding a greenlane isn’t necessarily as easy as whipping out a Land Ranger OS map and looking for Public Byways, as the information on these maps can be out dated. Last week we checked out a byway on an OS map that has now been declassified to a footpath, so always check first. We recommend that you get access to Trailwise.

What Is Trailwise?

TrailWise brings together Rights of Way information in the United Kingdom to aid those carrying out research into old roads and highways. It is especially valuable for finding lost roads and un-recorded lanes. TrailWise also helps people find out where they can drive green lanes.
GLASS (Greenlaning Association) have created  TrailWise Rights of Way Catalogue. You can use for FREE, however if you subscribe to GLASS you get access to more features for an annual fee.
Trailwise enables users to search for greenlanes in any chosen location. Free users get a 3km search radius, whilst subscribed members get access to a much wider search range and additional features. Trailwise features a very handy “maps browser”, which searches a database of green lanes and places an overlay onto a map.

Support TrailWise

If you plan to use TrailWise extensively it’s well worth registering as a member of the Greenlaning Association (GLASS). Membership is open to anyone for an annual fee of £32.00. Your subscription not only gets you full access to Trailwise, the fees help GLASS fund the upkeep of byways, and fighting to keep them open.

As well as getting access to the mapping service you will also benefit from the following:

Membership Benefits

  • Regular digital bulletins
  • 2 magazines per year
  • Members website
  • Legal challenges to lane closures
  • TRAILWISE (National catalogue of rights of way)
  • Access to area reps for route planning and advice
  • Direct contact from area reps
  • Members web forum
  • LARA member – A voice at Government level
  • In depth knowledge

How To Use Trailwise:

Google search Trailwise or visit Trailwise here.

How To Plot A Route For Greenlaning The Easy Way 34

Click on maps (or search)

How To Plot A Route For Greenlaning The Easy Way 35

Note: Having a Full membership gives you access to comments made by other members on a greenlanes, you will also be able to add your own comments for other people. The comments will give an indication of what a lane is like, maybe warn of potential obstacles, condition of the lane, suitability for certain vehicle types etc.

Select an area you wish to plot a route in, wherever you click will show a Grid Reference in the bottom left corner.
Once you’ve made your selection, you need to search for tracks in view and then confirm your search area.
Click the search ‘Search for tracks in view’ button.

How To Plot A Route For Greenlaning The Easy Way 36

As you can see in the image above that search revealed nothing in that area, so I can click the search button again to search 3km around that area.

How To Plot A Route For Greenlaning The Easy Way 37

Widening the search has revealed a lane. Remember this feature is only for registered members.

How To Plot A Route For Greenlaning The Easy Way 38

Click on the lane and it will bring up information on the right hand panel, this shows traffic restrictions, a UID (UID = Unique IDentification number, a method of uniquely naming track sections within the system, calculated from the position of the track) and the name of the lane.

How To Plot A Route For Greenlaning The Easy Way 39

Extending the search in the area has revealed lanes with dead ends, these are highlighted on the map with little dead end symbols.

How To Plot A Route For Greenlaning The Easy Way 40

Above is a lane with comments to help give other users an idea of what the lane is like.

Alternatively you can text search lanes within a specific area and range.

How To Plot A Route For Greenlaning The Easy Way 41

The text search feature enables you to search for lanes in a specific area, find tracks by name and find tracks with restrictions in place.

How To Plot A Route For Greenlaning The Easy Way 42

Using the Trailwsie Exporter, you can plot a route and export it for use on Memory Maps or Anquet. To use this feature you must be have a current membership which grants you full access to all of Trailwise functions.
You can download the exporter by clicking the link below:

DOWNLOAD the latest version of Exporter (1.03) from

It is worth noting at this point that you can also get full access to Trailwise by joining other organisations which we have listed below.

Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF)
Countryside Access for the Less Mobile (CALM)

Happy Valley Voluntary Restraint Being Ignored By 4x4 drivers 43

Happy Valley Voluntary Restraint Being Ignored By 4×4 drivers

Off road vehicles are still being driven on parts of Snowdonia despite there being a voluntary restraint on the byway known locally as Happy Valley.

The voluntary restraint on Happy Valley byway in Wales would run until April according to a tweet by GLASS. Stakeholder members requested the ongoing voluntary restraint on Happy Valley, the restraint includes both motorbikes and 4×4 vehicles.

Snowdonia National Park Authority say that byways in Cwm Maethlon, near Aberdyfi, Gwynedd have been substantially damaged and they do not have the funds to cover the repair. Gwynedd council has arranged for transportation officers to visit the site and assess the situation.

Green Lane Association (Glass) has pledged money and asked drivers that drivers of 4×4 vehicles and off road motorcycles stay away from the ‘Happy Valley’ byway.

Storm Doris caused damage to the Byway last year which has been made worse by some isolated incidents of illegal and inappropriate use by 4x4s.


A group of 4×4 drivers were using the ancient roads last August when one of the vehicles got stuck causing damage to the green lanes. One of the drivers from the group said one of the drivers had got badly stuck and some “regrettable damage” was done to remove the truck, adding drivers would be willing to help pay for the repairs.

I can fully understand that this will upset some people, had we known of the problem beforehand we would have avoided the route altogether,” he said.

This is a very short section on a very long, challenging and beautiful route, the vast majority of which can be driven without doing any harm.

It would be a shame if access was denied to the whole route because of this one section but none of us wish to make the situation worse.

On the flip side the Park authorities feel as though they have been put in very frustrating position.

Consideration is not given to other users, fragile habitats and the environment of the national park are being destroyed as tracks become wider resulting in more damage.

Repairs are too costly for the authority and landowners to implement and traffic regulation orders can result in significant costs.

It said Glass, a group that promotes sensible driving in the countryside, had agreed to contribute towards the costs of repairs to one section of the road.

The authority will also work with the group, landowners, Gwynedd council and North Wales Police to prevent the “damaging and anti-social behaviour”.

Gwynedd council said: “Officers from the council’s transportation service will be visiting the site to assess the condition of the route and to consider the options available to manage the flow of traffic.”

What is Greenlaning and How To Do It Safely and legally 44

What is Greenlaning and How To Do It Safely and legally

There are a set of guidelines which explain what greenlaning is and how to do it safely and legally. The Ministry of Defense (MOD) have released a set of guidelines to ensure 4×4 motorists drive responsibly on the UK’s largest military training area, Salisbury Plain. These guidelines can be applied to greenlaning in any areas, so they are worth a read:

When can I access Salisbury Plain training area (SPTA)
SPTA is an extensively used training area. Military training can limit public access and is scheduled throughout the year. For up to date access information contact 01980674763.

The timing and extent of live firing is available on the telephone or online (see useful info/contact numbers). Locally, red flags (day time) or lamps (night time) warn the public of areas in which live firing is in progress. Please read and abide by local site notices and directions.
The Salisbury Plain military lands byelaws were written in 1981; a period when greenlaning was in its infancy. Now a popular and more accessible recreational activity, the impact on both the military and public rights of way (PROW) network is increasing.
Although the MOD has made considerable investment into the road network on the Plain, just like PROW, some will be harder wearing than others.
Military roads are installed first and foremost to provide an essential network allowing the military to traverse the Plain.
We therefore urge greenlaners to approach the use of the Plain in a respectful and sustainable manner, following the good practice guidelines set out in this leaflet, to minimise their impacts. This will ensure SPTA can function as an important military training area whilst remaining an enjoyable location to experience greenlaning.
Useful info / contact numbers
Plain Watch
— To report suspicious or dangerous activity
please call 01980 674700
MOD Firing times
— 01980 674763
SPTA Head Quarters
— 01980 674679
SPTA Byelaws
SPTA Newsletter
Wiltshire PROW Map
Country Code
Green Lane Association (
Treadlightly (
Trail Riders Fellowship (
Wiltshire Council
Wiltshire & Swindon Countryside Access For Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA) is the largest military training area in the United Kingdom. At 94,000 acres it is the same size as the Isle of Wight and covers a ninth of the county of Wiltshire. SPTA has an extensive network of public highways and is nationally recognised for its greenlaning opportunities.

Where can you drive/ride?
Public Rights of Way (PROW) Motor vehicular use is limited to byways open to all traffic (BOAT), and unclassified and classified roads. Public footpaths, bridleways and restricted byways are not for use by motorised vehicles. A map of the Wiltshire PROW network can be found online
SPTA Byelaws allow you to drive / ride road legal vehicles on Ministry of Defence (MOD) roads made up for vehicular use where access is not excluded or restricted by sign, barrier or other means. MOD permissive roads can be and are closed at any time.
You must not leave PROW or MOD roads in your vehicle. Please be aware commercial events utilising MOD roads requires a licence obtainable from SPTA Headquarters.
Good Practice Guidelines
•Use only BOAT, unclassified and classified roads and permissive MOD roads.
•Give way to military vehicles and personnel. Comply with any directions given to you by military personnel / MOD staff and be prepared to take an alternative route if required.
•Give way to walkers, horse riders and cyclists and be prepared to stop your engine to let them pass.
•Ensure that you and your vehicle are fully road legal. Vehicular access on SPTA PROW and MOD roads is subject to the same regulations that apply to all public roads.
•Keep to the defined track. Areas of SPTA are used for live firing and to go beyond defined MOD roads or PROW could be extremely dangerous. If the route is not obvious contact Wiltshire Council.
•Travel at a quiet and unobtrusive pace. When travelling in groups keep to a small number: four cars or six bikes maximum.
Larger groups should split up and use alternative routes rather than using the same trails to avoid causing excessive damage.
•A speed limit of 30 mph is operated on MOD roads and it is strongly recommended that this is limited to 20 mph when travelling on PROW.
•Pay attention to “The Four Ws”: Weather – do not travel on PROW during or following periods of extreme wet weather as they risk being damaged beyond a point of natural recovery. Remember that not all routes are appropriate for vehicle use at all times.
Weight – Do not use PROW that may be seriously damaged by the wheel pressure of your vehicle.
Width – Do not use PROW that are too narrow for your vehicle. Avoid damage to trees, hedgerows and boundaries.
Winches – The use of winches on PROW or MOD roads is inappropriate and should not be required.
•Follow the Countryside Code.
•Remember that wildlife faces many threats and PROW can be valuable habitats. Take special care in spring and early summer.

Although this guide was written for the use of Salisbury plain, most of the rules apply to all greenlaning no matter the area.
Always make sure you check the legality of routes against a definitive map of the area, these can usually be found online with a quick Google search and inform you if the byway is closed.

Try to avoid going out laning by yourself unless you are 100% certain that you can manage the lane without putting yourself in danger of getting stuck.

Always let someone know where you are going. It pays to inform other people of your whereabouts just in case something should happen.

Plan your route in advance, making sure that all routes all legal byways open to all traffic BOAT’s and do not have any temporary restrictions in place.

Carry recovery equipment and tools, make sure you have a spare tire.

Common sense should prevail whilst pursuing an outdoor activity such as greenlaning. Keep in mind that you will come across people on horses, pushbikes, and walkers so keep your speed to a minimum to prevent accidents and damage to the byway surfaces.

North Yorkshire Deadmans Hill Voluntary Restraint 45

North Yorkshire Deadmans Hill Voluntary Restraint

A voluntary restraint agreement has been placed on Deadmans Hill. This requests motor vehicle users not to use the route unless they can stay on the correct line and leave minimal evidence of passage. LARA, the TRF and GLASS are aware that recent repairs did not have grips put in and subsequently during the wet weather water has got into sections which will remain wet and vulnerable for long periods. Inappropriate use will seriously damage the fragile moorland surface. Could we all avoid driving Deadmans Hill please! There is some water damage at the foot of the climb which is causing problems for motorists. GLASS claim to have a plan going forward, we will keep you updated.