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.
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:
- 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.
Click on maps (or search)
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.
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.
Widening the search has revealed a lane. Remember this feature is only for registered members.
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.
Extending the search in the area has revealed lanes with dead ends, these are highlighted on the map with little dead end symbols.
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.
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.
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 www.trailwise.org.uk/download/TrailWise_Exporter.zip
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)