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
— To report suspicious or dangerous activity
please call 01980 674700
MOD Firing times
— 01980 674763
SPTA Head Quarters
— 01980 674679
Wiltshire PROW Map
Green Lane Association (www.glass-uk.org/)
Trail Riders Fellowship (www.trf.org.uk/)
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.
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 4x4 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: