What are Rights of Way?

Driving unsurfaced rights of way (often called green lanes) is a popular pastime with many Land Rover owners, and our club members are no exception.  Many of our members organise informal green lane trips throughout the season and we also run club trips both locally and further afield.  These are difficult to organise though and are very flexible as they have to be weather permitting!

The Rules of Green Laning

  • Always be polite.  Many people use these routes as footpaths and look upon vehicular traffic with distaste. Like you, they have every right to use them – try not to give them ammunition to use against us.  Always be polite, especially if you are involved in any confrontation. Explain that you have a legal right to drive that particular route, but if the argument continues to develop, we find it useful if you get out your camera and ask for their name and address.  This will usually calm down the proceedings and encourage them to leave you alone.
  • Respect the life of the countryside. Be courteous to all other users and take great care when passing pedestrians and horses – be prepared to stop if required.  You should always leave gates as you find them (open or closed) and take extra care when you're near any livestock.
  • Keep to the defined track, and deviate only to pass immovable obstructions.  You should report any obstructions, including low branches and very soft ground, to the Highway Authority. If the correct route is not obvious on the ground ask local users, or check the details held at highway authorities and local record offices.
  • Travel at a quiet and unobtrusive pace and in small groups.  Remember that other users also seek to escape the bustle and rush of everyday life.  A good rule of thumb is to travel in groups of between three and five vehicles.  Any more than this, and just split into two separate groups.
  • Never venture out on your own – you never know when you might get stuck and you need a helping hand – it has happened plenty of times before!
  • Ensure that you and your vehicle are fully road legal and that you are carrying some basic recovery equipment on board. Newcomers to our sport may not yet have a full range of recovery equipment, but a towrope of suitable quality is a must, with strong recovery points both front and the rear also being essential. Another invaluable piece of equipment is a C.B.

Pay particular attention to the four "Ws"

  • Weather: Do not to travel on by-ways when the weather has affected them as they risk becoming damaged beyond a point of natural recovery when the weather does eventually improve.  If it's raining, a lane will soon become a bog.  If it does not recover naturally it will be closed for repairs, possibly for several months and then we have one less lane to use for our recreation.
  • Weight: Do not use roads, which may be seriously damaged by the wheel pressure of your vehicle. It is worth noting that Land Rovers are sometimes too heavy for routes in a poor state of repair. We do not support the use of heavy vehicles on by-ways.
  • Width: Do not use roads that are too narrow for your vehicle. You should always avoid damage to trees, hedges and boundaries.
  • Winches: Use winches only when other methods have failed.  When using winches you must avoid damage to trees, walls, hedges and minimise the damage to the road surface.