Our greenlanes are under threat. There are people who want to see all 4x4s banned from the countryside. A small minority group are behaving recklessly and giving all 4×4 users a bad reputation. Please follow our Greenlane Code to help keep our lanes a public right of way for all of us.
First and foremost: greenlanes are NOT a 4×4 Play Site! (Though this should be obvious, unfortunately this still has to be said to some people.) They are there to be driven with care and consideration. If you want to tear about, up to your doors in mud, getting stuck and making loads of noise, then join your nearest off-road club and go to their off-road play-days at specially designed sites. These are well worth the small charge because you also know you’re allowed to drive there and get as muddy as you like! Greenlaning is meant to be pleasant and relaxing, not thrill-a-minute.
- We only drive green lanes with known vehicle rights – after studying an OS map, we may check the definitive map at the local County Council or contact the local councils rights of way officer. Even if it has tyre tracks down it, this could be a landowner or farmer’s right of access and does not make it any more legal for us to drive.
- We avoid the use of over aggressive tyres. If we are using a lane that requires such then should we be there? Deep harsh tractor treads or super swampers may get you through but destroy it for others.
- We try to avoid badly rutted tracks or lanes that risk being damaged beyond a point of natural recovery. It will only make them worse and provide ammunition for those who would like to see us banned.
- If the lane will not be usable by all other users after we’ve driven it, WE DON’T DRIVE IT! Even if we can get our vehicles down there it does not mean it is okay to drive it – we think about walkers, cyclists, people with pushchairs and wheelchairs.
- Drive slowly (maximum 12-15mph). This is to prevent damage to both the ground and to you and your vehicle – on off road terrain, things can get out of hand very quickly. “Travel as slow as possible, but as fast as necessary.”
- Travel in groups of four or five vehicles or less. We pull over and stop if we encounter walkers or horses
- Driving tips :-
- Keep your thumbs on top of the steering wheel, to prevent a sprained or broken thumb if the wheel suddenly snaps.
- Avoid riding the brakes and clutch, which can lead to brake failure.
- Negotiating terrain :-
- Travel straight up or down a hill or gradient.
- Cross obstacles at an angle, one wheel at a time.
- Don’t straddle large rocks.
- Avoid mud if you can while remaining on the road or trail.
- Turn into ravines or large depressions at about a 45-degree angle.
- Straddle ruts, even if they are wider than your vehicle. This will keep your vehicle level.
- Cross streams slowly, ideally at a 90-degree angle to the stream.
- Treat other users with respect, even if they do not extend the same courtesy to you. Although you have as much right to be there as they do, remember that you are in a much-maligned minority and impressions count!
- Don’t damage trees or hedgerows, except for cutting back overhanging branches within legal limitations. Generally held to be a minimum width of 3 Metres.
- Take recovery gear and a spade in case you get stuck. We only use winches when unavoidable. Take care not to damage trees or fences. Always use protective straps on trees or other objects.
- Never travel alone – you might get stranded. Take a mobile phone. Be prepared. Ensure your vehicle is in good order – not the ‘Oh dear that rattle that I have had for the past month turns out to be terminal’, excuse. A spare fan belt and a gallon of water is most useful if you need them when stranded 3 miles from the nearest road. Better still – drive accompanied.
- Open gates should be left open – and closed ones shut after you’ve gone through.
- Take your litter home – helping to clear other rubbish from lanes always goes down well with other users.
- Supervise dogs and children at all times, especially when you’re near livestock.
- Avoid waterways unless you’re certain there is a public right of way.
- Travel & recreate with minimum impact. Remember – Keep it Clean and Keep it Green.