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Green Laning is driving vehicles on unsurfaced roads – it should not be confused with Off Roading. Green Lanes are public roads that have an unmetalled surface and to drive them you have to have a road legal vehicle, driving license, insurance, car tax and MoT certificate.
In Green Lane parlance these routes are Public Rights Of Way (PROW) where vehicular rights exist or Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATs).
Green Laning arouses high emotions – in both the for and against camps. It can give those involved a bad name if they don’t show respect to others who enjoy the countryside.
Adrian Flux, the UK’s largest specialist motor insurance broker, arranges insurance for 4 x 4s and, in response to customers’ questions, offers advice on how to be a responsible Green Laner – including where to find further information on this popular pastime.
First stop is GLASS, the Green Lane Association. When you become a member you receive a quarterly magazine and access to an on-line database of rights of way in Great Britain. Local representatives hold regular meetings throughout the country. The site is packed full of information for non-members as well.
Another excellent place to find out what’s happening in the world of Green Lanes is The Land Rover Zone. If you’ve got a question, log into the forum there and someone is bound to know the answer.
Individual Landrover clubs such as the Red Rose Club organise special Green Laning events throughout the year including weekends away.
Hants and Berks LRO recommends that you Green Lane with a friend so there is more than one vehicle on a route in case of accidents. Or if you are determined to go ‘solo’ then you should tell someone which direction you are heading, what lanes you are planning on using and an approximate return time.
Mark Smith, a Green Lane enthusiast, argues that most lanes benefit from the extra use Green Laners provide otherwise they could become overgrown and lost to horse riders and walkers.
LARA, the Land Access and Recreation Association, acts as a national forum for the principal groups in countryside motor sport and recreation. It can answer questions on all types of motor sport and recreation – how to take part, land access issues, planning problems etc. For Green Laners, LARA has produced a very useful voluntary code of conduct called the ‘Drivers country side code of conduct’.
If you want to know what it’s like to Green Lane then take a look at this 10 minute Green Laning video a drive through a muddy Hampshire country lane, to get an idea of the sort of terrain you will encounter.
There are some basic points to remember when you do venture out on the lanes: you will need recovery points front and rear, a rope and fire extinguisher. Plus, don’t forget to take warm clothing, something to eat and drink (non-alcoholic of course) and a good map.