Going on your first green lane trip shouldn’t have to be a daunting experience, out of all the off-roading you can do, this is generally the least damaging as long as you are sensible about it…..and we personally think, aside from long trips, is the most fun!
We love Green laning, that’s why we have made this quick guide for you to read through to help you get out there and explore all the tracks that are available to you in a safe and responsible way.
So what are green lanes?
Green lanes are tracks that are un-surfaced that are open for motorised vehicles to use. Many have been around for a millennia and were once routes used by horse and carts. The main two types of green lanes are “By-ways open to all traffic” (BOATS) and “Unclassified Country Roads/Routes with public access”.
What needs to be remembered is that Green-laning is not Off-roading, as in actual fact you are on a public road, albeit un-surfaced. Off-roading is held on private land where normal road rules don’t apply. So as green lanes are in fact public high ways the same rules apply, such as the vehicle must be taxed, have a valid MOT and insurance, and most importantly must be road worthy.
Does this mean I can drive any green lane?
In most cases yes. Although some may have a Traffic Regulation Order on them (TRO). While others may be impassable because of their condition or you may put yourself or others in danger doing so. Always check with the Council about whether or not the green lanes you are driving have any kind of restrictions on them.
OK so I have found some green lanes, now what?
You land rover is an amazing piece of machinery. Many can be driven in 2 wheel drive with just the extra ground clearance offered from a Land Rover being needed. Whenever you are going on a green lane always go with another person and let people know the rough area you will be in. If you are new to green laning the best place to start would be with a club or experienced friends. This will allow you to ask more experienced drivers of how to approach a certain section if you are unsure and more importantly will allow you to be recovered if you get it wrong!
So now you need to think about what you need to take with you on your green-lane adventure.
The most important thing to take on green lanes is your Land Rover in top form, this means well looked after and maintained. This should be easy to achieve any way as they must be road legal with a valid MOT to be on any green lane. Things you need to remember are: – When did you last check you oils and coolant? – Do you have wind screen washer fluid? This may sound silly but don’t forget you may encounter muddy puddle which can soon make you screen pretty hard to see out of. – Tyre pressures and tread depth, this is important as low tread depth will restrict how far you Land Rover will get before getting stuck. – There are many other things that should also check which should be common sense just remember that you are on a Public highway therefore if the Police do stop you they will expect you to have a road worthy vehicle!
Most tyres will allow you to drive green lanes although tyre choices should be considered. The tyre type we recommend is a good set of all-terrain tyres. These will give you a good traction on the tarmac and also very versatile off road performance. Another plus is that they don’t chew up the ground too much. There are times where Mud Pattern tyre would help you by giving you a little extra traction but they do have their cons such as less road performance and they tend to chew up the ground a lot more.
Tyre size. Now this is an interesting subject. This could be really defined to use preference. The standard tyre sizes that land rover use as standard are perfectly suited for green laning, whether it be skinny 205 width on a Series 3 or a 265 width on a Defender. Both will cope; remember it is better to have the best tread pattern for the job rather than the biggest tyre you can fit.ProtectionSome people will choose to put protection on their vehicle. This may be because they want to make sure it won’t get damaged. This is a fair point, but green laning should not be damaging any way. If it is ask yourself, should you be on that lane? Or are you competent at driving on the lanes?You will find that we will have protection on our vehicles these include Diff guards, and steering guards. Like we have said, you don’t “Need” these but may be worth considering. If you are on a tight budget the just a pair of diff guards would suffice (As the diffs are the lowest point on solid axle Land Rovers).Raised air intakes (or Snorkels) may also be taken into consideration although generally not needed. Our team have these fitted, these raise the air intake of the Land Rover, usually up to the top of the roof line. These are not a necessity, as a standard Land Rover can drive through water at 500mm deep. These raised air intakes allow you to go a lot deeper and also protect the engine, not just from water ingress but dust in summer time. Dust abides by the laws of physics, so when in a convoy that is kicking up lots of dust the dust will always be denser closer to the ground. Therefore have a raised air intake will reduce the amount of dust that getting into the air filter. Raised axel breathers would also be a worth-while investment if a Raised air intake is chosen.
Always take basic recovery gear with you, don’t expect the other person to have it!
The most important things to have are good recovery point’s front and rear. Tow balls are NOT recovery points!
Shovel – This is a must have tool. Can be used for a multitude of things such as: digging a channel to drive along, draining water from ruts and building up ridges.
Winch and kit – Not a necessity but useful for self recovery.
Recovery rope – This is a must as it can be used to help recover others or mainly for someone to use to recover you (Besides they don’t want to get their ropes muddy pulling you out)
Shackles – for attaching ropes together and to recovery point. These need to be rated shackles! Not just cheap shackles that will break under very small loads.
Other things that you are expected to take are:
• A mobile phone with full charge and in car charger.
• Spare wheel
• Jack and wheel brace
• Basic first aid kit
A map will be needed for your use so you know where you are, you can also use a GPS or Sat Nav.. But remember these require power so take the charger for them. Even if these are used a map is always worth having as these don’t require any power.
Gardening tools are also useful such as, thick gloves, bow saws and tree cutters. These are not essential but will help keep the body work of your land rover tidy.
It is also wise to take some food and drink with you, not just for when you get hungry but if something should happen and you were stuck in a place for a long period of time food and drink is a must. This also means you should take a water proof coat and warm clothing in case it gets cold while help is on its way. Before you leave to start greening you should be appropriately clothed. Including good sturdy, water proof, foot wear and clothing.
After you have all this sorted. Get out there!! And most importantly have fun!
Some simple rules to remember are:
• Remember it is a public high way, so respect others with a smile and a wave.
• Make sure you check that the green lane is open for you to use
• Stay on the track
• Stay at a slow speed and always let horse and walkers pass you with your engine off.
• Keep to a maximum of 5 vehicles in convoy
• Don’t damage the country side. Although over grown trees may be cut back to allow you to drive through.
• Always ensure some one knows where you are
• Carry all the listed gear and more.
• Keep your litter to take home.
• And don’t drive extremely damaged green lanes.
• Having followed all of this have as much fun as you can, and remember take a camera to show friends and family the adventure you had!