England is experiencing one of its wettest winters on record so with the constant rain on already soaked fields it is becoming a real environmental issue. When experiencing ‘off the beaten path’ and getting off-road we must all consider the environment in which we travel. We all know how much fun it is to blast along muddy tracks and green lanes but please take caution as these can very quickly get destroyed when the ground is saturated. Please stick to the Green Road Code of Conduct and consider the land in which you travel.
JGS4X4 are responsible ‘off-roaders’, so we would just like to remind our like-minded followers to also abide by the Green Road Code of Conduct.
A gentle reminder:
Use only rights of way with known, proven or provable vehicular rights. If challenged, discuss; if not resolved, then leave as requested until the status is rechecked.
Keep to the defined track. Detour only to pass immovable obstructions. Report any obstructions (including low branches) to the highway authority and the local GLASS Area Representative. Be critical of your own abilities and equipment when assessing an obstruction; it is your right to abate a non-lawful obstruction, but do not commit yourself to a bigger task than you are equipped for.
If the route is not obvious on the ground, ask locally, or check on the maps held at the highway authority offices or consult the local GLASS Area Representative.
Travel at a quiet and unobtrusive pace and as slowly as practicable; we recommend a maximum of 12 mph when in a 4×4 and on an Unsurfaced Right of Way (URoW). Ensure your vehicle is fully road-legal, URoW are subject to the same laws as surfaced roads.
When travelling in groups keep to a small number, four or less in sensitive areas. In other areas, up to six vehicles MAY be acceptable. Guidance should be sought from the relevant GLASS Area Representative. Weather and ground conditions should also be taken into account. On routes in good condition, split larger parties up and either uses a different route or allow a good interval, at least 30 minutes, to elapse before following. With adverse weather and/or poor ground conditions avoid committing a second group to follow the same route.
Do not travel on URoW when they risk being affected beyond a point of natural recovery once the weather improves. If need be, walk some or the entire route first to determine its suitability. Do not use URoW that may be damaged by the wheel pressure applied by your vehicle.
Avoid damage to trees, hedgerows, and boundaries. Some roads carry vehicular rights but are physically too narrow for 4x4s.
Do not practice recovery techniques on any URoW. Use a winch only with extreme caution, and use only the correct equipment and techniques.
Be courteous to other road users – pull over and stop your vehicle for walkers, stop your vehicle and switch off the engine for passing horses. Thank those who move over for you.
After consultations with Country Landowners Association and National Farmers Union HQ’s, “best practice” dictates that gates if they were found to be secured in an open position should be left open and those which are found shut or swinging should be shut behind you; the landowner might appreciate being told about a gate insecurely propped open if you see them.
- Keep dogs and children under supervision.
- Watch out for injured or trapped animals, and report all suspicious events to the landholder.
- Guard against all risks of fire.
- Take your litter home and that left by others if you see it, wherever practicable. Plastic bags can suffocate livestock if swallowed.
- Help to keep all water clean. Remember that wildlife faces many threats and URoW are valuable habitats, take special care in spring and early summer.
- Follow the Country Code, it is for your guidance only.
- Be considerate of group sizes at meeting points or food stops.
If you are still unsure go to GLASS Green Lane Association where there is more information.