Green Laning Facts and Laws
What is green laning?
Green laning refers to the un-surfaced paths, lanes, tracks or trails that are open for motorised vehicles to use. There is an undiscovered world out there you just need to go and explore it. A world that is hidden amongst the undergrowth of the UK’s countryside, a secret world only known to the few who dare venture off the beaten path. The world of green laning.
This is the term used by some to describe the often dense, un-kept byways of Britain, some of which are officially part of the National Road Network just like A roads and B roads believe it or not. The term green lane in actual fact is not recognised legally when it comes to the Public Rights of Way Law (PROW). The correct term for these un-surfaced rugged roads are “byways open to all traffic” (BOAT) and are supposed to be kept maintained and open to all users. However, unless you own a decent 4×4 or a trails bike they can be quite literally un-passable.
Is green laning legal?
Technically yes, green laning is legal as long as you don’t cause disruption to the surrounding areas. The UK Government has actually published a guide to green laning best practice.
Does my insurance cover it?
From, an insurance perspective, green lanes should be covered as part of the public highway and with Heritage Insurance we offer cover with this in mind. But of course I can’t speak for any other insurers. What I can say from experience is that the official line from many insurance companies could potentially differ depending on which one of them you ask despite the 1968 Countryside Act and under Public Rights of Way Law.
So how do I go about green laning? Well, a good start would be to buy a Land Rover and insure it with Heritage Insurance. Next would be to join a 4×4 club or an owners club as many of these may offer organised green lane events. You can also purchase an official green lane tour and head out in convoy with like minded off-roaders. Just remember that you’re not going on a pleasure cruise, many green lanes are tough going for you as well as your 4×4. So expect a few scrapes and of course, you will get muddy.
It’s also important to bear in mind green lanes if abused or used without consideration for other forms of traffic mechanically propelled or not, can quite simply have a restriction order placed upon them on a temporary or indeed permanent basis so it is, of course, necessary to be sympathetic towards other users from all walks of life.
With this aside the fact is green laning is an amazing way to discover the UK countryside, with all its hidden charm, overgrown tracks and enchanted forest trails, they are waiting to be explored.