Off Roading VS Green Laning At Avalanche Adventure

So you have your 4×4 and you’ve prepped it to go on an off-roading adventure… or is it called green laning?

While you might want to go bounce off the tarmac and have a good time, you need to know that in the UK, there’s a difference between off roading and green laning. 

Let’s take a look at how one is different from the other.

Understanding Green Laning

Put simply, a green lane is an unsealed, unmetalled, unclassified legal road without tarmac, stones or any of that sort of stuff on the surface. It’s a fairly easy lane to drive on in any vehicle. Green lanes are often grassy and are covered with plants, so it’s pretty obvious why they’re called “green lanes”.

A proper green lane with vegetation growing on the path

If you are a car enthusiast who owns a 4×4, you can very well drive up a green lane but chances are, if you’re driving a little wild,   your vehicle will get stuck and damaged. These lanes can usually be found in the countryside and are essentially off the track. 

They are officially classified as BOATs (Byways Open to All Traffic) or UCRs (Unclassified Country Roads). Legally, green lanes have the same rights as an A-road so you need to keep this in mind.

Driving on Green Lanes – What Do You Need?

Irrespective of their overgrown nature, green lanes are essentially public highways, meaning they are subject to the same traffic and road laws as every other road. 

To go green laning, you’ll need road tax, insurance, driving license and MOT. Moreover, your vehicle has to be roadworthy and robust to ensure all-round safety. Most local councils will have Definitive Maps that show where these lanes are and which ones are open for driving your car.

Off-roading VS Green laning; a roadway surrounded by trees and plantation on both sides.

If you’re looking at an old map, green lanes will be highlighted but it’s likely that the local councils will have closed them down which means, driving here becomes illegal.

That said, when planning your green laning escapade, it’s better to refer to websites like GLASS and ATUK as you’ll get all the necessary up to date information to plan a safe drive across a legal route. 

Understanding Off-Roading

Now that we know what green laning is, understanding off roading becomes a whole lot easier. While green laning is about driving on the road, straying off of it into a woodland or a field is deemed as off-roading. This means you’re basically driving illegally on a closed greenland without the owner’s permission.

A challenging off-road course at Avalanche's countryside activity centre; a silver 4x4 being driven up an unpaved incline

The alternative is to drive on private land with the owner’s permission. If you’re looking for the ultimate off roading adventure, Avalanche has you covered. We have our own countryside course that you can off road on, meaning you break no laws while enjoying the activity to the fullest. 

This is what proper off roading is about after all!

Why Try Off Roading at Avalanche Adventure?

When compared to off roading, green laning is rarely “challenging”. 

Since green lanes were built hundreds of years ago to accommodate foot traffic from pedestrians, carts, horses and farm traffic, you can’t go off road on these lanes just because.

A black 4x4 being driven up from a shallow water body on Avalanche Adventure's Leicester off-road course

Moreover, as these lanes are usually maintained by the local councils, they aren’t exactly safe for an off roading adventure. To really make the most of the “challenge” factor, you need to participate in approved events organised on private lands, custom built for off roading. 

At Avalanche Adventure, we do just that!

Participate in our Pay and Play days (P&P) or sign up for trials with local clubs to see what your 4×4 can actually do (or not do! – more on this below)

Why You Should Avoid Driving on Green Lanes?

Green laning has a bit of a reputation as excessive, rough driving can cause damage to the environment. If you aren’t careful while driving, you are likely to harm the wilderness, cause soil erosion and also scare away wildlife. 

Since the lanes mostly consist of countryside forest trails that are unpaved and unsurfaced, there’s a high probability that your vehicle will get stuck. This means you need to be able to perform vehicle recovery which can be tricky, especially if you are alone.

Off-roading VS Green Laning; 4 men recovering a 4x4 stuck in the off-road course

Getting stuck and damaging the green lane is therefore frowned upon which is why the local councils are increasingly shutting them down to motorised traffic. When planning to go off roading, it’s very important to know the laws while ensuring that you don’t cause unnecessary damage to the natural environment. 

Call Avalanche to Book Your Off-Road Adventure

To go off roading guilt-free with actual challenges and obstructions without breaking any laws, give us a call at Avalanche Adventure. 

Book your slot to enjoy zooming across our Leicester course alone or with your group of friends. You can call your local P&P places to find out more about public access days and private sessions.

As an outdoor activity centre, our motto at Avalanche is to “go big, or go home!” To avoid police knocking on your door to seize your truck or beloved 4×4 (under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act), ensure you go off roading on private land owned by Avalanche!