Deadman's Hill, North yorkshire

    I'd been looking for sometime to find a suitable item to form a Grip on Deadman's Hill up on Nidderdale. Having travelled along the A64 several times this year it suddenly dawned on me that they were replacing the safety barriers.

    Unable to make email contact with the Highways England, I decided to call the help line for the operation.

    This was to be the stuff of sliced bread, I managed to get hold of the company ( and a contact name ) actually doing the work. That turned out to be Roocrofts of Preston. I eventually spoke to Paul, and explained what I was looking for and what they were needed for. Arrangements made, met Jezz and Duncan at about 8pm, loaded up the old scrap barriers and headed off up to Nidderdale. Working closely with the farmer, who uses the route to access his land, we fitted the grips.

    Following a request from the landowner for volunteers to help repair his access track, the final phase of work started on Deadman's Hill. A big THANK YOU, to our members for the input today, it was hard work but good fun.

    Holmfirth, Green Lane

    Green lanes get the green light as Slaley Forest partnership promotes responsible use of public byways 

    New signage is now in place at the Forestry Commission’s Slaley forest, Northumberland, which provides clear information on the rights of way through the forest trails.

    Forestry Commission, working in collaboration with Northumbria Police, Northumberland County Council, Green Lane Association, Northumbria Trail Riders Fellowship and the local community, have improved access information so that everyone can enjoy the forest safely.  Slaley forest welcomes a variety of users from walkers, cyclists and horse riders to trail bikers and 4x4 drivers. The new signage clearly explains which routes through the forest are legally open to all traffic.



    Alex MacLennan, Recreation & Public Affairs Manager for Forestry Commission for the North East has been leading the project and explains:
    “Forestry Commission welcomes everyone to the public forest estate. Slaley is a popular location for trail bike riders and 4x4 drivers and part of managing this site with multiple users is to ensure that the public byways are clearly marked so everyone can maximise their enjoyment of this special forest, whilst at the same time staying on the right side of the law.”

    Neighbourhood Inspector Pam Bridges said: “Northumbria Police is delighted to support this collaborative initiative. Police will continue to work with local agencies and individuals to ensure this area is available for visitors to enjoy.”

    Northumbria Trail Riders Fellowship welcomes all responsible trail riders who are looking to learn where they can ride in the area, and have been a key contributor and partner in this project. Greg Villalobos, Chairman Northumbria TRF, said:

    “All the riders at Northumbria Trail Riders Fellowship are proud to have been part of this initiative. We value the Green Road network in the north east and understand that Slaley Forest is an important and sensitive part of that. We believe that with a respectful approach all users can use the byways open to all traffic and that having clear signage, that doesn't discriminate against any particular user group, helps send out a positive message about where vehicles can and can't access.”

    An equal contributor to the partnership has been The Green Lane Association (GLASS), who promote the responsible use of public byways. Darren Clark, Northumberland Area rep for The Green Lane Association, adds:

    “The Green Lane Association (GLASS) is proud to support and work with the Forestry Commission in promoting the responsible use of our public byways. These new signs should make it easier for all users to access the forest legally. We believe everyone has a part to play in preserving this sensitive area of the northeast for all to enjoy.”

    Darren Clarke, Northumberland Rep

    A big thank you to Mark Lee The Green Lane Association member for standing in on my behalf 



    Gatescarth Pass, Lake District

    After the devastating floods in late 2015, the pass suffered a landslip. With priority being low on the list, the Green Lane Association and the TRF jointly funded the repair so that this iconic green road could be enjoyed by users the following year.

    The pass was low on the list to be repaired, and as this is such an iconic lane it seemed only fit that we helped pay the bill to get the lane re-opened as soon as we could. We negotiated a weekend in May for the first permits to be issued (Gatescarth Pass is a permit only green road) which meant no open days were lost in 2016. The Green Lane Association has now negotiated to provide volunteers to check the permits on each open day.

    Wessx Ridgeway, near Buttermere

    Organised in conjunction with Wiltshire County Council, a Green Lane Association team undertook a clearance day on a crisp, clear and cold December day.

    An official lane clearance in Wiltshire on Saturday 16th December with 15 the Green Lane Association members giving up their day to help cut back the over growth. We cleared just over half a mile of green road and paid attention to clearing high, so equestrian users can use without ducking. After all, byways are for all users. In addition, we cut back hard on a couple of soft sections (soft being little more than a muddy puddle) so they have a chance to dry out. Total volunteer hours: 120.


    Smay Down Lane, Shalbourne, Wiltshire, November 2016

    Organised in conjunction with Wiltshire County Council, a small team of Green Lane Association and TRF volunteers opened up a rather overgrown byway.

    After an email from one of Wiltshire County Council’s rights of way wardens asking if we could clear a lane, a site visit was organised to see how much work was involved. Although it wasn’t heavily overgrown by our standards, it was quite hazardous to equestrian users with many low branches and overgrowth encroaching on much of the road.

    After raising enough interest, and with a couple of members of Wiltshire TRF joining us, we took six hours to clear around half a mile of lane, cutting back hard on one side to give a decent amount of room for all users.

    Bainton green lane repair

    From local knowledge as the Green Lane Association Rep for East Yorkshire it became apparent that the lane at Bainton was deteriorating quite badly from use during wet weather. This might be due to the Seasonal TROs on other local lanes putting more pressure on the rest. During the summer the lane was passable with only a small section that was rutted. By the New Year this small section had extended significantly and a large hole had been created that had filled with water. Further damage was being caused by vehicles that were recovering those that had become stuck in the hole.

    From conversations with the previous Highways Officer, it was apparent that the local Parish Council were unhappy about this damage and were seeking solutions. Along with East Riding 4x4 Club it was decided that some repairs should be undertaken as far as possible given the time of year. After a few onsite planning meetings and gaining permission from East Riding Council, a group of around 10 volunteers from the club met with the Green Lane Association Rep one frosty Sunday morning to do what we could.

    That morning we met several local residents out waking their dogs including some Parish Council members. All were pleased to see that some action was being taken and ensured us that they wanted the lane to stay open for all users. By repairing the damage to the lane it might just stop the motor cycles from riding down the footpath, thereby making it a nice experience for all. In these discussions we learned of the original cause to the damage on the lane. Apparently a group of military trucks from DST (Defence School of Transport) Leconfield had gone down the lane and one became badly stuck, requiring the large recovery vehicle to be sent to winch it out. This left significant damage that was not repaired and has deteriorated since.

    Due to the softness of the ground and not wanting to cause further damage it was decided on the day that all we could do was to fill in the large hole and cut back some blackthorn that was encroaching in one section. Filling in the hole took most of the day, firstly a grip was dug to relieve the water and then bricks that had been brought by the volunteers were placed into the ruts to bring the height back up. Thanks go to Rob for letting us use his Defender as a wheelbarrow! Finally we were able to tip a load of hard core, kindly provided by a local land owner and delivered by one of the volunteers into the hole to build on the base that had been created and make a suitable surface. Some of the fly-tipping was removed and taken to the local tip.

    All the moving of bricks / stone by hand and by machine was rewarded with sausage and bacon butties provided by the club and cooked onsite. Yet again Andy didn’t poison anyone! After lunch and a quick rest some of the smaller ruts were filled in by hand using many wheelbarrows and lots of shovelling.
    This lane will need more works in the summer months once it has dried out. Another local land owner has offered help in the way of more bricks and rubble so hopefully the damage this next winter season will not be as bad and will see the lane kept open for all users.

    Thanks go out to all the volunteers from East Riding 4x4 Club who attended on the day and supported before the event, this could not have happened without you.

    Sam Jones, East Yorkshire Rep


    West Yorkshire Green Lane awareness/education day

    On Sunday 22 October the Green Lane Association in partnership with West Yorkshire Police and Peak Park Rangers, held another green lane awareness/education day in the Holmfirth area of West Yorkshire.

    In attendance were a good turnout of Green Lane Association members, two personnel from West Yorkshire Police (complete with the Police Land Rover) and Gordon Danks (one of the Peak Park rangers). Unfortunately the tail end of storm Brian was also there making it a little wild up on the moor. This is an area which has, for some time, suffered from off-piste and illegal off-road driving and the various agencies involved are keen to work together to demonstrate that this is unacceptable and to do what we can to educate people as to their responsibilities when driving/riding our green lanes. We spent the day on one of the popular BOAT’s in the area talking to 4x4 drivers and motorcyclists regarding keeping it legal on the lanes, where they can and can’t drive/ride and how they can research what is legal to use. On these events we also like to talk to local people out walking themselves and/or dogs to promote the fact that we are trying to address an issue in the area and to inform them of what they can do if they witness illegal activity.

    The day was a little disappointing in terms of the volume of 4x4/motorcycle traffic (possibly that was storm Brian’s contribution), however these days are also valuable in networking with the other organisations and building relationships. They are also seen as valuable PR showing that, where there is a problem, the Green Lane Association are working with all concerned to alleviate this. To this end, an article was published in the local newspaper (Huddersfield Examiner) reporting the days action. As the clocks have now gone back, heralding darker evenings and winter approaches, bringing wetter weather and muddier conditions the problem will reappear but the police have confirmed that if they start receiving more reports of illegal activity they will be happy to repeat the exercise. Watch this space.

    Many thanks to all who attended and helped out at this event.

    Alex Davidson, West Yorkshire rep


    Fosseway lane clearance

    Over the 2017/18 winter months, we were asked by Wiltshire County Council to undertake three major clearances. With budgets ever tightening, local authorities are looking ever more often to volunteers to assist them. 

    In the very far north of Wiltshire, my team and I saw our third and final lane clearance of the winter season draw to a close on the 11th February 2018, after clearing two other lanes near Buttermere and Avebury. This time the weather was kind to us – still a bitter wind though. The lane was cut back upwards as well to make it easier for equestrians to ride the section. As the nesting season kicks in, it won’t be until the Autumn before the next clearance project.

    My thanks to all the volunteers that have given their time and pitched in whatever the weather!

    Dale Wyatt, Wiltshire rep

    Nant Y Moch, Ceredigion

    After years of water erosion and finally a very wet winter, we needed a JCB to carry out repairs to this popular route.

    This was the second approved project in Ceredigion, following in line with previous Highways agreements. Again, Green Lane Association Area Reps carried out surveys in advance to ensure legality and route status, working in conjunction with the Highways department.

    The UCR had taken an extreme weathering by water throughout the winter, and already well eroded washouts were becoming dangerous and impassable for some. Ceredigion CC provided a JCB and driver for the 2 days to work alongside Treadlightly volunteers to level out and grade some substantial lengths of unsurfaced road and create various large drainage gullies.

    Green Lane Association & Treadlightly volunteers then agreed to carry out waymarking along the entire route to ensure all intersections were clearly identified to all users. Due to the length of the route this was done using several small teams of volunteers, with posts supplied by Ceredigion CC and Treadlightly funded signage.