Rights of Way - Responsible Users
Essex has a good network of drivable Rights of Way and the club is active in promoting the sensible and sustainable use of byways across Essex, working closely with Essex County Council. We run regular laning days for members, and assist with rights of way maintenance volunteer days.
At our Pub Meets (third Tuesday of each month) we will generally have people with information on drivable byways and notes of TROs both permanent and seasonal. Our Rights of Way Officer is able to assist club members in confirming the status of lanes.
Anyone who wants further information on Byways in Essex can access the online version of the Definitive Map by navigating to:
or the list of Permanent TRO’s at:
Monthly Green Laning Trips
We arrange monthly trips along the byways of Essex and adjoining counties. The days are relaxed affairs suitable for all members, family and friends. We organise groups of no more than four or five vehicles led by an experienced leader. We usually start at 10:00 and finish around 16:00 so bring your lunch along and enjoy the countryside.
Your Land Rover does not need aggressive tyres, generally all terrain tyres are perfect, but a recovery point front and rear is a wise precaution. If you have a CB radio you will be able communicate with your leader but this is by no means necessary. Don’t forget that normal highway rules also apply to byways, so vehicles should be taxed and have a current MoT and drivers be insured.
Many byways in Essex tend to be rather scratchy so if your pride and joy is still bright and shiny check with the trip organiser (usually the Rights of Way Officer) to see if the route can be modified to avoid the scratchy lanes. If you are in any doubt at all or have questions please contact the RoW Officer.
These trips are perfect for families and individuals alike, even dogs are welcome. We look forward to seeing members old and new on future trips. Oh, and don’t forget your camera! Booking forms will be published monthly before each laning trip - check out the next event in the laning news posts on the left.
We are members of the Essex Parish Paths Partnership (P3) an organisation that brings together users of local rights of way to maintain and monitor the use of the lanes, and The Conservation Volunteers who support conservation in the countryside among other projects. We are fortunate that in Essex County Council we have an enlightened highways authority that understands the needs of all users of unsurfaced rights of way and works to keep Byways open for us to use. We attend special interest groups, with ramblers, horse riders and representatives of other user groups to agree the best approach to regulating use of lanes to minimise damage, and encouraging considerate use of the lanes. We have a presence on the Essex Local Access Forum a statutory body that provides advice and guidance to Essex Highways on all matters of countryside access.
Code of Conduct
We expect all Essex Land Rover Club members to follow our Code of Conduct while green laning:
- Use only public vehicular roads. Not all unsealed roads have vehicular rights.
- Keep to the defined track. Report any obstructions to the highway authority. If the route is not obvious on the ground, ask locally, or check on the maps held at the highway authority offices.
- Travel at a quiet and unobtrusive pace of no more than 20 mph according to conditions. When travelling in groups keep the numbers small, with a suggested maximum of four 4x4s. Use of roads by rallies, classic trials, etc., is governed within the law of the land by the requirements of the event authorising bodies (MSA, AMCA, ACU).
- Choose and use only tyres that are road-legal, not aggressive in appearance, and not destructive in use.
- Ensure that your vehicle, and yourself, are fully road legal. Unsealed roads are subject to the same laws as roads with sealed surfaces. There is no public right to drive on common land, moorland, sand dunes, or beaches.
- Pay Attention to the Four Ws.
- Weather: Do not travel on unsealed roads when they risk surface impact beyond a point of natural recovery when the weather improves.
- Weight: Do not use roads which may be seriously impacted by the wheel pressure applied by your vehicle.
- Width: Do not use roads that are too narrow for your vehicle. Avoid damage to trees, hedgerows and boundaries.
- Winches: The use of winches on public roads is generally inappropriate and should not be required. Use a winch only with extreme caution and use only the correct equipment and techniques.
- Respect the life of the countryside. Be courteous to other road users, including walkers, and take particular care when passing horses, children and dogs. Be ready to stop your vehicle and engine if necessary. Leave gates as you find them and take care near livestock.
- Remember that wildlife faces many threats, and that the margins of some unsealed roads can be valuable habitats. Do not drive on verges and margins where there is a usable carriageway available. Take special care in spring and early summer.
- “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.
- 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.
- Be considerate of group sizes at meeting points or food stops. When stopped, allow enough space for vehicles to pass without forcing them to leave the boundaries of the lane.
Please also remember that these routes are public roads, not safari courses. You should expect to meet walkers, cyclists and horses being led, ridden, or pulling carts. All these users have as much right as you do on these roads, and their rights should be respected, as your rights can and should be respected by other users. Only by working together can the various and different users ensure safe and trouble-free continuation of access to these routes.