Green Lane trip around Winchester 3rd April 2005

T’was on a Sunday morning that we ventured on a green laning trip around the south east Winchester area using OS map Landranger 185. Ten vehicles turned up at the meeting point in Bishops Waltham and were split into 2 groups, one led by Richard Salter our Rights of Way Officer and the other lead by yours truly - just to prove that anybody can lead a group as long as you have your map marked up correctly and that you follow some simple rules. To prove another point that novices can go laning, my navigator Chris had never been laning before but at least he knew which way up the map needed to be!

Even with a couple of wrong turns we had a great day out and found loads of new lanes that we had never been down before. This was also the first time that some of the other drivers had been laning as well, so lots of firsts and I think everybody enjoyed themselves.

We found lots of narrow lanes, many barely wider than the vehicles and we suffered some minor paint scratches to some of the vehicles. You would think that there were enough lanes for 2 groups to not to see each other, but the inevitable happened, yes we met head on just before we stopped for lunch – fortunately the lane was short enough for the groups to pass after our group reversed back to a crossroads.

Both groups met up at lunchtime for some pub grub at a hostelry that had a large garden for the children to run around and play. Enough time was spent eating and drinking to look at the map and plan where we were going during the afternoon session. We found one lane that had a narrow entrance – it looked more like a footpath but we were sure we were on the correct route when we found wheel tracks. About 300 mtrs down the lane we found a large tree blocking the lane. We could have cut it but why do that when you can drive around it? It was a bit tight getting the long wheelbases through the trees to the side of the obstruction but it all added to enjoyment of the trip.

Of course it happened again – yes we met the first group going in the opposite direction – just at an interesting part where there was lots of mud and a hill. Road tyres, mud and the incline proved very interesting and new lines up the hill were found – some of them sideways across the ruts!

Happy laning if you decide to go out with a friend and don’t forget if you want to make it a fun day out with your family and friends to check the website to find out when the next organised laning trip is.

All the best , Julian Mallard


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