Green Lanes of Yorkshire with Boats


Green lanes is a term for grouping together the various sorts of tracks, bridleways, and footpaths without a sealed (metalled or tarmac ) surface. These Green lanes that traverse and enhance the Dales landscape and cater for recreation in various ways. Some green lanes are Roman in origin or medieval, used by drovers, locals and travelers over the centuries. They were not designed with modern motor traffic in mind nor have they been upgraded for recreational vehicles. According to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority ‘There are over 2,000 km of rights of way and over 100 km of unsealed Unclassified County Road in the Yorkshire Dales National Park


This is an alternative way up Ilkley Moor it becomes less and less like a road and more like a track.

BOATS are ‘Byway open to all traffic’ and in the Yorkshire Dales National Park you can down load a list of these Boats. Boats allow recreational vehicles to use designated green lanes.

Disputes with Recreational Vehicles
At a Leeds court in June 2009 the Traffic restriction orders TRO’s on several green lanes was challenged by LARA (the umbrella organisation of recreational vehicle clubs including Association of Land Rover Clubs, the British Motorcyclists Federation and the Motor Sports Association)


Mud on Mastiles Lane between Grassington and Malham. Cars prohibited beyond this point.

This Administrative Court restored four important green lanes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park to recreational motor vehicle use. The quartet of byways, running between Settle and Malhamdale, Malham Tarn and Arncliffe Cote and Horton-in-Ribblesdale and High Green Field, will now be fully opened to drivers again (A Street Gate to Arncliffe Cote, B Harber Scar Lane, C Stockdale Lane F Gorbeck Road).

Other TRO’s remain in place at D The Highway, E Old Ing to Cam End via Ling Gill, G Horton Scar Lane / Foxup Road, H Cam High Road again available from Yorkshire Dales Org.

Both Sides of the Track
Green Lane users have a code of conduct and an organisation promoting sensible driving in the countryside ‘Glass’
Yorkshire Dales Green Lanes Alliance takes the other view ‘Campaigning to free the green lanes from off-roaders’ and vehicle use that is destroying the Dales green lanes.

So where do you stand on the issue? Recreational vehicles, 4by4’s and trials bikes can use Green lanes that are classed as Boats (in this summer boats may need boats) but can’t use footpaths and tracks with TRO’s. Add your comments below.

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2 Responses to Green Lanes of Yorkshire with Boats

  1. Nice post. Yorkshire is a wide-spanning wonderous landscapes,it is famous for hiking, mountain biking and horseback ride. Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors are two national parks.Pennine Way is the oldest National Trail is also great to engage in geocaching.The latest adaptation of the traditional treasure hunt where outdoor thrill seekers furnished with GPS get to explore the adventures of the countryside. For more details refer

  2. soubriquet says:

    I found your post whilst looking for information on Byways Open to All Traffic in the Yorkshire Dales. I see I’m a bit late to comment, but here’s my view.
    There are relatively few unsurfaced rights of way in the Yorkshire dales, and I’m all for keeping as many of them open as possible for all users.
    Yes it’s true there are irresponsible vehicular users. But far fewer than there are irresponsible non-vehicular users, and YDNP’s own surveys show that there is not a serious problem.
    If you’re a walker, you have access to almost all the National park, if you’re a rambler, might I remind you that the Rambler’s Association, which has done sterling and admirable work to open up the countryside’s access for ordinary people, is deeply rooted in, and extremely proud of a history of illegal trespass. It owes its roots to the mass trespass on Kinder Scout.
    Is it not, therefore strange that so many of the supporters of this right of free access are so active in curtailing the rights of others?
    The Yorkshire Dales Green Lane Alliance loves to make emotive statements, but ignores the fact that the scars on the three-peaks, and the morasses along the pennine-way are caused not by 4X4 users and trail-bikes, but by the boots of too many walkers.
    And when the footpaths are destroyed, the walkers stray onto the moor, yet there’s little said about walkers and their dogs, damaging sssi sites, or disturbing ground-nesting birds.
    When the scars they cause get too deep, there’s no outcry from the walkers about the environmentally unfriendly use of helicopters to ferry stone onto the hilltops. Nor, it seems, is the noise of that work considered “Disturbing to the tranquility of the national park”, which is an argument often heard used against vehicles.
    I have an old Land-Rover.
    It is quiet. So quiet that people are surprised when they turn and see it behind them. It doesn’t disturb the sheep, they think it’s just another farmer, and, in hope of a free meal, they will head toward it if it stops.
    Most vehicular movements on these lanes are, in fact, agricultural, or other local traffic.
    YDNP’s own loggers show that on one route where there is a proposed traffic restriction order, the ratio of motorcycles to walkers was one to one hundred and eighty three.
    So your chances of meeting anything you might call traffic are not exactly large. For whole months, the average number of 4X4 vehicles passing a logger, on weekdays was “less than one per day”. Which was most likely a farmer checking his sheep. The busiest weekend day in July? Oh, that day there was the vast total of seven.

    In conclusion, recreational motor vehicles have access to less than 3% of unsurfaced rights-of-way, walkers have access to 100%, and further, have the right to roam over untracked open-access land. Or: if you’re a walker, on 97 % of the routes available to you, you won’t meet recreational motor vehicles. I’d say you’d have to be extraordinarily vindictive to begrudge that last 3%.