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Thursday, 29 June 2017
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Treadlightly! Set to change the landscape of Green Laning. PDF Print E-mail
Treadlightly! set to change the landscape for Greenlaning.

CRAG has joined with The Green Lane Association and The Trail Riders Federation in setting up The Treadlightly Trust, a Registered Charity which aims to make trail riding and driving more socially acceptable by educating users to be more environmentally aware.

The Treadlightly! scheme which is supported by the Countryside Council for Wales and other countryside oriented agencies is being adapted from an education programme started in the United States nearly 25 years ago. Treadlightly! was originally set up  by the US Forest Service to combat some of the environmental issues caused by illegal and insensitive off road activity.

Greenlaning or Trailriding as a hobby has been growing in the UK over the past ten years whilst the network of routes that can be legally driven has been declining, primarily as a consequence of the implementation of the CROW and NERC legislation. Many of the routes are poorly signed and location information difficult to obtain. This has lead to some users going ‘off piste’ leading to conflict with landowners and other users and creating problems for Highways Authorities.

A proportion of users are unclear as to where they are permitted to drive and what is acceptable behaviour. The Treadlightly! programme sets out to educate these users by publishing Good Practice guidelines, providing online training resources, visiting motorcycle and 4x4 clubs and generally persuading all users to modify their behaviour and act in a more environmentally sensitive manner.

The Treadlightly! programme is primarily aimed at ‘Greenlaners’ who use their 4x4 vehicles and motorcycles to explore often ancient unsurfaced byways and roads which are perfectly legal routes generally open to all traffic. Due to the closures and restrictions created by the recent legislation, the remaining routes are often experiencing increased usage but are generally de-prioritised by Highways Authorities for repair and maintenance.

Treadlightly! aims to build a network of volunteers and equip them with the skills and equipment required to undertake ongoing maintenance and restoration of these routes in partnership with local authorities and environmental groups.

The Treadlightly Trust, a registered charity plans to work in partnership with Government Agencies, Local and National Park Authorities, Suppliers, User Groups, Local Clubs and Individuals to deliver the programme. The Trust aims to raise funds through Corporate Sponsorship, Charitable Donations , Grants and a Membership programme.

The founding organisations of Treadlightly! are The Greenlane Association (GLASS), The Countryside Recreational Access Group (CRAG) and The Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF). These Groups already represent responsible users, have codes of conduct, and organise voluntary repairs. However, they recognise that a single body based on the US experience would be better equipped and more capable of achieving their collective objectives.

Treadlightly! stress that they do not anticipate any significant increase in activity as a consequence of their programme, the expectation is that users will become better informed and act more responsibly due to their improved environmental awareness. This should lead to less conflict in the countryside and a general improvement in the condition of the usable routes.

For more information regarding Treadlightly! please go to:

www.treadlightly-uk.org
www.treadlightly.org

 
 
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