Off-road vehicles in the White Peak – two pictures, one story.

Vango Apex 200 wild camping Peak District National Park
Weather wasn’t great over the weekend. But this post isn’t about camping….

Some might argue this is going to be one of my ‘rant’ posts I do from time to time. Alas, it’s not going to be I’m afraid. It relates to that oft used quote “a picture is worth a thousand words”. And in this post you couldn’t really argue with that.

It concerns the subject matter of 4×4’s or off-road vehicles in the Peak District National Park.

I was out filming for Silva Navigation School on Saturday and even though the weather conspired against me to ruin the days shoot, it still proved to be a peculiarly enjoyable day out in the countryside. It was nice to meet the navigator and author Pete Hawkins along with the people he had taken out for the day to learn about taking to the outdoors on foot with a map and compass.

It was while we were walking back to Tideswell from Millers Dale that Pete pointed out how lovely the green lane was that we happened to be walking through. Lush green with tall grasses and lots of flowers swaying in the breeze it was no doubt a pretty way to wander amongst old limestone stone walls that littered the hills surrounding us.

Pete then pointed out that the lane had been closed to traffic for a little over 2 years and I should take particular note of the section we were about to encounter that is still open as a byway to all traffic. The contrast between the two sections couldn’t have been more startling!

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m no fan of off-road vehicles in our national parks but I’m equally happy to accommodate those who wish to participate in this hobby. I’m no lefty-liberal by any means but I don’t see how such places can’t make access for those who enjoy other pursuits in the great outdoors. However, on the subject matter concerning off-road vehicles like 4×4’s and trail bikes I do think there is a sensible limit on where  they can go and how often. Some suggest they should be banned outright.

There are always extremes on both sides of this argument, for or against. And there will always be a minority who spoil things for the majority in all walks of life. But one thing that irks me is when I hear off-road vehicle owners/drivers say “We cause no more harm to the countryside than hundreds if not thousands of walkers”.

Another favourite I have is from a gentleman who featured in a recent BBC documentary on this very subject in the Peak Park “I ride along here and I can tell you now, 60 ramblers will do more harm to this path!” or words to such effect.


Well, without wanting to waffle on any more (and I really could but I’ve got to be mindful of my mental and physical health!) here are two pictures of the above said green lane in the White Peak of Derbyshire.


Limestone Way, Peak District National Park
Section of green lane (Limestone Way) closed to vehicles.

The Limestone Way, Peak District National Park
Same green lane, but now a section open to all traffic.

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