Boulders, fencing and landscaping are being used to help ‘green lane’ drivers to stay on track on a byway in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Habitats next to the Stake Moss byway – which runs from Kidstones Pass near Cray north west to Stalling Busk – have been damaged by motor vehicle drivers who have chosen to leave the well-surfaced route and trespass onto private land on each side of it.
Now the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) has carried out work to stop further damage occurring.
Mark Allum, the YDNPA’s Access Projects Officer, said: “From time to time there are issues on a number of unsurfaced routes used by motor vehicles, where drivers leave a well-defined track and go ‘off-piste’, trespassing on to adjacent land.
“This can create unnecessary ruts and damage valuable habitats, as well as leaving visual scars on the landscape. It also damages the reputation of the large majority of 4x4 drivers and motorcyclists who act in a legal and responsible manner.
“There really is no reason why recreational 4x4 drivers need to leave this track, or take short cuts on the corners.
“The ruts that are formed not only look unsightly but can lead to water courses being formed that create further erosion. Hopefully the measures taken will be sufficient and the landscaping should allow the ground to recover quickly.”
The National Park Authority has also worked with Mark Dale and Stuart Monk, who represent motor vehicle users on the Yorkshire Dales Green Lanes Advisory Group, to produce signs that let drivers know about the problems being caused.
The Group provides guidance and advice to the Authority on the management of individual ‘green lanes’.
Stuart said: “We would urge recreational motor vehicle users to stick to the defined route. The vast majority of motor vehicle users drive along byways in a responsible and careful way, but it only takes the actions of a few to give our pastime a bad name.”
The Stake Road byway was one of the routes looked at by the Advisory Group, and the measures taken to maintain the track were identified as part of the management plan for the route.