Green laning and off roading at Polesden Lacey

The branches of a dead tree reach out into a blue winter sky in a green field

The ranger team at Polesden Lacey are working to stop illegal off-roading on the estate, so they can continue to carry out their vital conservation work.

Our estate

Ranmore Common makes up the majority of the Polesden Lacey estate, and it is managed by our ranger team. The entire area is part of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the parkland is Grade II* listed; and the woodland is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. 

The common has an extensive network of footpaths, bridleways and a public byway, which allow the woodland to be explored and enjoyed by a large number of visitors each year. 

Green laning

Green laning is a hobby enjoyed by some 4x4 owners, who like the challenge of driving on byways which are unsuitable for most vehicles. 

Green laning itself is not illegal, but a small number of individuals have exploited the presence of a byway on the estate by taking their vehicles off the track and into the woodland off-roading.

This seriously undermines the conservation work being carried out by the National Trust, as the four wheel drives tear up the delicate woodland understorey and leave these areas as a barren quagmire. 

Some parts of our estate have been reduced to a quagmire.
A quagmire on Ranmore created by vehicles off-roading

Working to protect the estate

Our Ranger team are working closely with Surrey Police to stop the vandalism by capturing images of the vehicles using CCTV. 


But valuable funds are having to be spent on preventing these off-road activities rather than on conservation projects to look after and manage the woodland, an important habitat for many animals and plants.

Will you spot a dormouse on your visit?
Dormouse being held in a hand


Our team encourage anyone witnessing this antisocial behaviour to report it to Surrey Police or Polesden Lacey polesdenlacey@nationaltrust.org.uk
 

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