Young upstarts! Who do we think we are?! Marc and I (James) have known each other since time began. Ever since I bought my first Land Rover, Marc and I have been greenlaning as often as we possibly can. Whilst out on the byways, I do the driving, and Marc is the best navigator in the Outer Rim Territories. Where he tells me to point it, I do so, and thus far (touch wood) we've only gotten stuck twice and we've never been lost! Indeed, it has now become much more than a hobby, and we consider ourselves (with tongue firmly in cheek) to be 'Modern-Day Explorers' following in the footsteps of Cook, Livingstone and Scott: hence the name of this website!

So why are us two sad lunatics creating a website about green laning? With years of experience under our belts, including international expeditions to Sweden and The Alps, we felt the time was right to launch our most ambitious project to date: a website that aims to serve as an archive of our self-imposed mission to drive every byway in Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex, to inspire those who have never taken their vehicle off the tarmac to 'have a go', and as a resource for fellow enthusiasts to discover the joy of greenlaning in the glorious South of England. We promise to leave no stone unturned!

The Red One
Here at Modern-Day Explorers we are passionate about the great British countryside (especially in the incredibly beautiful South East of England), and we reckon one of the best ways to experience it is by Land Rover! To that end, we care deeply about protecting both the green lanes and the environment in general so that everybody (be they ramblers, horse riders, trail bikers, farmers, dog walkers, or 4x4 drivers) can enjoy them for a long time to come. Organisations such as Green Lane Association (GLASS) and Tread Lightly promote this ethos too and deserve all the support they receive. We are most assuredly GLASS members, and we think you should be to!

We try to promote and encourage decent, responsible behaviour throughout this site. Please take time to read our Green Lane Code, and adhere to it at all times. We lead by example: we clear blockages such as fallen trees; fill in pot holes and ruts where possible; we don't drive damaged or closed lanes and do our best nor to damage them; we never stray from the byway itself; we pick up litter and report fly tipping; and so on. There are enough people out there who are already extremely prejudiced towards 4x4 drivers, so let's not give them a legitimate reason to make it worse. We thoroughly enjoy our hobby and we value nature and the countryside beyond all estimation, so don't wreck it for us and the wider community by behaving like a moron. Read this article by the Chairman of the Peak District Vehicle Users' Group to get an idea of what we are up against.

Prometheus, or  'Foresight'.
But we digress. Of course, this project really took off with 'Prometheus'. Named after a rebellious Greek titan (and a moon of Saturn), he was a 2008 model Defender 90 County XS, in gunmetal grey, with the winter climate pack, traction control and ABS fitted. I really cannot praise the job Land Rover have done on the 'Puma' Defender highly enough, even when compared to our 300 TDi. It is nothing short of incredible offroad and with the sixth gear it's comfortable on the tarmac too. 'Prometheus' was, out of necessity, moved on to pastures new at the end of 2010. He served us (almost) without fault for the three years and took us to some amazing places that we may never otherwise have seen, including the Alps. He enjoyed a hard life of doing precisely what he was built for and hopefully his new owner will offer him a slightly more relaxed life than what he is used to! 'Prom-o' is sorely missed!

Epimetheus, or 'Hindsight'.
However, all is not lost. 'Epimetheus', (another Titan and 'Prometheus' brother in ancient Greek mythology; also a moon of Saturn) is his erstwhile replacement. 'Epi', as his name is affectionately shortened to, is a 2011 model TDCi Defender 110 County XS Utility Wagon with the winter climate pack, traction control and ABS fitted, amongst a long list of other modifications. Rest assured that (unfortunately for my bank balance) yet more cash will be spent on him to further bring him up to my exacting standards.


Phil Hunt said...

Excellent site - really informative. Well done.

Phil Hunt - Secretary - Discovery 3 & 4 Owners Club

Anonymous said...

LRO has just come through the door. A website dedicated to greenlaning in the South East? It's like Christmas! (Wait, it IS Christmas... :D )

Thanks for putting this together. Gives me even more impetus to get my 110 project on the road.

Brilliant site, you should be proud.

Dempo said...

Thanks for your feedback! (Although we would far rather that it gave you the impetus to get your 110 project off the road!)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant site. Well done. See us daytripping over from Bristol.

Dempo said...

Thanks! We hope you find this site genuinely useful. It's continually (albeit slowly) growing as and when we drive new lanes, and any feedback or tips you have would be gratefully received. Enjoy your trip!

Gary and Jen, and Ruby and Peter said...

Great informative, unbiased, fun site, with loads of info.

I'm tempted to veer off the tarmac already !

DOC Member

Anonymous said...

The Mill Lane fords in Odiham are either now or shortly will be subject to a TRO, which is a great shame.


Dempo said...

Thanks for the update, and especially for the PDF file explaining it. No TRO is yet shown on Hampshire CC's web site at http://www3.hants.gov.uk/row/making-changes/traffic-regulation-orders.htm

but I've made a correction to the entry anyway. Thanks again.

Nathan De Lacey said...

Evening chaps,

I posted back in February about the Mill Lane fords (the Christmas Eve post was me too... I'm not stalking you, honest!). The TRO is now in force - photos in the links:



As you can see, in the north ford there's logs and rocks for those who fail to read the signs; the south end is now enclosed with bollards.

Also, if you find yourself in this part of the world again, there's a greenlane I haven't seen on here: Bowenhurst Lane, from SU788503 to SU792511. It's quite rutted in places and some of the holes are deeper than they first appear, but it's Freelanderable. I suggest going from south to north as it's easier to find, and it's quite easy to get lost in Hancock's Farm. Probably doesn't score more than a 3 but it's for the sake of completeness I'm posting it here.

Once again, thanks for this site!

Dempo said...

Hi Nathan,

Thanks a whole ton for this! As you can imagine, with a project as big as this one it is not easy for us to keep up with all the changes on the myriad lanes we have already driven, try as we might. As such contributions like this from chaps like you are invaluable (literally a gold-dust saving in time and money) leaving us free to explore new lanes. Thanks a ton, I've updated the entry for Mill Lane fords with your photographs, if that's ok.

Also, don't worry about stalking us. This site exists for people to use: we are therefore stoked that people are! Please, fill your boots and keep the good stuff coming. We shall check out Bowenhurst Lane in a future exploration.

Cheers, James.

Sam said...

Hi, Thanks for all your effort with this site! My brother and I will be heading out to explore the Petersfield area this evening in his ex-MOD Series 3, our first green lane adventure, and will surely be benefiting from your detailed account of the various routes you have travelled and your advise (especially the areas to avoid). There is one very curious BOAT on our OS Explorer which isn't mentioned on your site; South from SU760196 to SU759193 (Sunwood Farm). We'll let you know if it's worth a look! Wish us luck!

Dempo said...

Not a problem: we're genuinely glad that people find this site useful and it's not just a colossal waste of our time! That said, please folks, if you find anything on here that is out of date don't hesitate to comment below the relevant post: the South of England is a HUGE place and it's taking a very long time to visit EVERY byway! We rely on user feedback to let us know if something is amiss. This is also the reason that a fair few byways in the Petersfield/Winchester area are missing (like your Sunwood Farm BOAT): we've not driven them yet and they're a long way away from our East Sussex base. Oh, and we hereby officially wish you luck!

Sam said...

Sunwood Farm BOAT was overgrown at the south end. We explored the north end but it's steep climb had been hooliganised, splitting the track in three seperate directions, the place was a mess!

Dempo said...

Thanks for the advice Sam, we'll check it out on our next trip to the area.

Paul_McLaughlin said...

Well done on putting together a brilliantly clear and useful site! I'm on two wheels myself and you've really helped me expand my range and get the most out of green laning.

Dempo said...

Thanks Paul! Those on two wheels are as welcome here as those one four (or zero!) wheels; we have tried to keep it as unbiased as possible. Any feedback is gratefully received and if you should find any errors, omissions or outdated information we would love to hear about that too! Enjoy.

Producktionsweb said...

Hi guys

Really great site and i've been using it for months - exploring a lot around Alton and Hindhead. I can't help but notice that a lot of lanes have recently vanished from your page - any reason for that? For example Five Lanes End, a local lane to me in Camberley has gone too.

Dempo said...

Holy.......... This is literally my worst nightmare! I'm looking into it, but if I can't fix this it is the death-knell of this site for sure.

Dempo said...

A further update, folks! This seems to be some sort of technical issue: all the reviews still exist within the software, but for some reason they are not displaying. I am investigating further, please stand by!

Producktionsweb said...

Thanks for taking a look at it! If I sort by 5-star reviews then I can still see many of the lanes... but they do not appear on the main map. Good luck in sorting it, I feared it was some horrible kind of software glitch

Cheers again for all of your hard work - planning a trip from Alton - Dorking as off road as possible this weekend!

Dempo said...

Thanks for your patience, folks! I am pleased to say that as of today (04/01/2015) I have solved the problem with the interactive maps and this website is now once again fully operational! YAY!

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