BOAT: Vert Lane

Location: Laughton, East Sussex BN8, UK
  • Overall Rating: 5
  • Location: Whitesmith, East Sussex.
  • OS Explorer Map 123, 'Eastbourne & Beachy Head, Newhaven, Seaford, Hailsham & Heathfield'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: TQ525138
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N50 90' 40" E000 16' 70"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference:  TQ500141
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N50 98' 30" E000 13' 10"
  • To see: Blackberry Farm petting zoo, Rowland Wood & Park Corner Heath reserves.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
This post should be read in conjunction with that for Pound Lane, which joins this lane towards its western end. 

Update 13/01/2014: Your intrepid explorers have since discovered that this byway is now subject to a TRO in place for 6 months from 15/02/2014 and is as such closed to all motorised traffic (i.e. horses, cyclists and pedestrians only). This is partly due to the impact of forestry traffic, but partly due to the anti-social actions of the irresponsible minority abusing the greenlane. DON'T be part of the problem. Hopefully, after repairs, the byway will open again, but due to ESCC's precedents one shouldn't hold one's breath...

You're just not getting in.
Original post: Here on the Modern-Day Explorers, we're a sucker for a scenic woodland greenlane, and this is one of the best around.

Starting in the hamlet of Whitesmith, just south of the A22, the lane begins as a metalled track up to some houses whereby it quickly plunges into Vert Wood. As it does so the surface changes into rubble and gravel interspersed with large 'muddy' sections and sizeable potholes, some so sizeable that they are best avoided. But as a positive, due to the fact that Vert Wood is managed woodland and is therefore regularly forested, the lane is nice and wide and provides no threat of scratches from over-eager thornbushes or overhanging branches. Likewise, although this lane is usually very muddy, even in dry weather, the bottom of the potholes seems to be a hard surface and there is very little chance of getting stuck in the apparent 'clag'.

This unusually straight lane continues to undulate gently through beautiful woodland as one travels westbound. However, and I am hesitant to say it, but there is possible evidence of illegal offroading to be seen at various places along the tract. I'm hesitant because some of it is almost certainly from forestry operations. But some of it blatantly isn't, so stay to the track and report anyone you see straying to both the police and GLASS, here.

Rant over. At the halfway point of Vert Lane a metalled country lane called Park Lane crosses your route, so if you don't elect to continue then you can leave the lane at this point. Further west still, at around three-quarters of the total length, Pound Lane, another arguably more pleasant woodland greenlane, branches south toward the village of Laughton. Our lane continues west until it terminates where it meets Shortgate Lane, just north-west of Laughton, on a brief concreted stretch of farm track. A great drive, and a muddy one!

For the kids, Blackberry Farm petting zoo lies just to the north of the eastern end of the lane. And within the same acreage of woodland lies 'Rowland Wood & Park Corner Heath', a nature reserve belonging to the noble Butterfly Conservation charity, is well worth a visit in the warmer months.

To East Sussex County Council this is Laughton Byway 26.

View Vert Lane in a larger map

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