I only recently became aware of a green road not far from my home. Acquainted with footpaths, bridle ways and other public rights of way, the green road or lane, appeared in my life as a misunderstood and mysterious countryside gift. A veiled gem that when you drew the veil aside, yielded a handful of wonderful secrets.
A green lane does not exist in legality, but is a curious byway, publicly maintained, open to traffic and often marked by a small sign that will denote vehicular access. Often these roads have been reclassified into the bridleways and footpaths we are familiar with, but in some cases these mysteries remain enchanted byways. Much controversy ranges over the green lanes and whether all vehicle access should be removed giving the public the safety of a right to ramble without hindrance. But for people like myself with disabilities, the advantage of driving to a certain point means these lovely places become an achievable goal for me.
These little known, precious places are different to other rights of way, in that they are unsurfaced roads. This means little more than tracks, the grass can often grow thick and lush across them, and branches overhang, creating magical countryside tunnels that lead us easily from the realm of the modern, back into the ancient.
Just because these roads are so little understood and might seem mysterious to some of us, makes them perfect places through which to walk and enjoy nature’s bounty in a relatively underused setting.