MSA recognised club Association of Land Rover clubs
Mar 142016

I’m sure that you’ll all agree that it’s been a long, wet winter again and have been thinking that it would be rather nice to resume some bouncing around on the lanes.

Graham Matthews and I thought the same, so we went out to look at some of the lanes last Saturday and I’m very glad to say that conditions have finally dried up enough on the hard, sustainable tracks for us to resume club greenlaning activities, although there’s still a lot of sodden areas… as always we shall need to carefully select what lanes we drive.
Most of the lanes we looked at appear to have withstood the wet weather quite well, apart from the mid section of Wraxall Lane being badly washed out again (much like 2014) and of course the
damage caused by the fools at Common Water Lane, Buckham Down (and Tincleton woods).

Despite the damage being very visible it is nowhere near as ‘vivid’ as it was a month ago, nature has a way of healing the damage over time, but this will only happen if the numpties stay off it and drive where they’re supposed to – I’m optimistic about this as they have recently had their collars felt by the law.

Now onto 2016:

In light of some issues that I have had over the last few months and subsequent/ongoing tests I must also consider my health this year, as my doctor has said that the ‘boom and bust’ in my energy levels (which had been getting steadily worse although now fairly stable) is looking symptomatic as a precursor to something a little more serious. Some of you know that I have been on anti-depressants for a few months, which have helped a great deal with my demeanour, but the regular tiredness and fatigue that I keep experiencing means that I am now forced to slow down. 

So there’s the difficult juggling act of work, DLRC, horses (and now GLASS) to consider, I simply can’t keep on hitting the ground running like I have since I left school 25 years ago….so having clarified with Rog and Caz as to exactly ‘what’ is the definition of my role as Greenlanes Officer within the club I am now able to implement some new ideas and plans for club greenlaning. 
I would like to propose a new agenda for club greenlaning activities where I am hoping to encourage members to organise and run their own greenlaning trips without being solely dependant on me to be the brains/leader of every trip, some of you have been following me along the lanes for quite a while, so you ought to have some idea of where you are by now, even I’d quite like to occasionally switch off and be the one at the back closing the gates from time to time!
Just over two years ago, greenlaning was pretty much non-existent within the club and there has been a massive upsurge in popularity where I often found trips oversubscribed or I am unable to accommodate dates to suit everyone’s diary, plus last years (still unexplained) departure of my young protégé put extra pressure on me to fulfil the demand and with the help of other members who stepped up we just about coped – the cold, hard fact is that I cannot predominantly do this on my own anymore.
Graham Matthews often has spare time on weekdays and has offered to run some trips that fit around his routine that may appeal to some of you, Jayne Simmons/Chris Ryan/Mike Mears/Graham Glover to name but a few have also all offered to help. Between us all I hope that we can continue to maintain the current level and standard of greenlaning that we pride ourselves on.
Jayne has approached me about a trip for Easter Sunday, this will be the first ‘proper’ trip of the year and I’m sure that a separate post about this will appear on this website very soon.
Meanwhile, I am more than happy to continue as your Greenlanes Officer, I’ll still be running some trips (or leading from the rear using CB comms) and naturally I will always be on hand to assist/advise with your planning if required, but I really do wonder if the time has come for the greenlaning to become less regimented, less itinerated and more spontaneous, where members contact each other on a fine morning with a ‘fancy some lanes?’ text/call/email/Facebook post….it won’t suit everyone but I think that a combination of trips planned for specific dates plus spontaneous ones in between is a formula that could work well…
You’re probably also wondering whatever possessed me to take on the Dorset Rep role for GLASS a couple of months ago – well the offer of the Dorset Rep role could have been better timed but (just like the DLRC Greenlanes Officer role) it was something that I really, really wanted to have a go at and on the assumption that this great opportunity may not happen again, I accepted. 
GLASS are happy that I shall do what I can, when I am able to…..thankfully Dorset is one of the quieter counties….!
I hope that you all understand this was a decision that wasn’t taken lightly, if you are unhappy with anything or want to discuss further, please let me know.
Many thanks,