Off-road vehicles - Little Langdale and High Tilberthwaite, Lake District

On 16 December 2019, the Guardian reported that campaigners are launching a legal challenge to the Lake District National Park Authority’s decision not to ban 4x4s and trail motorbikes from farm tracks. Ramblers volunteers in the Lake District have been working closely with other partners to assess the situation in the Lake District. Our network of volunteers work actively across the country to respond to landscape issues in their local areas, applying their expert knowledge of their landscape, walking environment, community and economy.

We are pleased to support their decision to support calls on the Lake District National Park authority to introduce a traffic regulation order to control the use of off road vehicles on tracks between Little Langdale and High Tilberthwaite, and support campaign action coordinated by the Green Lanes Environmental Action Movement (GLEAM). This is necessary in order to protect the safety of walkers and the sense of peace and tranquillity of the landscape. 

At the Ramblers, we protect public rights of way so that everyone can experience the natural beauty of the countryside and enjoy the benefits of walking in nature. Vehicular use of byways should not prevent anyone from enjoying the outdoors on foot. The effect of vehicles on the walking surface and on the safety and enjoyment of walkers are relevant and important considerations for any highway authority, including national parks. You can read more about our position on off-road vehicles here.

Find out more about the campaign here, where you can also make a contribution to the legal action coordinated by GLEAM.

Anthony Rigby

I fully support the move to ban 4x4 vehicles and motorbikes from all Lake District tracks and paths. In fact the ban should apply to any national parks. These places are to be enjoyed on foot unhindered by those too lazy to do so.

John Evans

As a member of the Ramblers but also a motor enthusiast ( I have used rights of way on road legal motorcycles in the past) I do not agree with the stance of the Ramblers seeking an exclusive use of these rights of way.
However I fully support the policing of these vehicle to confirm they are road legal and driven responsibly,unfortunately as in all walks of life there are those who break the law and spoil things for others.

Jon Lunn

Control is the key word here. Banning motor vehicles may see a deterioration of the lanes as vegetation takes over. I'm seeing far too many lanes impassable because of brambles, elderberry and hazel etc taking over. Have a good look and see how tracks have shrunk since farmers started using quadbikes.


I fully support the move to ban trail bikes. As a regular walker in the Peak District I have seen all too many tracks and trails rendered impassable by the surface being churned up by trail bikes and 4X4s, particularly in winter. I have been splashed from head to toe with muddy water by trail bikers who obviously enjoyed riding through puddles and dousing mere walkers as they did so.

Eventually there will be a serious, perhaps fatal, accident unless walkers and bikers are separated especially in National Parks. A few years ago I was with a group on a track to the north of Kinder Scout and about to cross the busy Snake Road when we spotted some trail bikers coming across the other way. So we moved to one side of the track whilst we waited for them to pass only for one of them to lose control, skid on his bike and stop only inches from one of our party. He would undoubtedly have been seriously injured if the bike had gone any further.

I do not buy the argument that all we have to do is to police trail biking properly. Who is to do this, who pays and how is it to be enforced? And the argument that bikers prevent lanes becoming impassable is simply ludicrous. In well over half a century of walking in our National Parks, never have I encountered a lane where quad bikes could get through but not hikers.