LOWER CLAERWEN IS ONE OF OUR FAVOURITE GREEN LANES ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY. Running alongside the Afon Claerwen river, between the head of Caban-coch Reservoir and the Claerwen Dam, it’s around two and a half miles long and packs in a variety of rocks, potentially deep water and supreme scenery. Towards its western end, this is dominated by the looming presence of the dam – beneath which, the trail begins or ends with lengthy ford over the confluence of the Claerwen and Afon Arban.

The lane has always been challenging in places; the rocks are tricky, particularly when travelling from the east, and when water in Claerwen Reservoir is overtopping the dam it’s a sure sign that it’ll be over your hubs, too. All this, and the wonderful isolation of the landscape as you pick your way along the valley floor, make it a highlight of any lane run in an area which is not short of classic rights of way.

Over the last year or so, however, the condition of the rock sections has slowly changed and they have become more extreme. This has led to drivers of less well equipped vehicles looking for alternative routes around the obstacles – causing off-piste damage to the adjacent land. As a result, the Green Lane Association has called for restraint in its use, specifically asking drivers not to attempt it in standard vehicles.

Read the full article in the July issue –×4202407

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