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Countryside Council for Wales
Enjoying the country Please note - A new body, Natural Resources Wales has taken over all functions and services previously carried out by Countryside Council for Wales. While the Natural Resources Wales website continues to be developed, some online services will continue to be provided on this web site.


‘Off-roading’ is the term commonly used to describe the use of both motorcycles and four-wheel drive vehicles on usually unsurfaced roads, tracks and areas of land in the countryside.

Often this is on legal routes (e.g. Byways Open to All Traffic or unsurfaced unclassified roads (UCRs)), and sometimes on private land or sites by permission of the landowner. It is a strongly supported and legitimate sport and recreation, providing a driving challenge presented by the nature of the terrain and often the experience of being in some of the more remote parts of the country.

But in some places illegal use of land or rights of way is made for off-roading and this is a real problem and source of conflict in some areas of the country. Even legal driving may cause damage on susceptible surfaces (such as boggy, poorly drained terrain) and in some locations this damage is significant. Damage can be to the nature conservation value, historic land features, field boundaries and to the visual amenity of the area. Noise can also be an issue for local people and other recreational users of the routes.

Wales Off-Road Motors Group (WORMSG)

Emerging from a conference hosted by the Forestry Commission Wales and CCW in 2004, the Wales Off-Road Motorcycling Steering Group (WORSMG) was formed to try and develop a consensus to addressing three main issues:

  • Effective enforcement of existing laws
  • Provision/management of appropriate opportunities, and
  • Responsible use & education.
  • The WORMS Group, which meets a number of times a year, is a partnership of user groups and other interested organisations, including CCW. The name of the group was modified in 2010 in recognition of their wider remit to consider all off-roading activity, including both motorcycling and 4x4 vehicle use. The Group’s work is guided by an Action Plan.

    Two reports have been published (in 2006 and 2010) and these are available for download. The Reports include further information about the work of WORMSG partners across Wales as well as the Action Plan for the Group’s work going forward:

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The countryside team
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