The Scottish contingent enjoyed a green laning style day with the land rover green laning club in 2013. We intended to build on this outing with our own planned laning event courtesy of the Forestry Commission. Initial discussions with the Forestry Commission in the fall of 2013 were encouraging, however by the time the permission forms were submitted, a change in personnel at the Forestry Commission had a different view on our activities and our application for access was unsuccessful. There ended our efforts for an autumn off-road event in Scotland. This includes an influence from the off-road event in 2013 where we only had three vans attend and left one with a flooded engine following a failed river crossing. Therefore a simple pay and play week end was not considered for 2014 due to low attendance.
However, in lieu of an off-road weekend, we did arrange a driving and camping weekend. One of our Scottish members is a part owner in a sustainable forestry development, who offered up a corner of their forest with parking for camping and space for a fire. On Saturday the 27th September, 8 VW 4×4’s met up at Aberfoyle; 1- LT 4WD, 1- T4 Syncro and 6- T25 Syncros, for a drive in the pleasant autumn sunshine over the Dukes Pass and up to the three lochs drive. The three lochs route is a gravel road maintained by the Forestry Commission and accessible to the public through daytime hours. It is a 7 mile circular route which provides access to three lochs and walking trails available from designated parking places. We enjoyed the drive around the route in convoy, stopping off for a spot of lunch and a walk around some of the musical artwork which has been installed on the walks.
From the three lochs route, the convoy headed out to the private forest where we squeezed the vans in to the parking area, leaving just enough space for a campfire. For the second time on the trip, the kids within the group were able to get out and run about in natures back yard (from 7 camping units, we had 4 children under 6 who all got on well and enjoyed the weekend tremendously). Despite the efforts of some rain in the evening, spirits were kept dry following the erection of a parachute between the vans and over the campfire, looking like a big top from a circus tent.
A jovial evening of fireside socialising ensued with some retiring to bed significantly later than others. The next morning, some headed off home, while others made a bee line to the nearby café for coffee and cakes before the journey home. A very enjoyable weekend was had by all with particular note of the family friendly environment fostered by all.
Plans are afoot for similar casual events in 2015.