4×4 and the Environment: Be Eco Aware

By 10th Sep 2018 Sep 21st, 2018 Environment
eco aware

Be Eco Aware

Owning a 4×4 gives one the freedom to explore remote, rugged terrain. With this freedom comes responsibility.

All 4×4 owners have a duty to be eco aware and to care for the environment they travel through.

In order to protect the coastal environment, 4x4s have been totally restricted from beaches, including:

• Dunes

• Estuarine salt marshes adjacent to estuaries

• Estuarine intertidal sand and mud flats

• Bird and turtle nesting areas

• Beaches with steep gradients

4x4s have also been restricted from protected areas specifically established to conserve the coastal environment

• National parks

• Nature reserves

• Wilderness areas

• Historical sites

• Palaeontological sites

There are exemptions for research, security personnel, disabled people, emergency services and local parks authorities.

Designated boat launch sites are also exempt.

Currently, 4x4s can only drive on beaches beyond our borders.

Follow these guidelines for responsible driving:

• Ensure your vehicle does not have a fuel or oil leak as it will pollute the beach.

• Drive only on beaches where vehicle access is permitted and ensure that you obtain the necessary permits (if a permit system is in place).

• Gain access to the beach via an authorised entry point.

• Reduce tyre pressure before driving on a beach or soft sand. You will benefit from the traction gained and minimise damage caused by wheel-spin.

• Drive on the ‘wet sand’ between the high- and low-tide marks.

• Be aware of tidal patterns, your exit route may not be accessible at high tide.

• Consider local wildlife (turtle populations on the East Coast of South Africa breed above the high-tide mark. On the West Coast, crustaceans breed below the high-tide mark. If you’re in doubt, consult the local nature conservation authorities).

Avoid driving in these areas:

• Bathing beaches.

• Pioneer plants on the back-shore.

• Bird and turtle nesting sites.

It is our responsibility as 4×4 owners to be ‘Eco Aware’.

• Act and drive responsibly and be courteous.

• Don’t drink if you’re driving.

• Respect the rights of fellow off-roaders, local populace, and fauna and flora.

• Practise safe fire techniques.

• Remove your litter.

• Use cat latrines.

• Use biodegradable cleaners, shampoos and soaps.

• Don’t enter private land without permission.

• Close gates behind you as you pass through property.

• Avoid wheel-spin and repair any damage caused, repack ruts, etc.

• Educate yourself by attending our ongoing 4×4 courses.

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