4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
Wellington Drive Round Day – 1st October 17
Words and pictures by James Trembath

After a long summer break we were all looking forward to getting back onto the Wellington Site. A good soaking on Saturday evening certainly filled up the puddles for us and added an extra element of ‘slippery’ to the climbs and descents.

We met an hour earlier than usual, some people were camping after the Goodwinch half day off road excursion the day previously so with most on site it was a good opportunity to start early and make the most of the day.

Having used our training vehicle at the Goodwinch site today we ran just the one support vehicle – Tims Hybrid (90/RR) with its 3. 5V8 and auto box it’s a smooth way to travel – the lockers can help at times too!

Joining us were Tony and Mike in their well prepared Tdi 90, Coral and Scott in the newly coloured tdi 90 pickup, Rachel and Martyn in their Discovery tdi, plus Paul and Anthony in a remapped td5 Discovery. A good mix of Land Rovers spiced up with the addition of Kevin in his CJ17. Well it would have been spiced up but it would appear for once (in about 15years) that Kevin had a few reliability issues and dropped in and out of the group through the day, it wasn’t running quite right and took a little fettling. To be fair once that was sorted he was good to go... until the gear stick came off in his hand!

The Land Rovers on the other hand for once all proved remarkably reliable. We took on the short twisting undulations and climbs of the Island to start, the wet leaf mulch and tree stumps took some planning to negotiate in one go and it soon had everyone in the right frame of mind.

Moving on across the site we descended into Windy Wood using a steep track that has a fantastic little kick in it and, well its challenging and you can become a passenger at times but there is a good run off at the bottom! Some went a fair bit quicker than others down there, Kevin, even with the largest engine amongst us just pootled down it – not a lot you can replace experience with!

We were soon resorting to a little winching as Scott, Martyn and Kevin took on one of the challenging routes; a short drop into a small bog run (driveable) followed by a misleadingly slippery steep ascent. The climb caught them all out, less Paul who drove it straight as last vehicle through. Power may have something to do it with! Plus low tyre pressures and that experience thing again! Or as Scott mentioned, maybe it was just because he had cleared it out for him! To be fair Scot did do a great deal of clearing out with his 90, ‘grading the tracks for others’ as he put it!

Being down a few vehicles in the group also gave us a chance to drive some of the harder routes that we seldom use with a full complement of vehicles. There are several ‘challenging’ sections on the lower side of the island, some of them we have not frequented for two years or more. For the regulars in the group this certainly gave them a different track to drive and something a little away from the ordinary.

Post lunch it was time to head across and down to the Moor. The tracks here offer better traction (generally) but there are more angles to contend with, more water and lots of great little twisty sections to keep people on their toes. Scott tackled the bottomless pit or ‘Puggers hole’ as we call it, mainly silted up with mud it’s a hole that developed over time in the soft ground. Its certainly a winch option to go through but that adds in its own challenge. With on going forestry work around the site there will soon be a new route cutting across the top of this to enable all to get in and around the adjoining tracks. The rest of the group (sensibly) bypassed the hole! With the other tracks providing plenty of driving time we made the most of what the moor had to offer before heading up to the final section on the far end of the island with the bumps and dips, side slopes and assorted climbs it has to offer. Thank fully Scott didn’t fall over this time and aside from Kevins bad luck with the gear stick lever we were all 100% reliable. A great day with great company.

Some pictures from the day