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The Friends of the Ridgeway

The Friends of the Ridgeway is a registered charity (No 1107926). We are a voluntary organisation set up in 1982 to preserve and maintain the special nature of the Ridgeway National Trail, mainly in response to its abuse west of the Thames by off-road vehicles. Although we have had a lot of success in this respect, vehicles on the Ridgeway are a recurring problem and remain a focus of our attention. We collaborate with other organisations, such as the Wiltshire and Oxfordshire Councils’ departments that deal with rights of way, the police and the British Horse Society to maintain safe places for us all to enjoy. We work with the Ridgeway Partnership and others to promote its value to the whole community as an essential part of everyone’s life and heritage. We represent any concerns about the Ridgeway to those responsible for its maintenance. We also raise funds for maintenance of the Trail by the Ridgeway Partnership.

The Ridgeway is more than a walking trail – it is a historic monument, an artistic inspiration, a natural environment and more. We seek to engage people living near to and using the Ridgeway in activities that spread knowledge and appreciation of its wealth of historic, artistic and environmental features.

The Friends of the Ridgeway concern themselves with the natural aspects and features of the whole length of the ancient trackways along the chalk downs of Southern England, from Norfolk to Dorset, which we have named The Great Chalk Way. Much of the central section of this ancient track is the Ridgeway National Trail, which is 87 miles long and was opened as a National Trail in September 1973. Starting at Overton Hill, near Avebury in Wiltshire, the path ends at Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. The Great Chalk Way is a family of long-distance paths, which link the Ridgeway National Trail to the east coast in Norfolk by way of the Icknield Way (110 miles long) and Peddars Way (49 miles long); and to the south coast in Dorset by way of the Sarsen Way via Salisbury and the Cranborne Droves Way (51 miles long) and 66 miles of the Wessex Ridgeway. Like the Ridgeway, the Peddars Way is a National Trail.

Information Leaflet

Our Information Leaflet is available to download and print here.

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The Friends of The Ridgeway is a registered charity (No 1107926). We rely on the support of our members and from donations. We are committed to preserving the spirit of the Ridgeway.

Join Us

We are always looking for new members to join us to help preserve the spirit of The Ridgeway. Our annual membership rates and further information on joining can be found by clicking on the button below. You will receive regular e-Newsletters with campaign updates, articles of general interest about The Ridgeway and news on recent publications.

Our Latest News

Summer Newsletter 2022

Our summer issue leads off with Lucy Duerdoth , National Trails Volunteer Coordinator for the Ridgeway and Thames Path National Trails, running along the Ridgeway in the Race to the Stones, raising money for Friends of the Ridgeway in the process. The volunteers...

Spring Newsletter 2022

The Swire Ridgeway Arts Prize takes pride of place in this issue, featuring the winners of the four categories – photography, sculpture, wall art and written work. We continue our trawl through the FoR’s archives with press cuttings and photographs from the 1990s,...