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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 National 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.

In 2009 the Friends of the Ridgeway’s constitution was changed to apply its principal objective to any extension of the ancient Ridgeway trackways along the chalk downs of southern England. As a result, the Friends of the Ridgeway determined to create a coast to coast trail from the Dorset coast to The Wash, which was named The Great Chalk Way (GCW). The GCW Website can be found here.

We celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Ridgeway National Trail in 2023 by creating the Ridgeway Spotter Guide and running a fundraising campaign. The Friends of the Ridgeway are supporting the ‘Ridgeway Future 50 vision’. Discover the stories, events, videos and walks celebrating the 50th anniversary on the National Trail website.

Information Leaflet

Our Information Leaflet is available to download and print here.

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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

Walking the Sarsen Way Guide Book

by Steve Davison. Guidebook to the Sarsen Way (79km) from Coate Water Park to Salisbury and the Cranborne Droves Way (28km) connecting Salisbury to Wessex Ridgeway at Win Green. These long-distance paths are part of the Great Chalk Way. Suggested 2-8 day itineraries,...

Spring Newsletter 2024

In the spring issue of our newsletter, we look at this year’s highly successful Swire Ridgeway Arts Prize Exhibition. Wiltshire MP Danny Kruger recently spoke in the House of Commons in favour of amending the law so as to get more public rights of way protected from...