Who owns The Ridgeway?
Most of the land that The Ridgeway crosses is privately owned by many different individuals. The Trail itself is a ‘public right of way’ - this means that you have a legal right to walk or ride (on bridleways, restricted byways or byways) across the land as long as you keep on the Trail. The National Trails Office does not own any of the land The Ridgeway passes over, but co-ordinates the management of the route.
Who looks after it?
A National Trails Management Group, composed of representatives of the highway authorities through whose area the Trail passes (6 of them) and Natural England, manages The Ridgeway. The Management Group publishes a Ridgeway Management Strategy to direct the management of the Trail for five years at a time, currently 2005 – 2010.
Most of the day-to-day work is undertaken by a small team of National Trails staff, helped by Volunteers managed by the team, based with Oxfordshire County Council's Countryside Service – doing much of the physical maintenance and improvements, and providing a range of information for users.
The Ridgeway travels through the following highway authorities areas:
Wiltshire Council: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/index.htm
Swindon Borough Council: http://www.swindon.gov.uk/Pages/Home.aspx
Oxfordshire County Council: http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/
West Berkshire Council: http://www.westberks.gov.uk/
Buckinghamshire County Council: http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/bcc/
Hertfordshire County Council: http://www.hertsdirect.org/
Who pays for looking after The Ridgeway?
Generally up to 75% of the money needed to keep The Ridgeway in good condition comes from Natural England and the other 25+% from the highway authorities. Opportunities are also taken to find funding for specific projects from a range of partners and grant aid bodies.
Can I make a donation?
Yes you can! The National Trails team endeavours to maintain and improve The Ridgeway and we would be very grateful for any support you can give. If you’d like to, please send a cheque (any amount would be welcome and help us in our work), made payable to “National Trails Trading” and send it to us.
If you are interested in getting involved in voluntary work to care for The Ridgeway, then please visit volunteering opportunities to find out about how to get involved.
How do I report fly-tipping?
Fly-tipping does happen on The Ridgeway and we take it very seriously. Fly-tipping creates eyesores in the countryside, can cause problems with pollution, can attract vermin and, of course, detracts from people’s experience of using The Ridgeway.
Dealing with fly-tipping and litter takes up valuable resources in terms of time and money and, although local authorities are responsible for it, the National Trails team and others work in a multi-agency approach in order to manage and reduce the problem.
If you spot fly-tipping on The Ridgeway then you should contact the local authority to report it. If this is not possible then contact us and we will report it.
Members of the public can also help the Environment Agency combat environmental crime by reporting incidents to the emergency hotline on freephone: 0800 80 70 60.