Conserve and enjoy The Ridgeway's historic features

Landowners, volunteers and others are invited to help keep The Ridgeway special

The historic features along The Ridgeway and in its surrounding landscape tell stories from every historic period as far back as early prehistory. Quiet earthworks and silent fields hold secrets that are waiting to be discovered and this project aspires to reveal a variety of stories that will interest many different people!

The Historic Ridgeway Project seeks to bring people together to interpret and conserve archaeological sites and features along The Ridgeway in Oxfordshire and West Berkshire – between Ashbury and Wallingford. A dedicated Project Manager is leading this 3 year project which is largely funded by Historic England, with match contributions from the North Wessex Downs AONB, Oxfordshire County Council and Friends of the Ridgeway.

The project encourages active participation of local communities, landowners and managers, volunteers, businesses and visitors through improved visitor interpretation of historic features, practical conservation activities and site monitoring. It will also encourage a dovetailing of ecological and archaeological management of sites to improve the condition of both habitats and heritage along the Trail.

Read on below to find out more…..

Banner photo credit: Mary Tebje

The archaeology along the Trail and in the fields that surround it tell us about how people have lived over the millennia. These tangible links to the past, from hillforts to WWII airfields, enhance the visitor and volunteer experience and many landowners appreciate being custodians of this valued heritage. Preserving this precious archaeological resource will benefit current and future generations.

Many of the archaeological sites along the route are currently hidden from view and thousands of visitors and landowners are unaware of the interesting stories from the past. Together with old maps and written sources, modern techniques such as geophysics and drone survey will be used to help illustrate the importance of each of the sites and how they relate to each other and people’s lives today. The Project Manager will work with landowners and land managers to develop management plans that will secure appropriate conservation work and, where possible, enhance public enjoyment.

Launched in October 2023 during The Ridgeway’s 50th anniversary year, the project will seek to expand the Trail’s Queen’s Award winning volunteer scheme. Boosting mental and physical well-being, the volunteer activities will enable the development of new skills and increase confidence to enjoy the countryside. The project is particularly keen to engage communities who are currently under-represented amongst The Ridgeway’s visitors and volunteers. A Volunteer Co-ordinator will be employed on a seasonal basis to reach out to new audiences and encourage people to participate in this project through volunteer activities.

For further information, please contact the Project Manager Dan Bashford at