Repaired surface at Uffington White Horse Hill

12th June 2019

Walkers, cyclists and horse riders can now look forward to using The Ridgeway near the famous Uffington White Horse thanks to repairs carried out to the surface in March. These repairs were funded by Oxfordshire County Council and by donations from several organised events held along The Ridgeway in 2017 and 2018, including Dixons Carphone Warehouse 'Race to the Stones'.

With years of erosion, the track was bare of grass and the exposed chalk bedrock was being washed smooth, making it very slippery when wet. The steep slope meant that water flowing downhill had cut channels into the surface. Chalk is particularly prone to water erosion because it is relatively soft and soluble and the different heights between the verge and the track in this location shows how much material can be lost over the years! A lot of people were diverting onto the verge to avoid the worn track, putting chalk grassland flowers such as common spotted orchid at risk of being trampled.

Limestone was brought in from quarries in Oxfordshire to fill in the gullied track and create a level surface. Contractors Aztec carried out the work, taking 5 days to complete and leaving the verge untouched. With kind weather and no vehicles passing over, the material is bedding down for the longterm. The before and after photos to the right show the improvements.

Thank you to the events donating towards this project - SENSE Ridgewalk, Ridgeway Rhino, Ridgeway Relay (Marlborough Running Club), CRUK Ridgeway Walk, Dixons Carphone Warehouse Race to the Stones, TRA Ridgeway Challenge 86, Wessex TREC, XNRG Druid’s Challenge, Centurion Autumn 100, Centurion Chiltern Wonderland, Cycle-tec MTB Marathon Wantage, Cycle Classics White Road Classic.

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Uffington surface before repair
Uffington surface after repair with temporary blocks