Show you care for The Ridgeway

13th August 2019

Now, more than ever, is the time to show your support for The Ridgeway.

Unfortunately, the annual grant from central government to England's National Trails was reduced by 5% this year and, with the current economic climate as it is, there is a risk of cuts in future. The Ridgeway grant this year is only £64,025*, making fundraising a critical activity for the Ridgeway Partnership and particularly for the delivery of large budget projects such as surface repairs in the World Heritage Site and the Ridgeway Riding Route in the Chilterns. We need tens of thousands of pounds simply to repair the surface of the Trail but we also aspire to manage the Trail for wildlife, provide information to visitors about the Ridgeway's history and improve provision for cyclists and horse riders.

Each Trail needs to build local support amongst the public and local businesses. This compliments the work of the ‘family’ of National Trails to strengthen support amongst Westminster politicians and government departments.

You can make a difference by joining as a member of 'Friends of the Ridgeway', a charity established in 1982. It only costs £8 a year to be a member, it is easy to join online and the charity will campaign to preserve the National Trail on your behalf - see Friends of the Ridgeway website.

You may also be inspired to donate to some great Ridgeway projects listed below. There are more projects in the pipeline but these are our current projects. We rely on donations and project grants for these projects because our budget is so tight. Help make these projects happen by donating any amount:

1. Repairs to the Trail in the World Heritage Site near Avebury - click here to donate any amount to Friends of the Ridgeway.

2. Ridgeway Riding Route - click here to donate any amount. See here for details about this exciting project in the Chilterns starting late 2019.

3. Benches to be installed along the Trail - click here to donate any amount but note minimum £300 for a basic bench. Please group together with friends, family or work colleagues to raise £300 if you want to be sure to see your bench installed within 2 years. See here for details including how to register your interest in particular locations for your bench along the Trail.

4. Artwork marking the ends of the Trails at Overton Hill and Ivinghoe Beacon and the meeting of The Ridgeway and Thames Path National Trails in Streatley-on-Thames - click here to donate any amount and, when donating, specify in the comments box which of the three locations you want to support. Note that due to the cost and complexity of this project, you may not see a sculpture in place until 2024.

5. Improvements to water taps along the Trail - click here to donate any amount. Note that our current priorities are to upgrade the Sparsholt Firs tap and to install a new water tap for walkers, dogs and horses between Streatley-on-Thames and Sparsholt (Wantage).

Donations do make a difference. This year's improvements to the Trail surface near the Uffington White Horse were funded by donations raised by walking, running and cycling events held on The Ridgeway. Each year, events such as Dixons Carphone 'Race to the Stones' make a donation and demonstrate how people can enjoy the Trail and help the Trail at the same time.

Thank you to everyone who values and supports The Ridgeway - we need your support!

*Footnote: Much of the annual DEFRA grant covers salaries for the part-time Trail Officer, Volunteer Co-ordinator and Office Administrator. This means the tens of thousands of pounds required to repair the surface of the Trail in the World Heritage Site or to deliver the Ridgeway Riding Route project, for example, must be attracted through fundraising from various sources.

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