The Friends of The Ridgeway is a registered charity (No 1107926). We are a voluntary organisation set up in 1982 to campaign against the destructive and intrusive use of The Ridgeway Trail by non-essential motor vehicles and to preserve and maintain the special nature of The Ridgeway.

Our Objects, as set out in our Constitution, are the preservation of the Ancient Ridgeway track-ways along the chalk downs of Southern England, including The Ridgeway National Trail, and related activities.

The President of the Friends of the Ridgeway is Lord [Bill] William Peter Bradshaw

The Vice-Presidents are:

Richard H R Benyon MP

Robert Buckland MP, QC

David Gauke MP

John Howell MP OBE

David Lidington MP

Claire Perry MP

Ed Vaizey MP

We are run by an Executive Committee, elected annually, and the current members are-

Chairman: Anthony Burdall, Faringdon, Oxfordshire;

Secretary: Jeff Goddard, Reading, Berkshire;

Treasurer: John Edgerton, Swindon, Wiltshire;

Sally Barnes, Stanford-in-the-Vale, Oxfordshire;

Jim Gunter, Broad Hinton, Swindon, Wiltshire;

Andy Greenhalgh, Bishopstone, Oxfordshire;

Nicola Swan, Streatley, Berkshire;

Responsibility for the management, improvement and promotion of The Ridgeway National Trail has been assumed, from 1st April, 2015, by a new Ridgeway Partnership. The Partners include all the local authorities along the route, both AONBs, the Chiltern Society, the Ramblers, the National Trust, the Country Landowners Association, and more.  Oxfordshire Council is the Lead Partner, holding funds and accounts, hosting staff and supporting a team of volunteers, now assisted by Chiltern Society teams, who continue to maintain the high standards expected for the Trail.  A Ridgeway Officer has been appointed to co-ordinate operations.  The Friends of The Ridgeway is a founding Partner and played a significant role in setting up the new body.  Our ex-Chairman, Ian Ritchie, is the first Chairman of the Partnership.

Natural England retains an overview of the National Trails network as a whole, and provides a base level of grant funding for its maintenance, reporting to DEFRA.  However, these grants are not sufficient to maintain the high standards of maintenance expected, and the Partnership needs other income to pay the bills.  In order to ensure the proper preservation of the Ridgeway we have agreed to accept donations intended for this purpose and to disburse them at our discretion in accordance with our charitable objective and in co-operation with the Partnership management.

We also have a wider focus beyond the National Trail, to the ancient Ridgeway system as a whole from the Wash to Dorset.  In accordance with this we have proposed a southwards extension of the Ridgeway path to Old Sarum near Salisbury, named “The Great Stones Way”, linking Avebury and Stonehenge.  A Guide to the route as conceived has been published by Cicerone Press.  There is also this excellent video which gives you a virtual journey along the Great Stones Way

We have over 500 members and correspondents, and we publish printed Annual Reports, and send out quarterly e-Newsletters.  Our Annual General Meeting is held as part of the Ridgeway Friends Day, in the spring at a venue near to The Ridgeway to which the public is invited.

We run the annual Swire Ridgeway Arts Prize and the winning and other entries will be exhibited at the AGM.  A thriving Vale of White Horse Local Group of members runs speaker meetings, walks and other events, often open to the public.