As noted in our last issue, Natural England has announced that it would like to move to a more devolved organisation for the National Trails, with greater involvement of users and local communities. It seems likely that the current joint management structure for The Ridgeway and the Thames Path will be separated and new bodies set up for each Trail.
We have discussed a new partnership structure with the present National Trails Office (NTO) team and
management group, with a view to setting up a new Ridgeway Trail Partnership. This would include the Chilterns and North Wessex Downs AONB and other stakeholder bodies, of which we are likely to be one. Our proposal is that this should take the form of a new charitable trust, managed by a committee
of Trustees representing the many interested stakeholders. However, talks have moved frustratingly slowly, and the new structures remain to be agreed. We hope that an announcement can be made soon.