Local volunteers from charity Sustrans have started their own group to help look after the Swindon to Marlborough railway path.
The ‘Friends of the Railway path’ group will be promoting and developing the use of the path by organising workdays and raising money to support it.
The group’s first event will be a ‘Fresh Air Miles’ bike ride along the path on Saturday 10 September from 10am, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the last passenger train running between Swindon and Marlborough.
Organised by charity Sustrans and sponsored by leading bike retailer Specialized, it is one of 100 Fresh Air Miles rides happening around the UK this summer.
Dick Millard, Chair of the group, said ‘The railway path is such a great way to get out of town and onto the downs. We hope local people will enjoy the chance to get together to improve it for people, plants and wildlife, or just to enjoy the fresh air.’
The path, which has been developed by Sustrans as part of the National Cycle Network, is much loved by local walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. It passes through Chiseldon and down the Og Valley to Marlborough, through a variety of historic landscapes on its way.
To join the 50th anniversary ride, meet in the car park at Coate Water in Swindon at 10am on Saturday 10 September.
New volunteers are welcome to join the ‘Friends of the Railway Path’ group. On Saturday 17 September there will be a workday at Marlborough to cut back trees and tidy the path. Anyone interested should meet at the Barnfield access to the path at 10.30am. There will also be an exhibition celebrating the history of the path and looking forward to its future, on Saturday 22 October in Marlborough Town Hall from 9.30am until 2pm.