The EU-funded North Wessex Downs Leader Project awarded Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, £31,000 to improve the Marlborough to Swindon Railway Path which runs for ten miles through the Marlborough Downs.
Nearly a mile of new surfacing north of Ogbourne St George has been completed, allowing a much smoother and drier route for those using the path.
The funding has also enabled Sustrans to provide eleven new benches, including three oak picnics benches at locations chosen for the great views of the downs.
Visitors will also spot new signs at entrances to the path, and the access points have been modified to make it easier for trailers and tricycles to get onto the path.
As well as the Leader-funded work, the Friends of the Railway Path have designed and installed three interpretation boards at other locations on the path to tell people about the local history and habitat.
Alistair Millington, Land Manager at Sustrans, said, “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to do this work with the help of North Wessex Down Leader.
We are looking to improve the path every year but 2019’s is the biggest single project we’ve done. I’m really pleased with the new picnic benches because it’s something that families visiting the path had really wanted.”
Dick Millard from the Friends of the Railway Path said, “Friends of the Railway Path is delighted with the new surface which will make it much easier to use the route from Coate Water to Marlborough.
“There are now more facilities along the route, which we think will encourage more people to enjoy the journey through the landscape. We are also pleased that it is now easier for people to access the Path.”