Wiltshire Publications

Volunteers step up to the job

PEOPLE visiting Westbury’s White Horse viewing area will be able to make more of their visit thanks to hard work by local volunteers.

The team of West Wilts Ramblers, working with Wiltshire Council officers, have built a series of steps to link the viewing area on the B3098 to the footpath that runs beneath it.

The idea for the project came from the Westbury area board as part of its efforts to boost tourism and make the most of the history and character of the area.

The viewing area is a popular draw for visitors but there was no shortcut from that onto the path – a pleasant walk which leads to Bratton. The area board is funding the materials for the project and the members of the West Wilts Ramblers provided their hard work for free.

They had to cut into a two metre high bank to create the steps which are edged with wood and lined with recycled road planings – old road surfacing that would otherwise end up in landfill. The steps are just one of many projects carried out by the rambler volunteers who have worked in the past on kissing gates, wooden bridges, surfacing footpaths and piping ditches.

Now the area board is also hoping to fund new viewing boards that will give visitors more information about the famous white horse, the chalk hill figures of Wiltshire and the history of Westbury and the surrounding area.

Area board chairman Mike Cuthbert Murray explained, “The need to make the most of our community area and its heritage is something that was raised by local people at our Westbury Forward event held earlier this year.”

Pictured: West Wilts Ramblers hard at work creating the new steps: left to right, Mike Wood, Bob Lewis, Ron Thomas, Peter Henden and John Rowe