• Ridgeway fingerpost in Oxfordshire. Photo Dave Cavanagh

The Ridgeway National Trail is an 87 miles (139km) long National Trail opened in September 1973. Starting at Overton Hill, near Avebury in Wiltshire, where it links with the Wessex Ridgeway and Sarsen Way. The Trail runs along the North Wessex Downs, drops down to the Thames at Streatley, then continues north-eastwards through the Chilterns, rising to finish at Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire where it links with Icknield Way. Walkers, runners, cyclists, horse riders, carriage drivers and disabled people using mobility scooters are drawn to the Trail’s viewpoints, prehistoric monuments, nature reserves, pubs and more.

Friends of Ridgeway logo

Friends of the Ridgeway (FoR), formed in 1982, is an independent charity run by volunteers to preserve the spirit of the Ridgeway, a National Trail, and its surroundings for maximum enjoyment by the public and protection of the adjacent natural and historic environment. FoR: aims for the Ridgeway to be a peaceful, beautiful, safe amenity for the public along its whole length; for the whole of the Ridgeway to be free of non-essential motorised traffic; promotes an appreciation of the Ridgeway – for outdoor pursuits and the creative arts – and its natural and historic environment; and is concerned that developments in the vicinity of the Trail should be compatible with these features and their maximum appreciation by the public. Facebook @FriendsOfTheRidgeway

The photos above are the winners of the 2022 Swire Ridgeway Arts Prize. The theme of the competition is ‘Spirit of the Ridgeway’. It celebrates and draws attention to the artistic inspiration of the Ridgeway.