9:47am Thursday 7th October 2010
A proposed footpath between the World Heritage sites of Avebury and Stonehenge has been approved by Devizes Area Board.
Although The Great Stones Way, the 29-mile walk through some of Wiltshire’s most famous prehistoric sites, will touch Devizes only in passing, the town is likely to benefit from the tourism attracted to the area.
Ian Ritchie, chairman of the Friends of the Ridgeway, which is spearheading the £105,000 scheme, said the proposed route is the missing link along the Ridgeway, the oldest road in Europe.
He said: “We estimate the new route will attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors a year and bring in £6million a year to the local economy.
“It will ensure the survival of village shops, post offices, pubs and B&Bs.”
Mr Ritchie has forecast that the new path could rival Hadrian’s Wall as the UK’s most popular walk.
The Friends of the Ridgeway are aiming to open the route to the public some time next year.
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