New Ridgeway walking trail

CHILDREN from a south Dorset primary school have helped to develop a new interactive walking trail to attract people of all ages to explore the magnificent sights of the South Dorset Ridgeway.

Hosted by Bincombe Valley Primary School, and led by Dorset Youth Association with the support of Artsreach and the social and ethical house builder, Aster Group, the Bincombe Trail has been developed by children aged eight and nine years old.

It is designed to tell some of the ancient stories that surround this fascinating landscape. The trail is available online to the wider world through the Geocaching platform, meaning anyone who has a phone or a Geocache device can begin their search for the boxes that have been hidden across the stretch of land.

Jack Welch, who has organised the project with the school children, says: “Working with primary school children, from delivering an initial workshop all about Geocaching to creating the posters for the caches themselves has been incredibly exciting. The school has been doing some fantastic work which we had to include.”

With the backing of Dorset Youth Association, two young adults who have previously volunteered in heritage projects were employed to oversee the project’s management. They undertook training from the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s South Dorset Ridgeway team to understand the potential stories and to include that as part of the workshops for the pupils.

Yvonne Gallimore, Artsreach co-director, says: “The geocache trail is a really creative and interactive way of getting children and families outdoors to explore the South Dorset Ridgeway together. It’s such a beautiful area, teeming with history, and to bring it to life in this way with pupils from Bincombe has been exciting.”

Angela Gould, digital and partnership engagement manager at Aster, says: “We are pleased to have funded this project which invites people in our communities to explore their local area. We’re proud to work with partner agencies to ensure that our communities are pleasant places to live.”

Karen Mason from Bincombe Valley Primary School said “The pupils have really enjoyed finding out about the Ridgeway and exploring the trail leading up to the Bincombe Bumps. We are hoping the Geocache trail will encourage families to participate in this activity and we have two GPS devices at the school donated to us by Dorchester Youth Association for families to use.”

Pick up leaflets for the train from tourist information centres and libraries, or  contact Artsreach on 01305 269512 or email