A TEAM walked the length of the South Dorset Ridgeway to mark the launch of new projects to support and protect the landscape.

Members of the South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Partnership, which looks after the beauty spot between Weymouth and Dorchester, covered 17 miles in a day from Osmington in the east to West Bexington in the west.

The Ridgeway is one of the richest and most important cultural landscapes in England and the partnership received £2million from the Heritage Lottery Fund last year to safeguard the area, help people enjoy the countryside and feel pride for the area.

Over the next few years the partnership is proposing to deliver around 25 projects to protect historical features, look after wildlife, give more opportunities for people to enjoy the Ridgeway, provide traditional countryside skills training and enable residents, particularly schoolchildren, to learn about the countryside.

Land Felt, one of the first projects, is drawing to a close with exhibitions of the work featuring felt produced from local fleeces and natural dyes.

The final exhibition can be seen at Strangways Hall, Abbotsbury, from today to Sunday from 10.30am to 4pm.

Cllr Hilary Cox, Dorset County Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “The walk is a great way to highlight the work that the partnership is doing. The area is outstanding in many ways and the projects aim to bring together members of the community as well as local, regional, and national organisations to benefit the landscape and rural communities.”

The partnership is led by the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and comprises a number of organisations including the county council, the county museum, wildlife trust, Dorset Forest School and Kingston Maurward College.

For more information about the work going on to support the Ridgeway see southdorsetridgeway.org.uk