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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Old drovers' road given facelift
Part of the Kerry Ridgeway walk (picture: Powys Council)
The ridgeway is believed to be more than 2,000 years old
A 2,000-year-old drovers' route has received a facelift in an attempt to attract more walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

One of the oldest roads in Wales, the 15-mile Kerry Ridgeway in Powys was once the main route to London.

Linking footpaths and bridleways have been improved, while two car parks have been built, signs erected and a new guidebook published.

Drovers used it to shepherd sheep, cattle and geese to markets in England.

Linking the Powys village of Kerry, near Newtown, and the Shropshire town of Bishops Castle, the ridgeway is a regional trail and open to walkers, horse riders and cyclists.

Last used regularly by drovers some 150 years ago, the ancient highway forges a track through airy heather moors, cool woodlands and breezy bilberry-rich heaths.

The ridgeway is one of the most ancient routes in Britain
Powys Council

Its origins are unknown, but it is believed to be older than the Iron Age and Dark Ages earthworks which cut its line.

The work to improve the walk was funded by European Objective 2 funding and co-ordinated by Forestry Commission Wales and Powys Council.

Shorter sections

A council spokeswoman said: "The project has included the construction of two small car parks, the erection of a series of interpretation boards explaining the history of the area, and signage and improvements to linking footpaths and bridleways.

"The ridgeway is one of the most ancient routes in Britain and was a major drovers' route for cattle and sheep on their way from Wales to the markets in England."

The new guidebook contains details about the route, photographs and options for exploring shorter sections of the trail.

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