The South Wiltshire Ramblers, ‘Heavy Gang,’ have been keeping paths open for 25 years. The team has been led by Norman Martin and Graham Read since 2003 when they jointly took over as footpath secretary. In this time the team has given more than 4000 hours to ensure everyone can enjoy walking in South Wiltshire.
The Heavy Gang works at least one day each month helping Wiltshire Council repair and upgrade paths in the network. The work, as the name suggests, involves use of heavy hand tools such as spades and sledge hammers and movement of materials. Some examples of the work carried include the instillation of a new bridge and board walk in St Mary Parish, the instillation of three new kissing gates in Tisbury or the instillation of a causeway and kissing gate all go to show the variety and quality of the work that they have undertaken over the past 25 years.
Graham Read, who organises the team said in response to receiving the award, ‘we are all very proud to receive this award, and thank the members who voted for us. However we don't do this work for reward, but we do it because we want to 'put something back'. Quite simply we all love walking. Sadly because of cut backs in funding, we now also do it because it is a matter of necessity just to try and keep the status quo.’
The heavy gang are regularly out working and you can find out more and keep up to date with their work at their website and to find out more about Ramblers path maintenance can be found on our volunteer path team toolkit.