Friends of the Railway Path

Promoting and developing the Coate to Marlborough Railway Path

2015 Events

4th Annual General Meeting - 20th October 2015

We held our fourth AGM at the Three Trees Farm shop again this year.

You can read and learn about what we have been up to in the Annual Report and the Sustrans Report.

Cricklade Work Day - 13th September 2015

Another success: the right weather, the right team (7 of us) and a decent amount of work to do. In this case, clearing vegetation (aka scrub hacking) along a stretch of the path just south of Cricklade. We walked down about 1.2km and found quite a variety of overhanging branches, brambles, rose and nettles. In places, it was difficult to get even a single bike through. We’ve now cleared the worst of the trees and brambles, and the regular autumn mow which Sustrans’ contractor will do shortly will deal with much of the nettles, hogweed and other weeds now that there is more space to use the mower.

We noticed a canal-sized depression running alongside the railway path bear Farfield Lane. I don’t think this can have been the old North Wilts Canal, which I think ran nearer the road. If anyone knows what it was, I would be interested.

My thanks to the splendid work team.

Best wishes


Practising on the easy bits

Practising on the easy bits

Quite a tricky patch

... Quite a tricky patch

But most of the path now looks like this!

But most of the path now looks like this!

Butterfly walk on the railway path - 12th July 2015

We have just had a lovely hour or so looking for butterflies. Butterflies are sensitive indicators of the health of an ecosystem, and Butterfly Conservation organise a count each year in which members of the public can log what they see. If you would like to, go to Big Butterfly Count website where there are instructions and a form to use. There are 60 species found in Britain (and 2,500 species of moth – but you see these rather less as they are nocturnal).

This morning, being overcast and breezy, didn’t have great conditions for butterfly viewing. In our location, we saw several Ringlets (which are widespread on damp grassland), and the spectacular caterpillar of the Cinnabar moth. And lots of grasses, mosses and flowers: the bank in this cutting is full of them at the moment. The bank is looking a lot better since we removed some of the encroaching scrub last year, although there will be more to do. 19 of us enjoyed this occasion, and we’ll hope to organise one next year with sunnier weather.

My thanks to Peter David for leading the walk.

Best wishes


Ringlet butterfly

One of the Ringlets enjoying the grass...

identifying a butterfly

... and another held temporarily for identification

Cinnabar moth caterpillar

The caterpillar of the Cinnabar moth, feeding on Common Ragwort.

searching for butterflies

Seeing what we can find.

There’s a nice patch of chalk grassland growing on the sides of a cutting at the side of the path just north of Ogbourne St George. The diverse flora attracts butterflies and on a brief visit in the summer of 2013, we saw 14 different butterfly species and 3 of moths.