A new walking route over high ground around the Aylesbury Vale could suffer if HS2 goes ahead, but those behind the plan believe either way it will be a ‘spectacular’ trail.
Aylesbury and District Ramblers are developing the 53-mile circuit using many existing paths, passing through beautiful countryside and picturesque villages.
They aim for the route, known as the Outer Aylesbury Ring, to be officially opened to the public in May, but before that happens £8,000 is needed to put walking guides, maps, signposts and waymarks in place.
There are fears that HS2 would mean crossings need to be put in at certain points and that the route’s tranquillity might be damaged by the noise and visual impact of the line. But those pushing for the ring to be established aren’t letting this get them down.
Rambler Roy Johnson, who came up with the idea while surveying the current Aylesbury ring route, said: “The route really does show off what Aylesbury Vale and the Chilterns have to offer – great countryside, beautiful villages and some spectacular views.
“I thought it was worth putting this route on the map and all the walking will have been worth it when I know that we have created something lasting for generations to come.”
The exact route details will not be revealed until everything is signposted, but it is expected to pass through areas including Wendover, Wing, Quainton, Waddesdon and Princes Risborough. It will be divided into 14 sections, with 23 circular walks.
If HS2 does go ahead some crossings will have to be put in, but Mr Johnson said it will not be that close to the ring ‘for the most part’.
Other potential ‘pollutants’ on the way are wind turbines, a number of which have been proposed in the Vale, including one in Ford, where the route passes near. But Mr Johnson said he has no real objection to looking at them. He said: “I don’t find them particularly offensive, but then I’ve not got one whirring in my ear.”
A ‘secret signature’ scheme has been drawn up to get people involved and help raise cash.
A minimum donation of £3 is made for a waymark, which people sign on the back and return to organisers.
It will then be used somewhere on the ring.
Rambler Stephen O’Shea said: “Because the signature is on the reverse of the marker, you will never know which one is yours, it’s secret.”