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News release from: 24/05/2024

Council launches new Rail and Ale Trail around South Cambridgeshire

Council launches new Rail and Ale Trail around South Cambridgeshire

A Rail and Ale trail - which puts a spotlight on using local trains and the walks you can take to the village pubs in South Cambridgeshire - has been published by the District Council alongside the Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Community Rail Partnership.

The trail booklet is being launched today (Friday 24 May) at The Tickell Arms Beer Festival – one of the pubs featured in the guide, based in Whittlesford.

The guide features five stations in South Cambridgeshire including Foxton, Shepreth, Meldreth, Shelford and Whittlesford Parkway. The trail highlights 16 village pubs, all within a 35-minute walk from the stations.

The booklet details short, picturesque walks you can take from the railway stations to the local pubs within the area and what is on offer.

Chair of the Local Community Rail Partnership, South Cambridgeshire District Cllr Susan van de Ven, said: “The Rail and Ale trail is a fantastic way to show both visitors and local residents the beautiful place that is South Cambridgeshire. The villages included in the booklet offer delightful walks for all ages, and what better way to finish a walk than in a cosy pub that has something for everyone! It’s a great way to remind people that our small railway stations are a great way of accessing our villages and nature on our doorstep.

 “It's wonderful that the Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Community Rail Partnership can support our local pubs and promote the area to visitors after businesses have struggled for the past few years.” 

Cllr Peter McDonald, Lead Cabinet Member for Economic Development for South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Pubs are an integral part of village life - they enable communities to come together and relax. The Rail and Ale trail will not only help boost the local economy but will also encourage people to take their local train line which is an eco-friendlier way to travel and be out in nature.”

The booklet will be available at all the local pubs included in the guide. The booklet can be accessed online via the District Council’s Visit South Cambs website and the Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Community Rail Partnership website.

The Rail and Ale trail is part of over 80 community-led activities and events taking place across Britain during Community Rail Week, which began on Monday (20 May) and continues to Sunday (26 May). The week showcases the innovative projects and inspiring initiatives from across the community rail movement around the theme of ‘More Than A Railway’.

The idea behind the theme is to showcase the inspiring work that goes on in community rail, bringing people together and creating more inclusive communities and mobility, as well as the wider socio-economic benefit that the railways deliver.

Community rail is a grassroots national movement supported by hundreds of community partnerships, groups, and volunteers to improve travel confidence, increase access to opportunities, tackle social isolation, give communities a voice, and put railways and stations at the heart of community life, while supporting a shift to sustainable, more social forms of travel, including rail.

Jools Townsend, Chief Executive of Community Rail Network, said: “Community rail partnerships and thousands of ‘station friends’ volunteers the length and breadth of Britain are mobilising en masse, engaging local people and partners to raise awareness about sustainable travel by rail, and get people enthused about its many benefits.”

Community Rail Week is about bringing people together around the theme of ‘More Than A Railway’. Community rail has an inspiring track record of promoting travel confidence and broadening mobility horizons, sometimes with life-changing effects, while giving communities a voice on transport, and putting railways and stations at the heart of community life.”