Ridgeway 50 Photos – Pathways

Pathways by Matt Writtle

When considering the origins of the Ridgeway, I was at first drawn to its claim to be the oldest trading route in Britain. But as I walked and absorbed the ambiance of its trail, I began to understand the reasons behind its organic creation. I arrived at one simple conclusion: survival.

Everything we do as humans is determined by a route, whether it’s cerebral or physical. Paths – or ways – are the vehicle we as a species use to connect and survive.

Over the centuries paths have created social cohesion and community, voyages of discovery and increased knowledge.

Our evolution, from the earliest Homo Sapiens to present-day life, began by travelling to forage or hunt for food. The route of a successful hunt – or passage – to fruit and vegetables was passed on through generations to ensure the survival of our species.

As these journeys were repeated, over time an imprint became visible on the landscape: these paths have become roads, motorways, sea channels and flight paths, ensuring a global community and greater understanding of cultures.

But journeying is not exclusive to physical endeavour. In everyday life our thoughts travel from one point to another to solve problems and invent progressive ways of technological development to make our lives easier. In my view, we are a species that is constantly using pathways to break new boundaries and discover new frontiers.

My images aim to illustrate the historic, contemporary and future development of the Ridgeway as a pathway that has created prosperity and unified a nation.