RESIDENTS, local dignitaries and trail enthusiasts have been invited to celebrate the inauguration of a long-awaited venture. 

The highly anticipated River Coln Trail is being launched in Fairford on Saturday, March 23.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served at the Fairford Community Centre (next to the church) between 10.15am and 12pm followed by a talk by guest of honour Kate Ashbrook.

Kate is patron of Walkers are Welcome Towns Network and is also the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, two community groups which have worked with Gloucestershire County Council on the new trail.

There will also be an exhibition depicting the nine separate circular walks that make up the complete 33-mile trail, photographs and information about insects by Sarah Lovatt that can be found on the Fairford section of the trail and a short guided tour.

The new trail aims to enables walkers to connect with nature and enjoy the beauty of the river with its rich flora and fauna, biodiversity, rare wildlife and historical heritage, including a castle, a Roman villa and wonderful country churches and pubs.

It starts at the river's source at Charlton Abbotts and follows the River Coln until it meets the River Thames at Inglesham, near Lechlade.

A new Coln trail booklet will be available at the launch for the discounted price of £3, or for £5 from local outlets or online from

Everyone is welcome, but if you plan on attending the launch party please email