MORE businesses across southern Oxfordshire are being urged to get involved with a trails project, designed to bring more tourists to the area.

The Ox Trails project is developing five new themed guides to attract visitors. Tourism is worth £428m a year to Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire district councils.

The trails were launched in October and now council bosses are calling for more local firms to get involved.

Businesses have been working with the councils and Hidden Britain on the project for the last few months but the project team is keen to get more shops, museums, hotels and food and drink establishments involved.

One trail takes visitors on a journey of locations used in famous films and TV shows including Midsomer Murders, The Vicar of Dibley, Miss Marple, and Tom Brown’s School Days.

Elaine Ware, cabinet member for economy at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “It’s great to see that so many people are this passionate about telling the story of the area and sharing it with as wide an audience as possible.”

For book lovers there will be the literature trail, which will highlight Jerome K Jerome, who wrote the Thames-based Three Men In A Boat, Thomas Hardy who set Jude the Obscure in Letcombe Bassett, George Orwell whose grave is in Sutton Courtenay, and Agatha Christie who lived in Winterbrook, Cholsey.

The Great Outdoors is the theme for one of the trails, highlighting the Thames, the Ridgeway path, and the Chilterns.

The project is being led by the district councils with funding from the Southern Oxfordshire LEADER Project and town councils across the area.

  • Any business wishing to get involved should email economic.development or call 01235 540390.