A West Wellow man has won a national award for rural campaigning.

Patrick Kinnersly, who campaigned to stop the Westbury bypass in Wiltshire, was presented with the Marsh Award for the Benefit of Rural England by author, Bill Bryson, president of the CPRE, along with a cheque for £500.

The proposed bypass would have run through the western part of Salisbury Plain, just 1km from the famous white horse chalk-hill drawing.

As the secretary of the White Horse Alliance, Mr Kinnersly helped co-ordinate a campaign that built up a powerful case to present to 2008’s planning inquiry.

The inspector’s concluded that the small benefits of the road could not justify the damage it would do to the landscape. The Government agreed and rejected the scheme in July, 2009. Mr Kinnersly was a founder member of the A36/A350 Corridor Alliance, set up in 1993 to co-ordinate opposition to government plans for a dual-carriageway route from the M27 at Ower to the M4 north of Bath.

The campaign against the controversial A36 Wellow bypass, PROVE, was a member group of ACA. The Wellow bypass, which would have passed close to St Margaret’s Church, was scrapped in 1994. The Salisbury bypass was rejected by the Government in 1997.

Since then, he has turned attention to road proposals in Wiltshire.

Mr Kinnersly, an author who has written technical books on occupational and environmental hazards, said he hoped his campaigning days were now over, but he could not guarantee that more damaging highway schemes would not spring up.