TRENCHES from the First World War now have a permanent place in Marlow's history after nearly three years of hard work.

The training trenches in Pullingshill Wood were used by a number of different groups in 1915 and 1916 before they tackled the front lines for real.

The Archaeology in Marlow group has been extensively researching, surveying and recording their findings for the past three years as part of their Recording of Marlow and District's Ancient Monuments (ROMADAM) project.

David Greenwood,(CORR) secretary of the Archaeology in Marlow Group, said: "Many training camps with trench systems were set up in 1914 and 1915 to give new recruits experience and skills before setting off for the front lines. However, the trenches in Pullingshill Wood are the best and most complete set left in the UK.

"We wanted to ensure that a record of the trench system was produced for future generations, as well as raising awareness of their importance and the need to conserve them."

The 1,400m system of trenches were dug two metres deep and two metres wide and were most likely constructed by the Grenadier Guards and the local people of Marlow.

The Grenadier Guards, Welsh Guards, Royal Engineers and Royal Army Medical Corps, who were all based at the Bovingdon Green camp, are believed to have used the trenches during the two year period.

Two notice boards detailing the trenches have now been put up at the Pullingshill Wood site, which is owned by the Woodland Trust.

Loren Eldred, (CORR) of the trust, said: "It can be quite contemplative and humbling looking at the labyrinth-like network of ditches, giving an impression of what it must have been like to fight in France and Belgium in cold, muddy conditions."

ROMADAM was set up to investigate four local sites after they received a grant from the Local Heritage Initiative (LHI).

The other three sites are at Medmenham Iron Age Hill Fort, Danesfield Iron Age Hill Fort and the Warren Wood Earthwork Enclosure in Little Marlow.