The atmospheric views on the Hadrian's Wall Path

Reflections on a challenging year & introducing WallTogether

19th December 2016

Updated 17th January 2017

2016 has proved to be a challenging year on the Trail.  We started the new year  still coming to terms with the extent of the devastating damage caused by Storm Desmond in the Carlisle area. The scale of the repairs to damaged flood banks, together with the associated funding packages that the county and city council authorities need to put in place, means that the two diversions in and around Carlisle will remain in place throughout all of 2017.

It has also been a difficult year for finding the financial resources to pay for essential maintenance to the Trail. Central funding from Natural England is not what it was only a few years ago and we now rely on income from the Trail Passport, sales of old signs, corporate and individual donations to keep us going. A huge thank you to everyone who has helped us in that way.

I would like to thank walking companies Macs Adventure,  Hillwalk Tours and Shepherd's Walks for buying Passports for their customers walking the Trail.  Publishers Stirling Surveys (Footprint Maps) and Rucksack Readers also every year pay a voluntary royalty, it is a regular source of income that we can plan for as part of our budgeting. Similarly Rat Race Events, organisers of the annual Carlisle to Baltic Square in Gateshead running race, award us a generous donation. Mention must be made of the generosity of Billy and Kath Morris (see photo) from the Robin Hood Inn on the military road and Paul Minett from No 10 Catering at the Sands Centre in Carlisle for selling Passports without taking any commission.  

Every event company that approaches us for advice is now asked to make a donation based on the number of participants. We are not asking for the earth but simply a small donation per head to acknowledge the fact that events, and some of them can run into the hundreds, do have an impact on the path and monument. We must not lose sight of the fact that for its greater part the Trail and the archaeology of the World Heritage Site are one and the same. Put simply, the condition of the Trail affects the setting of the Wall and World Heritage Site.  If every visitor to 'Tree of the Year' at Sycamore Gap (see Trail News) were to make a donation of £1 then, honestly, I think we would have enough money to do a great job of looking after the place.

On a very positive note I am delighted that the Trail and World Heritage Site's very own friends' group, WallTogether, is now inviting memberships (http://www.walltogether.org.uk/). WallTogether presents a forum for individuals, anywhere in the World, to contribute to the well being of the Trail and World Heritage Site and every paid for membership has the capacity to make a difference in the field. WallTogether has agreed to fund the Trail's fixed-point photographic monitoring exercise, undertaken three times every year, and it has also published an Essential Services guide to the Trail. It is an indispensible guide to all of the services and emenities, WCs, cafés, post offices etc, together with lists and lists of top tips and frequently asked questions.  Sales of the guide which cost £5 will help WallTogether to raise funds to help the Trail.  It will be available any day now from www.trailgiftshop.co.uk which is also handling requests for wholesale orders from retailers and walking companies. 

It is clear that the future well being of the Trail and World Heritage Site will rely on individuals and businesses to lend a hand. Buying the Passport or Esssential Services guide are great ways to help, and joining WallTogether means that you can make a practical contribution, wherever you might happen to live.  

Lots of thanks,

Dave McGlade

 

 

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Thank you to Billy and Kath Morris from the Robin Hood Inn, Military Road