The atmospheric views on the Hadrian's Wall Path

Off the Wall - at Leven's Hall garden

11th August 2015

During my twenty years on Hadrian's Wall I have maintained an ever watchful eye on how other heritage access sites are managed and many of the strategies, techniques and approaches borrowed from elsewhere have found their way onto the National Trail.  The aim, of course, is the protection of underlying archaeology by the maintenance of a green sward path.  With that aim in mind my on-going research project will continue long into the future; there is always something new to learn, that is the beauty of my job.

I have a great example of pinch point (wear-and-tear) management to show you from my recent visit to Levens Hall Garden, near Kendal in Cumbria.  First of all, though, I have to say how swept away I was by the place and it's Seventeenth Century topiary garden is simply breath taking.  I didn't have time to go around the house (another visit) but it is a must see garden!      

Returning to the pinch point wear, or rather the avoidance of it, the photo of the hedge shows two materials being used.  The actual gap in the hedge is protected by river cobbles but the grass 'landings' either side of the cobbles are reinforced with a rigid plastic mesh which is 95% grassed over.  I know that there is sometimes resistance to the use of plastic in historically important settings but in this case it works without appearing to compromise the site in any way.  What do you think?



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