Bringing wartime history to life

The open day at the First World War practice trenches north of Rothbury.
The open day at the First World War practice trenches north of Rothbury.

An open day at the First World War practice trenches near to Rothbury was staged last month.

Earlier this year, Northumberland County Council received £67,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to explore the trenches.

Working in partnership with the Forestry Commission, the project provides access to the practice trenches on the heather moorland between Rothbury and Cartington.

The trenches include complex systems of zigzag lines which represent front-line fire and support trenches with connecting communication trenches. Shallow parapets and dugouts are also visible.

It is thought the practice trenches were probably dug by the 18th (Service) Battalion (1st Tyneside Pioneers) Northumberland Fusiliers during the first few years of the war.

The above photograph was taken during the open day, showing the Durham Pals and Woodhorn Museum staff talking about the practice trenches and explaining what life was like in Kitchener’s New Army at that time.