Major funding boost for Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail

A team led by Northumberland National Park Authority are set to make significant improvements to the national trail within the Hadrian’s Wall UNESCO World Heritage site.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 4:52 pm
Walltown Crags, Hadrian's Wall. Picture by David Taylor.

They have received £143,000 as part of National Grid’s Landscape Enhancement Initiative (LEI). Grants are available to support projects that help reduce the visual impact of transmission lines and pylons in the landscape, whilst also making a positive contribution to natural beauty, wildlife and/or biodiversity.

The Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail is one of the National Park’s most popular destinations, with high volumes of visitors walking the route often impacting on the surface of the path itself.

The programme to improve the trail will begin in 2022, with work focusing on the resurfacing and enhancing of four areas of the trail in the central section and on protecting slopes from further erosion – with the overall goal to improve the landscape’s appearance and overall access to the trail.

The funding, which is supported by match-funding from both Northumberland National Park Authority and the National Trust will also help to repair and rebuild a 500m section of Hadrian’s Wall as part of the overall project.

Northumberland National Park chief executive Tony Gates said: “We are delighted to receive such a significant grant from the LEI, which will allow us to carry out vital work to one of the park’s most popular trails.

“Hadrian’s Wall is one of the most important monuments in the UK and with this funding, our team can now work towards ensuring that it can continue to be enjoyed by our visitors for many years to come.”

The announcement follows a record year for the park in its visitor numbers – with an estimated one million visitors going to Hadrian’s Wall annually and iconic locations such as Sycamore Gap and Cawfields Quarry continuing to experience high visitor numbers, even during times of Government restrictions.

Andrew Poad, general manager for Hadrian’s Wall and Tyne Valley Group, said: “The work to repair the wall is a huge, but essential, undertaking that we have wanted to find the means to complete for a long time.

“The National Trust cares for eight miles of Hadrian’s Wall and its surrounding area, so this grant presents us with a fantastic opportunity to conserve some of the wall in its more remote locations.”