Addressing erosion scars along 1km of Hadrian's Wall Path Trail

Northumberland National Park Authority, in collaboration with its partners, has started an ambitious landscape enhancement project aimed at addressing erosion scars along approximately one kilometre of the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail. The project kicked off on November 13 with materials airlifted by helicopter on to the Trail, and is expected to span approximately 6 weeks, with a planned completion date in December.

The project, designed to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of this iconic area in Northumberland National Park, will necessitate the temporary closure of the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail from Steel Rigg to Milking Gap during the project’s duration. However, an alternative route is in place, guiding walkers slightly further north to ensure their continued enjoyment of the stunning landscape.

Tony Gates, Chief Executive of Northumberland National Park Authority said, “This project, which we are undertaking during the 20th anniversary year of the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail, represents a significant step in our ongoing efforts to conserve and enhance the Hadrian’s Wall area within Northumberland National Park. By addressing the footpath erosion scars we can significantly improve the visitor experience and ensure the sustainability of the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail for many more people to enjoy in the future. I would like to thank National Grid, the National Trust, Hotbank Farm, and all others who are supporting this important.”

The Landscape Enhancement Initiative (LEI) is generously funding 75% of the project with a donation of £143,714. Additional supporting budget is provided by the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail Partnership and the National Trust. LEI, a grant scheme, aims to mitigate the impact of National Grid’s existing electricity transmission lines in England and Wales. This initiative is a crucial component of the National Grid’s Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project and is made possible by the provision set forth by the energy regulator, Ofgem.

Photo of a Helicopter lift for Hadrian's Wall Path Trail

Environmentalist and broadcaster Chris Baines, who chairs the independent Stakeholder Advisory Group for National Grid’s VIP project, said: “Through the Landscape Enhancement Initiative, National Grid is making a positive contribution towards preserving and enhancing the natural beauty, cultural heritage, biodiversity as well as accessibility within England and Wales’s most precious landscapes.

“It’s a privilege to be working with stakeholders to provide funding for this important project in the Northumberland National Park, and we very much look forward to seeing the improvements to the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail to make this beautiful area even more enjoyable to visit.”

The project’s primary focus is the improvement of the landscape surrounding Hadrian’s Wall, a site visited by over one million individuals annually. Erosion caused by visitors and natural forces has taken a toll on the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail. To counter this, the project will employ techniques to protect slopes in the central section from further erosion, along with applying new surface dressing to less steep areas. These enhancements aim to enhance the overall Hadrian’s Wall visitor experience within the National Park.

Neil Dawson, Chair of the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail Partnership said: “The Hadrian’s Wall Path Partnership strives to ensure that use and enjoyment of our renowned National Trail does not negatively impact on the path’s condition or cause damage to the Wall’s internationally important archaeology.  This project represents a significant step forward for all those who cherish the trail and work hard to protect it for future generations.