Winter on Hadrian's Wall Path

Back in November, we heard from Hadrian’s Wall Assistant Trail Ranger Tess after eight months into her working alongside Ranger Gary. As her secondment comes to end this week, Tess looks back on her winter on The Wall.

“When I left you in November we had worked our way through a busy Summer and Autumn when the grass just did not stop growing. I have memories of starting the grass cut in Heddon on the Wall, working our way westwards to Bowness on Solway. We were able to fit in a couple of jobs along the way but by the times we were back in Heddon that grass would by knee-high again!  Good job my legs are short…!

Repairs

As we moved into our winter workload, the heavens opened. Extra socks and woolly hats were a must. We left the strimmers and mower in the workshop now and were now picking up shovels, spades, and brooms, heading for the steps to clear and rediscover their edges. We strode into the New year with a new stile to replace. One with worn-out steps due to the popularity of the Trail and we replaced 49 grip strips on a bridge further along the trail.

With a trailer full of tools and timber we headed for a kissing gate that needed replacing. Against the blowing wind, we see how much I have remembered from replacing the kissing gate earlier in the year and repeat the process. Now what was it Gary said…‘Measure once, cut twice….?!’

Knowledge

This was also the time of year to trim back the hedges. We spent a few weeks with loppers and hedge cutters working our way along the trail widening the path again. We also dusted off the rakes, wheelbarrows and spades as I learned how to make use of molehills to fill in divets in the path.

As the month comes to an end so does my secondment. While the work of the Trail Team continues, I’m headed back inside to work with our volunteers and back with the Front of House team at the Sill. I’ll be using my knowledge from working on the Trail to continue helping visitors make the most of their visit.

Hadrian's Wall Path

The Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail is an 84 miles, coast to coast walking route following the World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall, past Roman settlements and forts.

Find out more about the Hadrian’s Wall Path on their website – https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/hadrians-wall-path