Three days on Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail
Hadrian's Wall Path is an unbroken 135km (84 mile) signposted footpath stretching from coast to coast across the north of England. Opened in 2002 the National Trail made the full length of the Wall accessible to the public for the first time.
It passes through some of England's most beautiful and dynamic landscapes from rolling fields and rugged moorland to the vibrant cities of Newcastle in the east and Carlisle in the west.
It has been made for visitors to the area to walk its full length, walk a section or go on one of the many circular walks within Hadrian's Wall Country.
My aim for 2012 is to go out on my section of the Trail at least once a week. To date, I have been able to do this. Weather in Northumberland at this time of year is the main thing to stop me getting out. We have experienced hard frosts, freezing rain but very little of the white stuff!
As well as taking photographs on the weekly visits to my section, I also want to go to other places along the Wall. I am fortunate to live quite close to some of the major sites associated with the Roman occupation.
27/01/2012 - St. Oswald's Church, Heavenfield.
27/01/2012 - View of Trail and flooded Wall ditch looking east.
27/01/2012 - Gorse bushes still in flower on the Trail looking east.
27/01/2012 - One of the problem areas on my section for waterlogging.
27/01/2012 - The Trail looking west beside the B6318 Military Road.
27/01/2012 - This part of the Trail has a long section of well defined Wall ditch. It is one of the easier parts to get in and out, to get to litter.
02/02/2012 - Sheep and cattle tend to crowd around the gates and stiles, grass is removed and erosion takes place. In wet weather they can also become very muddy and slippery.
02/02/2012 - View of the Vallum looking west towards Stanley Plantation and the site of Milecastle 23.
02/02/2012 - Gorse bushes tend to trap the wind blown litter. As my section has the Military Road running beside it, we can sometimes come across fly tipping and litter/bottles thrown out of vehicles etc. Two gates were stolen in Stanley Plantation and coping stones have been taken from the dry stone walls.
02/02/2012 - View of Trail looking west. On a six and a half mile round trip on my section it is usual for me to collect at least one refuse sack full of rubbish. McDonald's packaging, plastic bottles, glass bottles, polystyrene, helium balloons, Christmas cards, disposable BBQs, cake/biscuit packing and wrappers, fertilizer bags, baby wipes, nappies and cans are some of the items I have collected this year. It is strange that the nearest McDonalds is about twenty miles away!!!!
02/02/2012 - View of Wall ditch looking west towards Heavenfield.
02/02/2012 - We have to ensure all stiles and gates are not damaged and free from mud and moss.
02/02/2012 - Beside the Wall ditch looking west, you are not far from a great Tea room at this point - will open in March for the new season.
10/02/2012 - We have to make sure the National Trail waymarkers and direction arrows are present on gates and stiles. They can go missing during the main walking season.
10/02/2012 - Cattle and sheep make certain areas of the Trail very muddy. The cold weather has advantages - no muddy clothes or walking boots!
10/02/2012 - This part of the Wall ditch remains flooded all year around. The cold weather has iced it over.
10/02/2012 - Beside the Wall ditch.
10/02/2012 - View of Vallum beside the site of Milecastle 24, looking east.
10/02/2012 - Saw this lichen covered branch whilst scrambling down into Wall ditch to get some litter.
10/02/2012 - Snowdrops in the Graveyard at St. Oswald's Church, Heavenfield.
10/02/2012 - Memorial stone in St. Oswald's Church, Heavenfield Graveyard.
Along the Trail there are nearly 100 Volunteer Rangers who give their time to ensure the path and archaeology are maintained and protected for the thousands of walkers who visit during the main walking season of May to October every year.
We can offer local knowledge, give help and advice as well as carrying out the monitoring duties and work to keep the Trail litter free and clear of vegetation.
In my time with Hadrian's Wall Heritage Ltd. I have met walkers from all over this country and the world.
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