The Hadrian's Wall Trust has launched a fundraising appeal aiming to ensure the Hadrian's Wall world heritage site's survival for future generations.
The charity's fundraising programme centres on the 'Adopt a Stone' website www.adoptastone.co.uk where people can adopt virtual stones in a virtual Hadrian's Wall. Larger donations qualify for one of 162 turrets and even larger ones for one of 80 milecastles.
"We're asking everyone who cares about Hadrian's Wall to help if they can by adopting part of the wall," said Linda Tuttiett. "The website is fun to use with a small army of Roman characters, it's informative about Roman sites along the wall and it has a serious message."
The trust also helps local partner organisations such as parish councils and the Roman sites in bidding for a range of additional funding for their own new projects.
Linda Tuttiett said: "The world heritage site is 150 miles long and at the moment there is no proper monitoring system in place due to lack of funds. We want to involve local people as volunteers, providing them with training to assist professional staff. It could be a great way of getting more people involved in looking after the site but we need funding to get it off the ground.
"We're aiming to raise £20 million in total to secure the future of the wall and reinvest much over the next 10 years. That would be a great cause for celebration in 2022, the 1900th anniversary of the building of Hadrian’s Wall."
Over the last five years the trust has led on over £15 million investment into the world heritage site helping to make it a world class visitor destination.
The trust receives some funding from key partners English Heritage, Natural England and local authorities in Hadrian's Wall Country. Specific projects are being carried out through grants from different sources, for example DEFRA's Rural Development Programme for England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The rest of the trust’s activity is thanks to the support of people and businesses who share the same passion for Hadrian's Wall.
The Adopt a Stone website has been designed and built by Newcastle-based creative communications agency Keltie Cochrane.
Hadrian's Wall Trust, East Peterel Field, Dipton Mill Road, Hexham NE46 2JT
M 07761 838641 T 01434 609700 W visithadrianswall.co.uk
Registered Charity No. 1145819 Registered Company No. 5820376
CASE STUDY – Maintaining the trail
For most of its 84 mile length the internationally popular Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail runs next to the ancient monument and in the rural sections more archaeology lies just below the trail surface.
Its position in the world heritage site means that management of the trail is crucial. Each mile costs £2,800 each year to keep in the condition enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of walkers throughout the season and which led to it being voted Britain's best walking trail in the 2011 Countryfile awards.
Essential maintenance activities include seeding and mowing, repairing damaged sections and trail furniture such as gates, stiles and signposts. Costs for some of the equipment and materials needed to keep the path in such excellent condition from year to year are:
• compost - £18 per ton
• woodchip - £12 per ton
• ironmongery fittings - from £10 each
• Ritter strips to help grass growth - £46 for 10 metres
• signs - from £12.50 each
FACTS AND FIGURES - Hadrian's Wall Country
• The 150 mile world heritage site runs coast to coast across the north of England.
• Building of Hadrian's Wall started in AD122 on the order of Roman Emperor Hadrian marking the north western extent of the Roman empire.
• There were over 30 forts in the Hadrian’s Wall frontier zone, from Ravenglass in the west to Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields in the east, including 16 along the line of the wall itself plus coastal, outpost and supply forts. The frontier was administered from Carlisle.
• Hadrian's Wall is 73 miles (80 Roman miles) long and runs from Bowness on Solway to Segedunum Roman Fort in Wallsend. Along the wall there were 80 milecastles and 162 turrets, a ditch to the north and the great defensive vallum earthwork to the south.
• The Vindolanda writing tablets, Britain's most significant archaeological find and the oldest known example of handwriting in Britain are at Roman Vindolanda and a 3D 'Eagle's Eye' view of the Roman frontier is at the Roman Army Museum. Both sites are part of the Vindolanda Trust.
• There are magnificent English Heritage excavated forts at Corbridge, Chesters, Housesteads and Birdoswald.
• There are fully reconstructed quarters at Arbeia Roman Fort at South Shields and a reconstructed bathhouse at Segedunum Roman Fort at Wallsend, both part of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, alongside the archaeology.
• Britain's most important collection of Roman altar stones is at Maryport's Senhouse Roman Museum.
• There are Roman frontier galleries at Carlisle's Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery and at Newcastle's Great North Museum, part of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, where there is also a scale model of Hadrian's Wall.
• Archaeological digs take place at sites across the frontier during the summer, with opportunities to take part as a volunteer.
• The 84 mile Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail - voted Countryfile 'Best Walking Trail' in 2011 - attracts 10,000 end to end walkers each year and hundreds of thousands more people walk shorter sections.
• The award winning Hadrian's Wall Country bus AD122 runs from April to October, helping visitors to see more sites and the beautiful countryside in a sustainable way.
• Fabulous local produce ranges from beer to honey, organic fruit and vegetables to ice cream and rare breed meat.
• The world heritage site runs through some of the UK’s loveliest countryside in the Northumberland National Park, Solway AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and Lake District National Park.
• The frontier is part of the transnational Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site - which includes the Antonine Wall in Scotland and the German Limes. This represents the borderline of the Roman Empire at its furthest extent in the 2nd century AD. It stretched from the west coast of northern Britain, through Europe to the Black Sea, and from there to the Red Sea and across North Africa to the Atlantic coast.
• For information on events and activities, accommodation and travel and the online shop for maps and guidebooks and more check out www.visithadrianswall.co.uk