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Last Updated: Friday, 31 October, 2003, 12:22 GMT
Popular Roman path needs repairs
Hadrian's Wall
Walkers are being urged to think about when they visit the path
A coast-to-coast route along Hadrian's Wall has been so popular since it opened that steps are being taken to stop it being damaged.

The 84-mile trail opened earlier this year which meant for the first time in 1,600 years visitors could walk the length of the Roman wall.

This summer an average of 800 people a month completed the route from Wallsend, in North Tyneside, to Bowness on Solway, in Cumbria.

It means the World Heritage Site is in danger of being eroded and steps are being taken to prevent any further damage over the winter.

The Countryside Agency, which manages the route, is now urging people to think about when they visit the path to prevent it being damaged.

David McGlade, from the Agency, said: "We have always envisaged the route as a spring, summer and autumn destination.

Effect on businesses

"Because we want to protect Hadrian's Wall and maintain it as a destination that we all want to be proud of - we all have a responsibility.

"We are not closing the path in the winter, we are simply asking people to respect the monument, respect the archaeology and just think about when they visit the wall.

"If the ground is wet, they will churn the ground up. So all we are saying is we need to give the path a rest."

Mr McGlade said there were no major problems but the quieter time in the winter was the only period they could carry out the work.

But some local businesses, which have enjoyed a rise in trade since the trail opened, fear it will affect them.

Mark Hendren, who runs the Greyhound Pub, in Burgh-by-Sands said: "How do you keep open if there is no one there to serve?

"I think the Countryside Agency should have thought about things like this before."

Roman trail re-opens
23 May 03  |  Cumbria

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