Page last updated at 23:00 GMT, Saturday, 13 March 2010

Volunteers illuminate Hadrian's Wall 'line of light'


The moment when the torches were lit on Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall has been lit from end to end by a team of 500 volunteers holding flaming torches.

The "line of light" followed an 84-mile (135km) national walking trail that shadows the route of the Roman wall spanning northern England.

Volunteers with gas-powered beacons stood 820ft (250m) apart, with the line of light lasting for about 30 minutes.

The spectacle, to mark British Tourism Week, required the co-operation of more than 120 local landowners on the route.

The first torch was lit at Segedunum Roman Fort in Wallsend, North Tyneside, at about 1800 GMT.

'Cause for celebration'

The final beacon was ignited at Bowness-on-Solway, on Cumbria's west coast, about an hour later.

Speaking as a torch was ignited nearby, the chief executive of Hadrian's Wall Heritage, Linda Tuttiett, said it was a great moment.

"It's a cause for celebration, this is our Hadrian's Wall, it belongs to everybody especially the people in the communities here across the north of England.

"And we're so thankful, we worked with all of the landowners across the wall who have been absolutely fantastic in helping us realise this special moment and we just want to share it with the world, really."

Organisers described the response for volunteers as "overwhelming", with people from as far afield as Canada and Australia signing up to take part.

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