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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 October, 2003, 17:04 GMT
Historic path's tourist hopes
Walker
Walkers could bring in 700,000 in revenue
A footpath along an historic route in north Wales is expected to attract more than 30,000 visitors to the region and contribute nearly 700,000 to the local economy.

Locals want to open a long-distance route near Wat's Dyke - a defensive earthwork built in the 7th Century to keep Welsh people out of England.

A 24,000 feasibility study has been carried out to look at building the route through Flintshire, Wrexham and Shropshire.

Members of the Wat's Dyke Association want to construct a path near the historical site, with designated signposts so walkers will know about the importance of the area.

But they still need to find approximately 1m to carry out the work needed on the trail.

We're hoping to go to funders such as the Heritage Lottery
Ron Williams Wat's Dyke Association

"We need to create good surfaces and easy access and move the path away from the dyke," said Mr Williams.

The path would stretch from the River Dee estuary near Holywell in Flintshire, through Wrexham and Shropshire and back over the Welsh border into Llanymynech.

"The report forecasts that the path would become a popular leisure facility for people living along its route," said Wat's Dyke Association member Ron Williams.

The wall which needs to be renovated would have originally been 30ft high, with a ditch on one side and used as a road to move supplies.

The intention now is to seek tenders for opening the path from suitable contractors.

Funding

Once this is done members of the association will submit grant applications.

"We're hoping to go to funders such as the Heritage Lottery," said Mr Williams.

"We see it as a three year project, once we get the money in place.

"We should be marketing it more as a heritage trail than a path," he added.

The name Wat can be traced back to Anglo-Saxon times and is believed to be a personal name.

But the association's website reports that no important person of this name - who might have built such a substantial defence - is known of in the area.




SEE ALSO:
Ramblers declare war on the Army
25 Mar 02  |  England
Last footpaths reopen to walkers
23 Sep 02  |  England
Historic path given grant boost
03 Dec 02  |  Wales


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