Over the last two thousand years Hadrian’s Wall has known prosperity and abandonment in many ways. Use of the Wall continued past Roman occupation into modern history and latterly it has known severe destruction at the hands of farmers, public, military and more. Some of this is detailed through the site but today the most destructive form of erosion is caused by the visitor to the Wall. Sadly, every time someone steps up onto the Wall, be it a fort wall or any other part of the structure matters not, that person risks chipping a small piece of stone from the Wall and thus weakening it. Over time this is quite obvious to see but is not so noticeable short term. While the likes of English Heritage and The National Trust can only do so much to prevent this they don’t particularly wish to splash notices all over the Wall to remind folk not to climb upon it. When you do visit the monument please take a moment to reflect upon this and save the fantastic World Heritage Site for future generations to enjoy and do not climb upon the Wall.
Hadrian’s Wall Path was opened to the visitor in Spring 2003 and offers you the opportunity to walk alongside the Wall and to encourage folk not to step up onto it. The path is well maintained and easy to negotiate so try and make use of it when walking along the Wall. This will help protect the monument and, of course, land that is private as the structure traverses farmland. There are plenty leaflets that tell you about the path and it extends the full length of the Wall. There is also a cycle way that acts as a similar form of protection to the Wall but obviously some stretches of this are road based so be careful.
Some do’s and don’ts for the visitor:
- try not to take your dog onto the Wall area especially where sheep and other animals may be frightened of them
- if you must take the dog please keep it on a lead and clean up any fouling it may do
- pick up any litter you drop and dispose of it in the proper bins or take it home
- stick to any paths as much as possible
- close ALL gates behind you especially where animals are in the field you are entering or leaving
- take plenty clothing and keep as warm as possible as the weather here can change in minutes, trust me
- do not leave valuables in your car or, if you must, hide them from plain site
- always lock your vehicles and close all windows
- do not leave pets unattended in your car on a hot day, no matter how long it is for
- do not park where you may block access to fields or parking areas for others
- respect the countryside and other folk around you