Hadrian's Wall Trust sells off virtual bricks to raise cash for up-keep

By Culture24 Reporter | 06 December 2013

The Hadrian's Wall Trust is launching a fund raising campaign to fill a £170,000 shortfall amid cutbacks leaving the World Heritage Site short of cash

a photo of Hadrian's Wall stretching across an undulating landscape
Hadrian's Wall at Housesteads Crags© Courtesy Hadrian's Wall Trust
The Hadrian’s Wall Trust has launched a fundraising appeal after organisers said funding cuts had created an annual shortfall of “at least" £170,000 to maintain the UNSECO World Heritage Site.

A new Adopt a Stone website, adoptastone.co.uk, is offering people the chance to adopt virtual stones in a virtual Hadrian’s Wall. It has been launched by the Trust with larger donations qualifying for one of 162 turrets, and even larger ones for one of 80 milecastles.

Linda Tuttiett, the Trust's chief executive, said severe funding cuts during the past two years meant that they need to “raise a minimum of an additional £170,000 a year” to continue to meet the standards which are essential for the protection of the world heritage site and to maintain and develop visitor management.

“The budget for the maintenance of the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail suffered a major reduction this year and now also needs additional support,” she explained.

“We are determined to maintain the trail in excellent condition.”

Describing the world heritage site as a “national asset”, Tuttiett said the Wall attracted a visitor spend of more than £880 million per year to the north of England. But each mile costs £2,800 every year to keep in the condition enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of walkers throughout the season.

“We want to give more people better access to all the world heritage site has to offer, from west Cumbria to Tyneside”, she said.

During the past five years the Hadrian’s Wall Trust says it has helped raise more than £15 million in investment in the World Heritage Site. It now aims to raise £20 million by 2022 in time for the 1,900th celebration of the building of the Wall.

As well as the new website encouraging people to adopt a part of the wall, the Trust has set up other fund-raising schemes including collection boxes at local businesses, mobile giving by text, sponsorship and legacies.

The appeal comes amid a series of renovations across the famous Roman Wall, which runs coast to coast across the north of England from Bowness on Solway to Segedunum Roman Fort in Wallsend. These tap into funds for specific projects protecting heritage at risk such as the SITA Trust-funded work to conserve and consolidate 1,200 metres of the wall.

Other ongoing projects include the Roman Maryport dig, which was funded by a specific donation and the installation of new interpretation panels for sites along the Cumbrian coast. A bike tour booklet and cycle hire scheme is also funded through DEFRA’s Rural Development Programme for England.

Future plans include a volunteer monitoring system called Wall Watch which will spot problems and a closer partnership with farmers to preserve the many earthworks that surround the wall.

More on this story:

Bold new five year plan for Antonine Wall announced by Historic Scotland

Archaeologists discover Roman shop in latest Maryport dig at Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall UNESCO World Heritage Site in half million pound refurbishment

a photo of men moving stones
A Hadrian's Wall restoration project at Great Chesters© Courtesy Hadrian's Wall Trust Photo D&H Photographers
a photo of archaeologists uncovering stone foundations
A Roman road being excavated at Maryport© Courtesy Hadrian's Wall Trust
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