Offa's Dyke: Monument damaged by 'centuries of benign neglect'

2 months ago 16
media captionHadrian's Wall and Stonehenge are successful amended shape, says Offa's Dyke Association

The United Kingdom's longest past monument has been damaged by "centuries of gradual benign neglect", says an relation warring to sphere it.

A money has started to assistance sphere the 8th Century Offa's Dyke earthwork.

Offa's Dyke has "a batch of catching up to do" compared with different monuments similar Hadrian's Wall and Stonehenge, according to its relation chairman.

Dave McGlade said the 177 mile (285 km) monument connected the Wales-England borderline is simply a "sensitive archaeological landscape."

"It is besides a scheduled monument, protected by statute law, and deserves to beryllium treated with the utmost respect," added the Offa's Dyke Association chairman.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionOffa's Dyke crosses the borderline betwixt England and Wales much than 20 times

The relation has said due to the fact that the scheduled monument exists mostly wrong backstage land, it has fallen to landowners and section communities to support it maintained.

It said successful consultation with Welsh historical situation assemblage Cadw, the National Trail portion and English Heritage, the Offa's Dyke Rescue Fund would question to acquisition parts of the monument considered to beryllium nether threat.

A 2017 survey showed conscionable 8.7% of Offa's Dyke was successful a "favourable condition" and creator Dan Llewellyn Hall has been commissioned for an accumulation celebrating 50 years of the Offa's Dyke Path.

He said portion it is simply a "modest small bump successful the landscape", it is "hugely important to our individuality of Wales", specified arsenic successful preserving the connection and culture.

"It embodies a borderline civilization betwixt England and Wales and goes beyond that but it encases communities crossed the borderline that privation to sphere it," said Mr Hall, from Llanfyllin successful Powys.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionThe Offa's Dyke Path passes done 8 Welsh counties connected its route

"For a batch of radical the way tin look irrelevant oregon inconvenient to support arsenic it runs done a batch of backstage onshore and workplace gait but erstwhile you suffer that value you ne'er retrieve it."

What is the past down Offa's Dyke?

Offa's Dyke is named aft Dyke King Offa - the king of the Mercians, a warrior people from cardinal England, from AD 747 to 796.

He ordered it to beryllium constructed successful the 8th Century, astir apt to disagreement his kingdom from rival kingdoms successful what is present Wales, according to National Trails. The enactment required thousands of men.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionThe 177 mile way earthwork runs betwixt Liverpool Bay and the Severn Estuary

The world slope successful places inactive stands to a tallness of 12 feet (3.5m) and 60 ft (18m) wide.

And what is the Offa's Dyke path?

The 177-mile National Trail opened successful the summertime of 1971 and links Sedbury Cliffs adjacent Chepstow with the coastal municipality of Prestatyn connected the shores of the Irish sea.

According to Visit Wales, fell-runners instrumentality an mean of 5 days to implicit it portion hikers instrumentality 12 days.

It passes done 8 antithetic counties and crosses the borderline betwixt England and Wales much than 20 times.

image copyrightDan Llewellyn Hall

image captionDan Llewellyn Hall helped acceptable up a money to enactment the monument, alongside respective organisations

It links 3 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty - the Wye Valley, the Shropshire Hills and the Clwydian Range / Dee Valley.

The accumulation 'Walking with Offa' volition bring unneurotic art, poems and euphony celebrating 50 years of the way and volition tally done from Saturday until October, astatine Offa's Dyke Association and Centre successful Knighton.

image copyrightDan Llewellyn Hall

image captionDan Llewellyn Hall has painted implicit 20 pieces for the grounds - including this 1 of Abbey Crucis successful Llangollen

Mr Hall said it was a mode to persevere and shed airy connected the "monument of fragile beingness that hasn't truly been explored oregon fixed truthful overmuch limelight," with the money emerging aft helium and the relation "realised it needed attention".

"We are hoping we tin property upon radical the value of the monument and anticipation radical volition prosecute with it and sorb the sites and emotion it," helium said.

image captionOffa's Dyke Path's nationalist way serviceman said the way brings a batch into the Welsh economy

The Offa's Dyke Path's nationalist way serviceman Rob Dingle said the monument is important for the section system arsenic it attracts walkers from each implicit the world.

"They telephone it the breathtaking borderlands," helium said.

"The way itself brings walkers from each astir the satellite to bask our landscapes and erstwhile they are present they are staying successful Airbnb's, drinking successful our pubs and spending successful our shops truthful that wealth coming into the agrarian system is huge."

He said due to the fact that of the Covid pandemic, getting radical to locomotion the way and bask the country was "hugely important".

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