Illumination of Hadrian’s Wall ready to spark fun

Michael Hunt

Preparation for this weekend's illumination event across the 84-mile Hadrian's Wall path national trail, which links Tyneside to Cumbria, is heading into its final days.

These pictures were taken during a rehearsal of the event on 22 February which organisers Hadrian's Wall Heritage said was a success.

Julia Bradbury of BBCBBC's Julia Bradbury (pictured) took part in helping during the rehearsal. The presenter was filming for the broadcasting station's Countryfile programme, which was aired last Sunday.

The Illuminating Hadrian's Wall event will see around 500 individual points of light, placed at 250 metre intervals, being used to light up the wall.

The first one will be illuminated at a public event at Segedunum Roman Fort at Wallsend in the North East from dusk, with the line of light then making its way along the Wall to Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria over the following hour.

Neil Carney of the Hadrian's Wall Heritage said: "We've managed to establish that all the handheld flares, handheld gas burners, and handheld candles being used to make up the 500 points are working. Since the rehearsal, we have also managed to establish that all the different radio links, being used for the communication points along the wall, are also working.

"We have around 1,000 volunteers helping, picked from the 4,000 applications sent in, and on Saturday afternoon we will be telling each volunteer what is expected from them. They are travelling from all over the country and we even have people helping from the Netherlands and Canada. So, it's a major attraction. They will be briefed and taken to their allocated points before the first light is set off at 5.15pm. People in Bowness-on-Solway can expect the light path to make its way to them at around 6.50pm.

"We're expecting the event, which is free to attend, to attract around 25,000 people and bring about £1m to the north of England economy."

 Illuminating HadrianThe event is designed to highlight the 1600th anniversary of the end of Roman Britain in 410AD.

The Hadrian's Wall national trail takes walkers along the riverside route in Tyneside, through farmland in Tynedale and the grazing upland section dominated by the Whin Sill slope. It then gradually descends to the rich pastures of Cumbria and finally the salt marsh of the Solway Estuary.

The Illuminating Hadrian's Wall is taking place this Saturday (13 March). It is being led by Hadrian's Wall Heritage which forms part of North East England's programme of festivals and events developed by culture and presented in partnership with Lakes Alive.

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