Bridge offers short cut for ramblers

Ramblers enjoying the Northumberland countryside have been provided with a shortcut following the opening of a new cross-river footpath link along a former railway viaduct.

Ramblers enjoying the Northumberland countryside have been provided with a shortcut following the opening of a new cross-river footpath link along a former railway viaduct.

Countryside staff at the county council have opened up the footpath across the 150-year-old Twizel Viaduct which spans the River Till near Berwick.

It allows walkers to use the footpaths network along the River Tweed between Coldstream and Berwick without having to make a three-mile detour to Twizel road bridge, the next bridging point. Twizel Viaduct was built in 1849 as part of the Tweedmouth to Kelso railway line and was in use by passenger and goods trains until the mid-1960s.

The impressive Grade II listed stone structure spans the Till close to its confluence with the River Tweed, 13 miles upstream of Berwick.

The creation of the footpath link follows several years work by the county council in partnership with the Tweed Forum's Tweed Rivers Heritage Project. It would not have been possible without the goodwill of local landowners, BRB Residuary Ltd, and grants made available through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Railway Heritage Trust.

As a condition of allowing public access over the viaduct, the owners asked that work was carried out to prolong its life by preventing rainwater from getting into its six arches. Contractors have installed a special waterproof membrane with the help of the council's highway's team.

Steps, signposts, a gate and stile have also been installed. Berwick ramblers and other local walkers have campaigned for years for the creation of a footpath link along the viaduct.

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