Controversy over funding for Hadrian's Wall will be the backdrop to a public consultation on how the world heritage site will be managed over the next five years.
The monument has been the focus of protests by MPs over Government funding cuts and the demise of the Hadrian’s Wall Trust.
Now people in the region are being given the chance to have their say when workshops will be held on the new five-year management plan for the Wall.
This is the fourth rolling five-year management plan, covering 2015 to 2019. The plans are commissioned by the site’s management plan committee, a voluntary body made up of representatives of key organisations associated with the site.
The committee is the advisory and lobbying body for the world heritage site. Members are voluntary representing interests such as English Heritage, Northumberland National Park Authority, National Trust, sites and museums, local authorities, landowners, farmers, and businesses.
The committee deals with conservation and site interpretation and also, as required by UNESCO, works towards incorporating education, land management, community participation and economic benefit into the management strategies for the whole 150-mile site.
The site runs through rural and urban areas, and its survival is dependent on cooperation between many different stakeholders including county and local councils, 70 parish councils, Natural England, English Heritage, the National Trust, national park authorities, museums and Roman sites, and approximately 700 landowners.
The last five years has seen further development of Higher Level Stewardship funding for farmers, improved maintenance of the Hadrian’s Wall Path national trail, development of new visitor attractions based on an interpretation strategy to make the most of the unique qualities of each part of the site, and funding for conservation work on sections of the Wall.
But funding remains a challenge as highlighted by the Hadrian’s Wall Trust which has coordinated development work with partners across the whole world heritage site but will be wound up in six months.
The new management plan will look at what people and organisations in the area value about the site, and what their priorities are.
The consultation is being run by the Centre for Applied Archaeology at University College London on behalf of the world heritage site management plan committee.
The committee is keen to have the views of a wide range of people, either through the workshops or through the online consultation. Participants do not need any specialist knowledge and are welcome to come to learn more about the world heritage site and its management.
The workshops take place from 2pm-4.30pm or from 7pm-9.30pm at the Wave Centre in Maryport today; Carlisle Civic Centre tomorrow; the Beaumont Hotel in Hexham on Wednesday; the Mining Institute on Westgate Road, Newcastle on Thursday and Segedunum Roman Fort and Museum in Wallsend on Friday.
There are 30 places at each workshop on a first come, first served basis.
To attend, contact Isa Benedetti-Whitton, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7679 4778. The online consultation is open from today until April 26 via www.ucl.ac.uk/caa/.
The Management Plan 2008-2014 is at www.hadrianswalltrust.org/managing-world-heritage/management-plan-2008-2014.