A year on Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail - April 2012, Part 5
The first week in April began with a wide variety of weather: rain, wind, sleet, snow, ice and sunshine. It was a bright frosty morning when I undertook my first walk of the new month. There was still a great deal of snow in places on the Trail and in the Wall Vallum and Ditch. Over the course of the morning, the sun continued to shine against a brilliant blue sky.
By mid morning after a brisk walk and carrying out some routine tasks, it was getting quite warm again. Walking west, I was making good progress until I came to the path in Stanley Plantation.
The path was blocked in a few places with fallen branches. The wind and weight of the recent snow fall was obviously the cause. I managed to move the heavy branches and cleared the debris away to the side of the path. Further along the path a tree branch had fallen and jammed itself against a tree on the opposite side, forming an arch. I could not move it, so it was reported to Hadrian's Wall Heritage Limited for them to arrange the lengthsmen to come out and cut it down with a chainsaw.
I reached The Errington Arms car park after about one and a half hours walking and picking litter etc. I met no other walkers on the easterly leg of the trip and I set off back to Heavenfield.
On the westerly leg, I cleared some brambles and vegetation that was starting to encroach onto the path. At times it was very quiet and all you could hear was the calls of various birds: pheasants, curlews and crows.
I had just crossed the Military Road at Errington Hill Head, when I met the first two walkers of the day. They were walking east and they would finish their days walking at Heddon on the Wall.
The sun was still shining brightly as I finished my walk, it had taken just under three hours to complete the six and a half mile round trip. The Trail continues to be in good condition as we move coser to the start of the 2012 walking season in May.
The 2012 walking season is just around the corner and I continue to get out on the Tail weekly to ensure that all is well for the walkers and visitors to the iconic and historic monument. April showers is the best way to describe the weather! The Trail continues to get a small amount of walkers, it will soon get quite a pounding by hundreds of feet.
As well as walking on my section, I try to get out and visit other sites of interest in the Hadrian's Wall Corridor. Walkers and Visitors alike have some great places to visit and take in the wonderful scenery. The following photographs were taken on some of my visits.
April started with snow and it was to end with the typical April showers! The dry warm weather in March dried the Trail and stopped the normal muddy areas from forming. The rain of the last weeks have created waterlogged areas and mud that makes walking quite difficult. Walkers are now starting to get out onto the Trail in large numbers and this weather shows the pounding that it gets over the walking season.
During this walk of my section I met four walkers who were completing the full Trail. The first two I met had started on the Sunday of the London Marathon. They said they had also completed twenty six miles and were feeling the effects of this, on their second day of walking.
There was the evidence of the heavy rainfall in many places along my section. In places the Wall ditch and Vallum were waterlogged. There are places that get full of water and remain so throughout the year but there were places that I have never seen been so before. As usual my main task for today was picking up litter, I also cut back the grass and vegetation growing at the base of the gates and stiles.
The new walking season will begin on the 1st May. The Trail on my section will be very wet and muddy in places. I am hoping for some drier weather and sunshine to get the Trail back into a reasonable condition for the walkers. Over the last four months it has been very quiet on the Trail, this will start to change as the new passport season starts.
The AD 122 bus service is in operation again and the walkers and visitors will come to the area. It will be another busy season for all of those people involved with Hadrian's Wall Country.
We'd like to hear from you. Send your stories, pics and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org