Building blocks now in place for Wall plan

Antonine Wall relic
Antonine Wall relic

New signs, better interpretation – and possibly a national trail along the Antonine Wall – are some of the ideas being proposed by a five-year action plan for the World Heritage Site.

Falkirk Council’s executive also gave the green light to building relationships with staff on Hadrian’s Wall and bidding to attract new external funding into the Scottish site, which dates back to 142AD.

The turf and stone frontier runs from Bo’ness to Old Kilpatrick. It became a World Heritage Site in 2008.

A report to councillors noted: “In places the (Antonine) Wall is an impressive feature in the landscape, in others its remains are scarcely visible.

‘‘However, excavations have shown that much survives as buried archaeology and this must be taken into account.”

The action plan sets out proposals for a range of council services to work alongside Falkirk Community Trust. The plan sets out proposals to enhance and promote the Wall for the benefit of local people and visitors.

It will also ensure the Falkirk Council sections of the Wall are well maintained and and develop new initiatives to add to the appreciation of the Wall’s local heritage and tourism value.

Other local groups and organisations will be involved in the delivery of the plan as and when required. VisitScotland will also have an important role to play to encourage both national and international visitors.

The Antonine Wall is part of the “Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site.

The local Falkirk plan will “encourage” the provision of foreign language materials. The Council has already produced a guide to the Antonine Wall in German.

The local authority and partners supported the creation of a new website at www.antoninewall.org . An app is also in development, due for launch in 2016.

Councillor Adrian Mahoney, Falkirk Council’s spokesman for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “Since it gained UNESCO status there has been a lot of work behind the scenes. But it is important that we deliver things on the ground.

“This new, local action plan guides us to fully develop the social and economic potential of the Antonine Wall in the Falkirk Council area. We want to attract more 
local people and visitors to find out about our World Heritage Site, and encourage more investment in the ancient history we have on our doorsteps’’.