Successful conservation Passport season draws to a close

Passport update 25th October 2019

The seasonal Offa’s Dyke Walkers’ Passport scheme, launched in May this year, has enjoyed a successful first year. Hundreds of walkers, in registering their Passports at the twelve official stamping stations, have also raised vital funds for the Offa’s Dyke Conservation Fund.

As well being a great deal of fun the popular Passport has a serious message as it encourages walkers to engage with the long term conservation of the 8th century Saxon monument.

The stamping station boxes are available between 1st May and 31st October each year after when they are removed from site for annual maintenance in time for setting out again the following May. The six month season aims to encourage long distance users to walk the Trail during what are normally the drier months of the year. Why is this important? Quite simply, during the wet winter months the Dyke’s soils are saturated with water meaning that the ground has a lower carrying capacity and the archaeology underfoot is more vulnerable to damage.

Erosion is the enemy of archaeological earthworks because once a monument is damaged it can never be the same again. So, if walkers choose to take their holiday between May and October, when there is less risk of wear and tear to the monument, then they are making a positive conservation statement. Their purchase of the Passport also helps to ensure that the Offa’s Dyke Conservation Fund is able to financially assist practical conservation projects along the line of the Dyke and National Trail. The more Passports that we sell then the more projects that we are able to support.

We have enjoyed setting up and managing the Passport and engaging with our walkers. It was fun tracking via Twitter the progress of Michelle Gollins, the first walker to set off from Chepstow on the 1st May with her Passport, walking the Trail in sections and finally completing it earlier in October. See here her Passport with a complete set of stamps.  

The ODA would like to thank everyone who has bought the bi-lingual Passport, the walking companies that have bought them for their customers as well as the small businesses and individuals who have looked after the stamping stations for us. The season might be over until next May but If you are planning on walking the Trail next year then you can buy your Passport at any time from our online shop. We look forward to seeing you. 

The Passport was made possible thanks to grant aid from Severn Trent Water, Natural Resources Wales and several of the local authorities along the Trail. We are also grateful to National Trail Officer Rob Dingle for practical assistance with mapping and Welsh translations.

Passport update 29th April 2019

The Offa’s Dyke Path Walkers’ Passport is now fully operational. You can buy your Passport in advance of your holiday from our online shop for £5 + 99p p&p  or by paying by card over the ‘phone by calling the Offa’s Dyke Centre on 01547 528753.

Passports are also available from Chepstow TIC, Redbrook Village Store & Post Office, Hay-on-Wye TIC and the Offa’s Dyke Centre in Knighton.

We have produced a downloadable pdf guide to locating the stamping stations. If you have any suggestions for improving it please contact the Offa’s Dyke Centre .

The stamping stations are as follows, from north to south:

Nova Sports Centre Prestatyn; Bodfari community notice board; Llandegla community shop; Carreg y Big Oswestry Equestrian Centre; Beacon Ring hillfort; Mellingon Lodge gates; Offa’s Dyke Centre, Knighton; Hergest Croft Gardens; Hay-on-Wye TIC; LLangattock Lingoed Church; Redbrook village store; Chepstow TIC.

The Hergest Croft Gardens stamping station box has a  notebook for walkers to note the date and direction that they are walking in.  If it is popular then we will put notebooks in more of the boxes – do let us know.

Proceeds from sale of the Passport support the ODA’s Conservation Fund. The more Passports that we sell the more conservation projects to promote the long term conservation and welfare of the monument that we will be able to support.

Walking companies interested in selling the passports to their customers should contact the ODA on 01547 528753.

We hope that you enjoy your walk!