A NEW trail promoting the rich food and drink heritage of Berwick past and present has been proposed to help give the town’s tourism industry a boost.
Volunteers from the Mouth of the Tweed and Cittaslow Berwick initiatives are proposing to develop a food heritage art trail linked to sites and buildings in Berwick, Tweedmouth and Spittal that have associations with food and drink production and processing.
Proposed locations with existing features already in place include Low Greens, Tommy the Miller’s Field, Dewar’s Lane and the Quayside and Quay Walls.
New areas could include Bell Tower Place with its 19th century gin-gang, Coronation and Castle Vale Park, Kipper Hill, Old Bridge, The Maltings, Carr Rock fish quay and Sandstell Road herring trade.
Other potential sites for consideration include Mill Wharf/ Tweed Dock, the Ravensdowne ice houses and old Border Brewery buildings where there could be wall-mounted features.
The proposed trail will comprise a combination of existing and specially commissioned features in the townscape and will employ new technology to identify and interpret buildings and locations associated with the town’s food heritage. However, it is not intended that additional interpretive panels should be created for the trail.
Information relating to each location will be accessible via mobile technology, using QR codes displayed at each site that will provide links to specially designed internet pages.
In a similar way to the successful Lowry Trail created by the Berwick Preservation Trust, the food heritage art trail will be supported initially with printed material for visitors who do not have access to smart mobile technology.
It is hoped the trail will attract more visitors to the town, with movement between sites encouraging exploration of parts of Berwick that many tourists never see.
The first elements of the trail can be established within a matter of months, based on existing infrastructure. Art pieces of various types are already located at 11 of the proposed sites, with a further four sites having interpretive panels only.
In due course, the plan is to complement the trail with up to a dozen specially commissioned pieces of public art. As well as providing a visual attraction, the new landmark pieces will enhance the public realm by incorporating practical features such as seating, floral planters, signposting or information displays.
Initial stages of the project are being funded through grants from the Co-Operative Area Membership Scheme and the Sustainable Development Fund of Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Future costs will be supported by investment from private sponsorship and public funding sources.
Heritage and tourism consultants Bowles Green Ltd are being engaged to advise on the technology that will support the trail.
With the support of Arch, a seminar has been arranged for Monday, December 3 at 10.30am at the Workspace, Walkergate for interested parties to help devise appropriate and practical means of identifying and enhancing the locations along the trail.