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Paintings and Poetry Mark 50 Years Of The Offa’s Dyke Path

Offa's Dyke

On Saturday 10 July, 2021, the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail will celebrate its 50th anniversary since it was first opened by Lord Hunt on 10 July, 1971.

To mark the occasion, a brand-new exhibition, Walking with Offa’ by artist, Dan Llywelyn Hall, will launch at the Offa’s Dyke Association and Centre — which will re-open its doors after 18 months of closure.

New paintings inspired by the Offa’s Dyke monument and Path will be on display from Saturday 10 July until October, 2021, for members of the public to enjoy at a safe and social distance.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Ravenmade and The Offa’s Dyke Centre will together, release a bilingual publication in commemoration of the Path’s milestone — featuring 12 newly commissioned poems by leading Welsh poets, including Poet Laureate of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn.

Following an introduction written by Jon Gower, poetry by Gillian Clarke, Owen Sheers, Robert Minhinnick, Menna Elfyn, Oliver Lomax, Sian Dafydd, Laura Wainwright, Eric Ngalle Charles, Geriant Jones, Clare Potter and Gladys Mary Coles will also feature, with each verse inspired by the Offa’s Dyke Path itself.

Other features of the anniversary celebrations include the addition of a new window for the Offa’s Dyke Centre, created by stained glass artist Stephen Bradley.

What’s more, a collection of brand-new, 50th anniversary way-markers have been installed along the Path to mark the milestone occasion.

Members of the public are encouraged to take a picture of themselves with the 50th anniversary roundels, with each individual who shares it on social media with the hashtag, #OffasDykePath50 to receive a limited edition ‘Offa’s Dyke Path 50’ key ring, while stock lasts.

Rob Dingle, National Trails Officer for Offa’s Dyke Path said: “A 177-mile linear stretch of rich, abundant landscape, the Offa’s Dyke Path offers a wide range of walking adventures for people of all ages.

Having worked in my role for more than 14 years, it’s fantastic to see so many people joining forces to celebrate the many wonders of the National Trail in it’s 50th year and we hope that the celebrations will encourage even more individuals, families and walking groups to explore this national treasure and the landscape of the breath-taking borderlands that the Path so closely follows, during 2021 – and beyond.

What’s more, I’d like to share thanks to all those who have been involved in the Path’s improvement and maintenance over the last fifty years, as well as all of the fantastic businesses along the route that make walking the Offa’s Dyke Path such an enjoyable experience. Without these vital people, the trail wouldn’t be where it is today.”

Artist, Dan Llywelyn Hall said: “Offa’s Dyke has always loomed large in my psyche. The frontier of a hinterland, past and present entwined.  There is a rich border culture along the path that follows the dyke and a landscape with unrivalled variety.

“Walking its length is to take part in its story and sense how this ancient and modest mound will whisper to you on the wind.”