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Learn about river's industrial history and fundraise for charity at Tees Heritage Walk

Heritage and history

Monday, 29 April 2024
An aerial shot of the River Tees

Teesside's fascinating industrial history will be brought to life at a major fundraising walk.

The Tees Heritage Walk takes in up to 13 miles of the River Tees, bringing together different generations and communities to raise money for charity on May 12 - and now the call has gone out for local businesses to join them.

AV Dawson and PD Ports are supporting the Tees Heritage Walk alongside students and staff from Middlesbrough and Stockton colleges in a project piloted by Middlesbrough Erimus rotary.

Walkers will start from ‘The Heart’ at Middlesbrough College and begin with a circuit of the old Middlesbrough Dock before setting out on a hike which takes in the Timothy Hackworth mural at AV Dawson’s Port of Middlesbrough facility.

Potentially an under-appreciated figure in Middlesbrough, Mr Hackworth was the man who designed the first locomotives later built by Robert Stephenson.

The hike will then before crossing Teessaurus Park to join the Tees riverside footpath – which few realise is host to three National Trails.

It will take in more than twenty ‘heritage hotspots’, at which students at both colleges have researched the industrial and social history of the area.

Stories are then linked to QR codes which walkers will be able to access via a smartphone and ‘learn as they earn’ sponsorship funds.

The full distance to Stockton’s Millennium Bridge and back is just short of 13 miles although there are a variety of shorter options starting with a one mile ‘Dock Dawdle’ which is well suited to families with young children and those with wheelchairs.

Walkers will receive a certificate of completion and the funds they raise go to their own chosen charity.
The cost is £5 per person and £10 for a family.

Charlie Nettle, Group Managing Director of AV Dawson is taking a team from across their workforce and is urging other local companies to get involved.

He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to bring the community together to celebrate the heritage of the river and its importance today, to promote health and wellbeing while raising funds for local charities.

"Two hundred years ago our site at Port of Middlesbrough was the birthplace of our town, so now we’re very passionate about celebrating the unique history of the river.”

PD Ports have already been working with Erimus rotary for some time and recently helped fund the planting of a mile and a half of native deciduous trees along the banks of the river where walkers will travel. They are now backing the Tees Heritage Walk.

Kirsten Donkin. PD Ports Head of PR, Marketing and Communications will be donning her walking shoes to raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis research.

She said: “At PD we believe in helping out wherever we can and the Tees Heritage Walk offers a wonderful opportunity to both discover our past and deliver a better future. Anyone who has not walked this route in recent times will be surprised and delighted to witness the ‘greening’ of the Tees."

Geoff Taylor, on behalf of the four Rotary groups who are supporting the event, said: “We are delighted to be working with young people, multiple charities, business and community leaders across the Tees communities as we showcase our hidden heritage.

"At our 2023 trial event 120 walkers raised £7,000 for good causes and everyone who took part said they had enjoyed a great day. We hope that businesses, families and friends will put their best foot forward and walk with us to form a better future together."

To enter, complete the form on the Erimus Rotary website.