In the 1960s, long before it was purchased and protected, Lochnagar was regularly used for moto-cross with crowds of spectators watching scramble bikes hurtling down one side and up the other.
In the 1970s, local farmers used the Crater to graze their cattle, but during the early 1980s (with visitors sparse and infrequent) nature vigorously fought back, and despite regular working visits, almost succeeded in reclaiming the site. But over 30 years of back-breaking work by devoted supporters have finally cleared the mass of impenetrable hawthorn bushes, brambles and undergrowth – but it is a constant struggle. Each year around 50 volunteers from Friends of Lochnagar arrive at the end of May for a long weekend of essential maintenance and tlc. (Everyone is welcome to come – just get in touch.)
And a word here about the marvellous Historial de la Grande Guerre at Péronne who generously provide support throughout the year which is greatly appreciated.
And because the ethos, from day one, has been to encourage visitors, not exclude them, we are focussing now on revealing the remarkable 360 degree views of the July 1st battlefield.
Our duty of care means ensuring, wherever possible, the site is safe and accessible for visitors. The wooden walkway was erected in 2014 as the undulating rim path was extremely hazardous (and with greatly increased footfall) was being worn away at an alarming rate (six inches in four years).
The entrance pathway now affords wheelchair users or those with mobility issues the opportunity to view the Crater itself.