Clearly it must be a very difficult - if not impossible - task to legislate against the damage of the prehistoric monuments of these Isles by the ignorant or willfully moronic.... consequently I've no wish to cast aspersions upon any official body looking to do so. It is a thankless task and I'm glad I live in a country where we at least attempt a task of such magnitude. Some people do care. So thank you EH and all the local bodies etc.
But the plain fact of the matter is there are many, many sites - it would be churlish to even estimate - which are being progressively trashed by landowners on a daily basis ... I know, because I've repeatedly seen it in action! And.... clearly, no-one is doing anything about it. Clearly, because if the authorities were the farmers wouldn't think they could get away with it. And I mean real trashing, the erecting of fences on hillfort ramparts, embedding barbed-wire in standing stones, using them as gateposts, using tracks driven through hillforts and barrows, erecting water tanks on the latter, clearing out upland cairns for shelters. Using hillforts and barrows as bloody BMX tracks. The list goes on.
So please, let's get real. The situation is not that of enthusiasts setting a bad example to tourists walking around Avebury or other honeypot sites. It is the very survival, the continuing existance of the sites most don't even know exist, that we should be fighting for. Out of sight must NOT mean out of mind, or else future generations will hold us responsible, just as I hold the bloody Victorians responsible for incalculable damage. Yeah, the sites where there isn't a nice information board, the sites where you have to climb barbed wire only to find cattle clambering all over them, grinding them into the mud. Climbing a standing stone is irrelevant by comparison. Let's get our priorities in order, please.
So again, please. Do not berate those that are willing to seek out these abandoned, obscure sites .... and actually interact with them .... put them back in the public consciousness, if only in a limited manner.... and perhaps most importantly make the landowners aware we are watching. In short, to actively DO something. I think this is priceless. Consequently I applaud them. They are the thin edge of the wedge... whether sufficient pressure will ever be applied to the 'wedge' to truly raise standards of general public awareness is a moot point.