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Trespass on SSSI sites
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Re: Trespass on SSSI sites
Sep 02, 2012, 08:28
VBB wrote:
The Eternal wrote:
I can honestly say that I didn't notice any significant damage through people going on it. Yes, there was some flattened and worn grass, but that was it. Maybe it's different now, but I haven't set foot on it since.

Thanks TE, you have made an important point - we here are not likely to forget the terrible collapse of 2000 but who would know visiting it now? The Hill seems perfectly OK so why the fences and signs?

Silbury Hill was closed to the public in 1974 following a leap in visitor numbers after the M4 opened resulted in serious erosion. Photographs reveal new lines of ascent created and the repair section reveals not just a top up to the path but a massive lozenge shaped repair on the south front and a section of the summit. The erosion has had to be tackled twice since, both demonstrating the amount of continuing erosion despite the ban and the fences, and highlighting the difficulties in sourcing the right sort of chalk. Moreover let's not overlook that the monument is covered in archaeology vulnerably located near the surface.

As I said elsewhere, if visitors knew the story they might think twice.

To be fair though VBB much of the 'modern' surface defacing of the monument has been created since the ban and the new lines of ascent created by those who seem hellbent on climbing it away from public gaze, particularly those 'paths' created on the northern section out of sight of official eyes. Also I believe during the 2007/8 tunnel backfilling various sympathetic testings were undertaken to the sides of the hill which in itself would have caused damage to the surface not by penetrating radar but by the feet involved there moving equipment about. But as has been much mentioned the greatest danger to the hill has been the official digging into it which cannot be blamed on the public who are now taking the blame it would seem. A decision has to be made at some stage as to the permanent future of this monument by serious legislation. If the public are to be banned for set reasons i.e.damaging the surface archaeology or the fauna, then it has to be a blanket ban to be effective unless it is for scientific purposes only which will create no further damage whilst being undertaken. JP only needs to see officialdom breaking its own laws for a precedent to be set and off we'll go again. The present 'law' is not working so steps have to be taken to harden everything up.
Just as an 'aside' I have been up the hill twice as I've mentioned before and would like to go again and have tried the official way as you know without even the courtesy of a reply. I would still like to reach the top again because I agree with TE, it is a wonderful view where the builders of the Complex no doubt looked down from at some stage to admire much of what they had accomplished with great pride. And if I ever did manage to get permission I'd like it to be up a purposely constructed path so that both myself and those undertaking scientific work could walk up and no longer cause further erosion or damage to the surface elsewhere.
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