As everyone knows, The National Trust is part of the short tunnel lobby, the group calling for massively damaging new roads within the World Heritage Site. To this end it has suddenly deployed what looks to be the mother of all dirty tricks. It has invited people to fill in a “Stonehenge landscape Spirit of Place survey”. Why? And why now?
Well mostly the questions are bland and meaningless, but Question 2 isn’t: “Is there any aspect of the Stonehenge landscape atmosphere or ‘feel’ that we should be particularly careful to preserve?” The proper answer is “all of it – the World Heritage Convention doesn’t authorise cherry picking” but the agenda, blatantly, is to get people to innocently pick a favourite, which of course will be the stones, and to then announce in a big press release that the public wants the stone circle’s atmosphere to be preserved over and above the other parts of the World Heritage Site. That would fit in with the Trust’s stance – building massive new roads in part of the WHS is justified if it enhances the atmosphere round the stones.
So it gives every appearance of an attempt to harvest well-meaning people’s votes and use them in a way they didn’t authorise by claiming that since most people put preserving the atmosphere round the circle at the top of their priorities they therefore support the wrecking of other parts of the WHS. If that was the intention it has blown up in their faces and dealt yet another massive blow to the Trust’s reputation.