Most of the gates giving access to the Avebury stone circle have a small sign on the gatepost asking visitors not to camp, light fires, cycle or climb the stones. The signs are only about ten inches by six, and the four individual signs within them are even smaller, and consequently very easy to miss. While most people would think twice about camping, lighting fires or cycling within the circle, not so the ‘sport’ of Climbing the Stones! Witness the father below with his three girls taking it in turns to climb the stone pictured while said father looks dotingly on.
Heritage Action site inspectors  however have seen much worse; adults climbing the Cove (even while one stone was still tilting at a dangerous angle prior to remedial work to correct the tilt) and the same at the Diamond and Devil’s Chair stones (not to mention people climbing and jumping from one Stonehenge lintel to another as shown in a 2009 video of the summer solstice ‘celebrations’ there). People, of course, should be more responsible but perhaps most of them are totally unaware of the accumulative damage they are causing the stones each time they climb them, or the possible danger they risk to themselves each time they do so.
But whose fault, actually, is it that this mistreatment of our prehistoric monuments is allowed to continue? Surely at Avebury the signs should be bigger and more prominently displayed, along with larger signs by, or on, the gates. Perhaps individual signs such as the enlarged National Trust one shown below should also be placed at strategic points within the circle.
As it says on the small National Trust sign at the top of this feature –
That being your wish and your concern, National Trust (and English Heritage), it is now incumbent on you to make it so!

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