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The problem of unauthorised climbing of Silbury persists. In January Avebury Parish Council noted that “The fence around Silbury Hill had broken down and there was no warning sign ‘do not climb’” and in March the Chairman reported he had attended a meeting there with English Heritage staff and that a decision had been made to mend the fence around the base of the Hill, improve signage and place dead blackthorn branches in selected places to deter access. (It had been put to them that hawthorn hedging could be planted to make access more difficult but EH staff on site were concerned this would give cover for burrowing animals such as rabbits.) As can be seen from our photograph taken last weekend neither fences nor signs nor anything else seem to deter some people.

EH had also noted that “the grass surface of the Hill had recovered remarkably rapidly due to the track to the north side of the monument currently being under water.” However, that’s no great comfort as the water will soon be gone and in any case the issue is not damage to the grass but to the surface of the hill, which will never recover. In addition, as can be seen at the top left of our photograph, yet another new footpath has been formed, leading straight up to the summit.

If anyone has any ideas how to discourage those who do this we’d be glad to publish them. We can’t help thinking the key is in the wording on the notices. The two young fellows on the photograph were being watched by four girls they arrived with and it’s possible there is very often an element of “showing off” involved so our own suggestion for the wording would be this…..

Sil sign

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