There’s a petition here  and a BBC report here In the words of the petition: “Purbeck District Council have said that the gorgeous woodhenge at Worth Matravers will only be able to stand until September 2015. This beautiful structure not only draws people into the area but is loved by the majority of people in the village. Think of it as a piece of art, a slice of our history or just a beautiful part of the stunning local landscape. We can make a positive difference to the local area by petiitioning Purbeck District Council to allow it to stand for longer.”

Worth Matrav henge

It’s a very British dispute. The petition is not calling for it to stay forever, merely for “longer” and the gentleman who built it is full of, well, gentlemanlyness: “It was a bit of fun”…. We used 35 tonnes of timber and made it as an installation, as a feature on the landscape. The council has not been unreasonable with me at all, when I asked if we could have a couple of months they agreed. I have no issue with them at all over this.” Most locals seem to love it and want it to stay longer. Tim Arnold, of the village’s Post Office Cottage bed & breakfast says “I think it is a fantastic thing to do, it is a piece of art as far as I am concerned. I don’t have an issue with the council but this is definitely a piece of art, a local sculpture, and that should be respected.  It is a shame for it to be pulled down. I’m not saying it should stay there permanently but maybe for a year or two.”

We agree. In a world where planning laws are flouted with impunity by greedy developers it seems a great shame that the regulations can’t be bent a bit for something that is self-evidently temporary and “gorgeous” and very popular.