The abiding message of the 30th Anniversary Conference is that the whole Stonehenge landscape is very special. So logically you’d think everyone would want to keep it from harm. But no. “Desecration by short tunnel” must still be considered acceptable for no-one said otherwise and Tom Holland’s 2 minute 27 second video saying otherwise couldn’t be shown as the programme was “too full”!
It all makes zero sense. But perhaps most puzzling of all is the attitude of the National Trust. By what mechanism has “Preserving special places for everyone, for ever” become “we support what the Government wants”? We think we may have found the answer buried in an article in The Independent back in 2003 :
“It is the largest conservation group in Europe and the third-biggest landowner in the country. But, a senior official admits on screen, it does not know exactly what it is meant to be doing. What disturbs about The National Trust is not its concern with fine buildings and natural landscape but its inconsistencies and distortions and its clod-hopping, bureaucratic megalomania in dealing with them. Tyntesfield must be frozen archaeologically, but Lennon can be imagined. Cliveden can be developed, but Orford Ness must remain a desert.”
And the Stonehenge WHS must be valiantly defended. Or not. Depending on which decade the question arises.