If any one organisation is to blame for the short tunnel at Stonehenge, it’s The National Trust (their support was pivotal according to the Cameron Government). The Trust has never satisfactorily explained why it has U-turned – see their ludicrous explanation at their 2014 AGM here – and the poverty of its reasoning has been amply demonstrated ever since by its repeated insistence that building the tunnel is a good thing because it will mean people will be able to hear skylarks from the stones. Were they heard from the stones originally? Probably not.
Here’s their archaeologist recently saying it yet again and here’s their Director, Dame Helen Gosh who has just told America: “I know there will be some sadness that people will no longer be able to see the stones from the road, but visitors will once again be able to hear the sounds of skylarks singing rather than the constant noise of traffic.”
We love skylarks but they are one of the most widely distributed of all British birds, found from coastal dunes to the tops of the Cairngorms. On the other hand, there’s only one Stonehenge landscape – and you can clearly hear skylarks within 99.9% of it already. Mind you, you won’t be able to do so around the newly constructed roads. Nor round the tunnel portals – and the west portal has in fact been positioned on the threshold of the RSPB’s Normanton Down reserve containing stone curlews and other rare birds! (How does the RSPB feel about that? Does the National Trust care, so long as they can “hear skylarks at the stones”?)