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These pictures are unlike anything you’ll see English Heritage, Historic England, or The National Trust publishing at Stonehenge and they aren’t like anything Highways England will be featuring in their forthcoming propaganda video. They show work near the HS2 South Portal approaching the Chiltern tunnel.

Why is that reality being shared and the Stonehenge one isn’t? Probably because the Chiltern tunnel approach roads don’t smash through a mile of iconic prehistoric landscape!

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These are the sort of Stonehenge pictures the Government won’t be submitting to UNESCO (or indeed allowing the BBC to show to the world, if it can help it.) It’s one thing to imply it will all be careful keyhole surgery in which little will be destroyed and quite another to take one look at the reality!

Who would YOU believe, Dear Reader? Michael Gove or one of the blokes driving those diggers?

The fact Highways England, a roads provider, acts like a roads advocate (and often like a used car salesman) is hardly news. But this account from a pro-scheme campaigner revealing what they’re up to is remarkable:
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“This company (Motiv Productions) will be filming in our High Street and around the area commencing Monday coming, on behalf of Highways England. They’re going to “do me first” and will talk to ordinary folks going about their business walking, cycling, riding, or just taking in the general workings of our busy village. The film when complete, will be presented to the Government to assist with their decision on November 13th.”
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Like many places nationwide, the village in question is affected by traffic with its ‘London Road’ a clue to this being an issue of historical significance. The traffic will continue to increase locally no matter what happens to the A303, the tunnel won’t see pavements introduced where absent, nor reduce the speed of everyone rushing about their daily lives. Yet the World Heritage Site would be grievously damaged. The choice really is a no-brainer.
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Highways England has latched on to the people thinking parochially, sending them personal messages and telling the public the star advantage of their wretched scheme is traffic reduction in local villages. But paying for a propaganda film to “assist” the Government’s decision?  that, the decision is imminent, it must be for propaganda to be aimed at the public if the tunnel is approved. So it’s to prepare for a scenario that may well not arise. In other words, they’re spaffing money up the wall. Our money. To persuade us our world heritage should be destroyed.
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Update.
We have now received this message:
“Just to correct my post of 10th October on Facebook/Stonehengetrafficactiongroup The last sentence was not entirely accurate. I understand that the video will not be used ahead of the Secretary of States decision on November 13th. Thank you, Janice Hassett,”
So it seems we were perfectly correct to say the film can’t be to aid the Government’s decision and it is indeed a propaganda film aimed at the general public.

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“We are devastated to report that Big Basin State Park, as we have known it, loved it, and cherished it for generations, is gone.Big Basin was created in 1902 as California’s first attempt to protect the towering native redwood trees which are between 1,000 and 1,800 years old.

A crumb of comfort is the existence of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a secure vault situated on a remote Norwegian island on the Arctic Svalbard archipelago, a last-resort backup for the world’s 1,750 other seed banks in case of a global catastrophe.

However, it contains no archaeology seeds – and, even if that was possible it would be unnecessary in the eyes of English Heritage, Historic England and The National Trust since at Stonehenge they are supporting the destruction of unique world heritage archaeology 5 times older than those trees.

Lucky they’re not in charge of the world’s flora and fauna, eh?

Looters with giant diggers have destroyed the 2,000-year-old historical site of Jabal Maragha deep in the desert of Bayouda, 270 kilometres north of Khartoum. They dug a vast trench, 17 metres deep, and 20 metres long…

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… which is absolute peanuts compared with what’s planned for the Stonehenge World Heritage landscape – a trench twice as wide and 80 times longer.

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You CAN do something about it! See here.

Highways England has issued a Project Update. A strange, unnecessary document, intended to show they’re still busy. They say they’ll be counting butterflies and monitoring bats, barn owls, badgers, otters, and water voles, because “knowing exactly where plants, animals, and habitats are now is vital to make sure we protect them in the future and avoid or reduce our impact on them. This will help us in our plans to improve biodiversity in the area.

So how will scraping a mile of new dual carriageway through the landscape avoid or reduce the impact on plants and animals? The only person who has so far achieved that is Grant Shapps, by delaying the project! As for their plan to “improve biodiversity in the area” we’d like to humbly suggest that’s baloney.

Highways England is a road organ, not a conservation agency and they really shouldn’t pretend otherwise. Our friend thinks he saw two Camberwell Beauties this month right on the line of the proposed road. What if it turned out they were part of England’s only breeding colony of them? Could we rely on Highways England to protect them?

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Malvern Hills Trust @MalvHillsTrust

“Tell us what you’d like to see happen over the next 5 years to the natural and cultural and to improve public on the & Commons” https://www.malvernhills.org.uk/latest-news/20200821-lmp-consultation/ 


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Dear Posterity,

Words to the effect:
“We’ve been asked to allow cable cars to be built on the slopes and a visitor centre at the top but we refused as we’re not allowed to say yes and we have a duty to “keep the hills open, unenclosed and unbuilt on“. This has been our gift to you. Enjoy.
The Malvern Hills Conservators, 2015.”


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Those aren’t dreams, they’re genuine.

What would be a dream would be if English Heritage talked like that about Stonehenge!

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Imagine the righteous fury from English Heritage if UNESCO stuck that second notice on the stones?

But which desecration will posterity think is worst – ignoring the first notice (which the occasional ignorant ruffian has), or defying the second one, which English Heritage intends to do?

If those who support it (who also happen to be archaeologists – people normally renowned for sober, balanced judgment and equitable presentation of the evidence) are offering advice like this to the lay public you can be confident they’re pretty sure the game’s up:

“If you do write to your MP about this, check the facts first. A prehistoric landscape will not be bulldozed (it’s a tunnel underneath the landscape, and where it’s not tunnel it will be excavated ahead of the bulldozers)”

A large section of the world heritage prehistoric landscape (10.75 acres of it, five and a half football pitches) WILL be bulldozed, to a depth that will destroy every speck of ancient archaeology – and it won’t be just a couple of bulldozers, there’ll be dozens of them, working day and night for many weeks. As for “it will be excavated ahead of the bulldozers”, even Highways England admits they’ll only fully investigate a very small proportion of the area they’ll destroy.
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So by all means write to your MP, (you can do it here) but make sure you give them those plain facts, plus this additional one: every one of those four million cubic feet of bulldozing of the archaeological levels is opposed by UNESCO!

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A prehistoric landscape will not be bulldozed” Really? The area of prehistoric landscape they intend to excavate is about one hundred times larger than the one illustrated above!

Historic England is running another photograph competition to celebrate “historic places and cultural sites across the globe”. This year it is asking people to “scour their own photographic archive and share the most astonishing imagery of those places which dominate our past.”

We can exclusively reveal that the image below will NOT win. Why? Because it is the view of Stonehenge from the A303 that Historic England is campaigning to hide forever from millions of travelers, including youngsters who will grow up to be future archaeologists.

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No image like that will win because of the embarrassment it would cause for Historic England, now and far into the future but since the “Turner view” of the stones from the A303 is one of the most photographed ones in the world it’s likely that lots of people will send their own. Each will act as a powerful visual rebuke…

That’s the question posed by a short-tunnel supporter in 2017.

It’s a real puzzle. What would an uncultured, pro-oil, climate-change-denying, conservation-opposing, Bears Ears National Park attacking, Iranian cultural sites threatening, 22 Arizona sites damaging, UNESCO opposing, waterways dumping, truth-obstructing, pipeline-supporting president do about Stonehenge?

It’s not hard to deduce. He’d do exactly what English Heritage, Historic England, and The National Trust want to do about it.

An unfortunate juxtaposition!

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