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Stonehenge Alliance via Campaigns by You (

Dear Supporter,

You probably heard that last month Highways England launched its consultation on their final plans for a £1.6bn Expressway and tunnel.

As expected it will plough through the chalk landscape of Stonehenge World Heritage Site. The mock ups show prettily-designed “green” coverings over concrete tunnel entrances and bridges, and a “disappearing road”.

The plans however include a flyover, double interchange, slip roads and 40ft-deep cuttings.  All this engineering will profoundly scar and deform this iconic ancient landscape forever. 

The future of the World Heritage status may be in jeopardy. This loss would not only include Stonehenge but Avebury as well since it ispart of the same World Heritage Site.

We are in danger of sleep walking into an international scandal if we allow this disastrous scheme to go ahead.

The sole chance outside Wiltshire to see what’s planned for Stonehenge WHS is this Thursday 8th March at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House (Royal Academy courtyard), Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE.  Can you join us, our President Tom Holland and our Chairman George McDonic MBE, at 1pm to show your disgust at the desecration of our national treasure?

Demonstration details here.

Consultation closes on 6th April. If you possibly can, please object today!

If you cannot attend, we have suggested responses to Highways England’s online questionnaire and short proforma here

Thank you once again, and we hope to meet those of you that can make it on Thursday!

Best wishes,

The Stonehenge Alliance

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Stonehenge Alliance started this campaign on the 38 Degrees Campaigns by You website. If there’s an issue close to your heart that you’d like to campaign on, you can start your campaign here.


“Trump signs resolution to permit dumping mining waste into waterways!”



A spokesman for the National Trust (might have) said:

Well he’s looking after the waterways forever,  for everyone so he’s obviously doing it for the best!

Some British detectorist super brains have been debating how many rallies or club digs you can have on a field before it becomes not worth detecting. What they mean is how long before the archaeological record has been destroyed. The answer seems to vary between a few times and many but they all understand  it will happen sooner or later and not one of them ever, ever expresses remorse. That’s why we think they and their hobby are a disgrace.

Coincidentally, another complainant, Paul Barford, highlighted yesterday how whole sites abroad have been completely destroyed by collecting activity. Such things are made far worse of course when archaeologists act as cheerleaders and defenders of the process or even encourage it by pretending it isn’t happening, hence the title of his article: “Archaeologists Getting Comfy with Site Eroders“….

Of course, that’s abroad, it’s not like that in Britain, one of the countries that invented conservation. We wish! Britain has invested millions in the Portable Antiquities Scheme, something which records a tiny proportion of detecting finds and keeps quiet about the fact that in so doing it provides a cover for the non-reporting of the great majority of finds. That, in itself, would be bad enough. But why oh why must PAS so rarely express opposition to the depletion of sites by those who mine the same fields over and over again? Why doesn’t the Code of Practice forbid it? Why aren’t they asking the Government to say “only one rally per field, ever?” Why are PAS archaeologists invariably Getting Comfy with Site Eroders“….

And why, for heavens sake, do they backslap at mass, repeated rallies and constantly smile at detectorists as if they approve of what they’re doing when they don’t?


Update 5 March 2018

Here we had an image of a FLO smiling at a Finds Day. Well not a FLO smiling, we blanked out the FLO and left only the smile! We were told to take it down to avoid further action. We don’t think there were grounds for action or for complying but we have removed it for a quiet life. Also because it serves to illustrate something we’ve long experienced and pointed out about PAS: people who exploit archaeology for their own benefit always get broad smiles and praise. People who strive for 20 years for conservation get treated with hostility.

Another Update

We’ve had a further claim from the FLO that we were in the wrong. We prefer Paul Barford’s statement: “Now, personally I take the view also that the photo was there for the purpose of valid comment and is in the public domain here (note, no credits are given to the photographer on the Colchester and Ipswich Museums website, nor indeed in the records they incorporate into the PASD).”

PLUS we altered the image so radically there’s zero chance we’ve done anything wrong.

But that’s not now our main beef. It’s this from the FLO: “As someone who I know is keen to mitigate the ‘theft’ of the historic environment, it would be a shame to show any sort of hypocrisy when it comes to theft of another’s digital content after all.” So we’re hypocrites and thieves, we who have been fighting daily against the widespread knowledge theft on the part of PAS’s “partners” since before most FLOs left school!    Amazing.





Here’s The National Trust’s position on Trail Hunting on its land:

“….. our charity was also established for the nation’s benefit and to provide the widest spectrum of public access and enjoyment. We therefore always look to welcome people to our places and to host the broadest range of outdoor activities on our land. We believe this should include trail ‘hunting’, where it is consistent with our conservation aims and is legally pursued.

And here’s its position on metal detecting on its land:

“….. we are unable to authorise metal detecting on National Trust land except in the most exceptional cases and only ever under a licence agreement issued by a National Trust Archaeologist, where it will further archaeological knowledge or protect archaeological remains. I am sorry therefore that we are unable to help you carry out metal detecting on our land as a hobby.”.

So trail hunting is allowed but metal detecting isn’t. Hardly a case of always looking to host “the broadest range of outdoor activities”. Many think it’s because the Trust has been infiltrated by a determined pro-hunting pressure group. Metal Detectorists do and are now talking of doing the same. That’s the risk if you let your founding principles slip, you no longer have a moral compass and hence are susceptible to outside influence.


Oh for a rudder…. or a moral compass! Yes Mr Cameron, of course we’ll support the Stonehenge short tunnel for you!

Avebury is temporarily closed by the National Trust due to the effects of the weather. Perfectly understandable but why try to make it about the Trust? Jan Tomlin, their Avebury and Stonehenge manager said:

We’ve not taken this decision lightly. The National Trusts pledge is to protect Avebury and the other sites we care for, for ever, and for everyone, and it’s a pledge that we take very seriously indeed” and Dr Nick Snashall, their archaeologist added “… it’s our responsibility to make sometimes difficult decisions that will ensure it’s here for another 5,000 years and beyond.

Just how heroic in its own opinion can one organisation be?

And how blatantly two sided? For at Stonehenge this same National Trust is pushing for a short tunnel which currently means a cutting for a new four lane expressway that is at least 60 metres wide and over 8 metres deep over 1km in length inside the World Heritage Site. A cutting that is predicted to trash a Neolithic and Bronze Age settlement opposite the Winterbourne Stoke barrow group.




Dear Fellow Landowners,

What do you make of this:

Allectus: “Has the farmer got a machine with a ditching bucket (they usually have) he/you can use? …..If he has, that’s the way to go mate.”
Donington Mudman: “Cheers A, I’m meeting the farmer on a Saturday, he says he might put the plough through it next week for me. Didn’t think about asking him to given a deeper dig, I’ll see what he says.”
Alloverover: “Allectus is right mate, as a first port of call try and get the farmer to scrape 6″ off at a time, depends how interested he is if he will do it or not, and how much you can tell him it might be worth his while”.

Surely most of us farmers don’t want to deliberately damage archaeology? So the question is, what on earth did this lot say to convince that farmer it was OK?

“Don’t worry there’s probably nothing there?”
“Don’t worry there’s probably lots there, we’ll be rich?”
“Don’t worry, archaeologists would approve?”

Seems likely. So please, before you let anyone onto your land, watch how they walk. And talk.

Best wishes,

Silas Brown,
Grunters Hollow,




There’s a welcome new innovation at Avebury – a second hand book shop. Named Cobblestones second-hand books, after the cobbled floor of the old stables in which it is housed, it has been launched by The National Trust after volunteers who sold pre-loved books at the Avebury site persuaded the Trust to do so.

Jan Tomlin, general manager of the National Trust Wiltshire Landscape said: “We’re absolutely delighted with Cobblestones second-hand books, and hope people will enjoy browsing through the wide selection of books on sale. The dedication, professionalism and enthusiasm of our wonderful volunteers has driven this project forward and it’s resulted not only in the partial refurbishment of this lovely building, but the money raised will also help the National Trust to look after Avebury and our other Wiltshire sites as well.”

We wish the new venture well and especially if lots of prehistory books can be provided. In our experience people who are enthusiastic about ancient sites have a huge appetite for books about the subject and we have held a book swap at our Avebury Megameets for many years. We haven’t yet visited Cobblestones and would  be grateful to hear from any readers who have.

WEXIT is short for turning your back on the world by damaging a World Heritage Site when UNESCO doesn’t want you to. The short tunnel lobby (Highways England, English Heritage, Historic England and the hapless, internally-dreadfully-conflicted National Trust) would have you believe they’re wexiting for the good of Stonehenge but there’s evidence it’s because the Government wants them to. For example, take a look at Highways England’s two current proposals about “views”:


.   (1.) They say views are essential and they intend to create lots of new ones: New plans for roadside beauty spots to stimulate drivers, combat fatigue: Motorways and larger A-roads, often derided as brutal, empty concrete spaces, will be redesigned to offer panoramas of the countryside. Highways England, the government-owned company, has published a ten-point plan to guide the design of the strategic road network in which roads will be better moulded into their natural surroundings.”

   (2.) Yet they also say the very best view, this one long enjoyed by tens of millions of travellers, isn’t essential and they propose to eliminate it!


Tangled web eh? How can that be explained other than by thinking the short tunnel lobby is out to serve the Government’s agenda not the welfare of Stonehenge?

The unfragrant British inspired European Council for Metal Detecting have taken their plea for Europe to adopt the British model of laissez faire detecting to the European Parliament. Here they are putting their exploitative case to Janusz Lewandowski, Poland’s EU Commissioner.



Why him? Well, basically, he’s crazy. Here’s one of his famous quotes:

“The thesis that coal energy is the main cause of global warming is highly questionable,” the commissioner said. “Moreover, more and more, there is a question mark put over the whole ‘global warming’ as such.”

Let’s hope he becomes an advocate for unregulated metal detecting too!


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting


March 2018
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