Plans to uncover hillfort move forward
- Credit: Archant
Plans to uncover Worlebury Camp hillfort for the first time in 200 years have moved a step forward.
The Iron Age hillfort, which is a Scheduled Monument, has been on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register since 2016.
In 2019, North Somerset Council adopted a conservation management plan to preserve the hillfort.
The plan's main objectives are to address the damage to the archaeological features and to include new interpretation and signs to raise awareness and understanding of the monument.
The main damage to the hillfort is caused by vegetation and trees so the council applied to the Forestry Commission for a felling licence to help manage this.
The licence, which has just been approved by the commission, covers the hillfort site which is about 10 per cent of the whole of Weston Woods.
Cllr Mike Solomon, the council's executive member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: "Now that we have this licence we can start to draw up more detailed plans that ensure we can protect the site whilst also recognising that there are a range of views we need to take into account.
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"Once we have made our decision we will apply to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for a grant to help us achieve the aims of the management plan."
Initial plans to fell part of the hillfort were first revealed last February.
Volunteers responsible for the upkeep of the site welcomed the plans to clear the woodland.
Felling was then delayed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Further delays occurred in May after the hillfort was damaged by campfires, off-road motorbikes and ground being dug up.
Cllr John Crockford-Hawley, the council's heritage and regeneration champion and Hillside ward member, said: "The hillfort is a nationally important heritage asset and, as owners of a Scheduled Monument, we have a duty to preserve it and make it fully accessible for future generations to enjoy, while also fulfilling our duties to manage the surrounding woodland responsibly."