1.         Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) (C 373bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1986

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iii)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/373/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/373/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

World Heritage Centre site visits in June 2003 and in November 2006

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/373/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

a) A303 scheme:

The State Party submitted a state of conservation report dated 29 January 2007. According to the National Authorities, the Inspector’s report published in January 2005 recommended that the A303 be improved with a 2.1 km bored tunnel within the World Heritage site, according to the lines of the scheme previously endorsed by the World Heritage Committee. Due to the costs of this scheme, the government later announced that the options for the improvement of the road would be reviewed. Five options were considered, including the preferred tunnel scheme supported by the Inspector. The results of the review were presented to the Government in July 2006 and the final decision adopting one of the proposed options is awaited.

b) Visitor Centre:

The first planning application for the visitor centre was refused by the Salisbury District Council, the local planning authority, in June 2005. Following the appeal by English Heritage, the Secretary of State decided to approve this proposed scheme on March 2007.

c) Grassland reversion:

Reversion from arable to grassland of a further 176 hectares was successfully negotiated in 2006. The total area accepted for reversion to grassland is up to 516 hectares in the Stonehenge part of the World Heritage site, which covers most of the priority areas set out in the management plan. Including the 110 hectares for the Avebury part, more than 140 archaeological sites will be protected from plough damage, protecting prehistoric sites, and improving the landscape setting and ecological value of the property.

d) Silbury Hill:

After the collapse of an 18th century investigative shaft in 2000, investigations have been carried out at the man-made mound in order to solve the problem of subsidence. Work of protecting the mound will start during 2007, the tunnels will be re-entered and then re-backfilled with compacted chalk, all existing backfill will be removed, and archaeological recording will be undertaken. The temporary capping on the summit will be replaced with chalk. The slumping hollows will also be covered with chalk, followed by re-seeding with grass. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

N/A

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.104

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.       Recalling Decision 29 COM 7B.88, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3.       Commends the national authorities for having improved the protection of archaeological sites by reversion of arable to grassland;

4.       Requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with the approved project for the visitor centre, and encourages the State Party to advance the implementation of the visitor centre in order to preserve and improve the integrity of the property;

5.       Regrets that there has been no progress made in the implementation of the “A303 Stonehenge Improvement” scheme, and urges the State Party to find an appropriate solution compatible with the outstanding universal value of the property;

6.       Requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with a detailed report by 1 February 2008 on progress made in the selection process of the “A303 Stonehenge Improvement” scheme, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008.