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Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Factors affecting the property in 2007*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Underground transport infrastructure
  • Other Threats:

    Risks of collapse

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Need for information on the management
  • Site Museum project
  • Upgrading of the A303 trunk road project
  • Risks of collapse of  Silbury Hill
  • Infrastructure development pressure 
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2007
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2007**

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

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. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2007
31 COM 7B.104
Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites (United Kingdom)

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.

Draft Decision: 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.

Report year: 2007
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Date of Inscription: 1986
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 31COM (2007)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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