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Archaeo News 

24 October 2004
Fight against vandals in Somerset

Ancient monuments at Brean Down (Somerset, England) are being protected as part of a national scheme to clamp down on vandalism.  Despite being protected by law, Scheduled Ancient Monuments on Brean Down are being destroyed by vandals who are covering them in graffiti and treasure hunters illegally using metal detectors on and around the National Trust site. Cheddar Caves is also suffering at the hands of vandals after Gough's Cave was broken into in July, leaving the ring of bells stalactite damaged.
     The trust's regional archaeologist for Wessex, Martin Papworth said: "Brean Down is nationally important for its archaeology and contains sites ranging from the Palaeolithic to World War 2. "Some of these have been damaged through vandalism and the illegal use of metal detectors. The trust welcomes this initiative and hopes that this joint approach will lead to greater protection of our heritage sites."
     Assistant inspector of ancient monuments for English Heritage South West, Susan Smith added: "The aim of the initiative is to reduce the number of incidents of damage to scheduled monuments and where necessary, secure convictions against those responsible for the damage. We have the expert knowledge to evaluate the damage and by working closely with the police, we hope to achieve our aims."

Source: This is Somerset (23 October 2004)

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