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21 September 2010
Improvements to the Avebury landscape

The gateway to the Avebury World Heritage Site (Wiltshire, England) has been transformed after work to bury unsightly electricity cables was completed. The project, which started over three years ago, was made possible by a partnership involving Wiltshire Council, the National Trust, North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding National Beauty, English Heritage and local farmers.
     Directional drilling machinery was used to burrow more than four metres deep to ensure the replacement cables passed deep under ground and well away from internationally significant archaeology.
     Sarah Simmonds, Wiltshire Council's World Heritage Site Officer, who secured the funding for the project, said: "Gone is the line of poles and electricity cables dominating the skyline and the prehistoric monuments are now returned to prominence in the beautiful open downland. A really impressive improvement to the landscape at the gateway to the World Heritage Site."    
     The new cables have been buried underneath the major monuments at Overton Hills Seven Barrows Bronze Age barrow cemetery and beneath the Neolithic West Kennet Avenue which originally linked Avebury Stone Circle to the Sanctuary. Scottish and Southern Electricity employed archaeologists to examine all the entry and exit points for the moleing machinery to check for any archaeological remains.

Edited from the Wiltshire Council (10 September 2010)

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