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27 March 2011
Cornish stone circle damaged by cattle

Longhorn cattle introduced as part of a Higher Level Stewardship conservation grazing scheme onto Carnyorth Common near St Just (Cornwall, England) have destabilised a stone of the ancient Tregeseal Circle. Two years ago some 4 or 5 stones were loosened for the same reason. Clumps of cattle hair on many stones show that they are using them as rubbing posts. It is only a matter of time before this herd create more havoc.
     These concerns were relayed to Natural England several years ago by the Save Penwith Moors group. According to the group, the presence of these animals will not only damage this important archaeological site but, as has been witnessed by local regular walkers of this moor, has also caused a dramatic drop in the number of walkers and horse riders over the past two years.
     Save Penwith Moors consider the current Higher Level Stewardship agreement covering this Common an unnecessary and very expensive waste of public money (about £20,000 a year for 10 years); a ruin of the moor through visually intrusive new barbed wire fencing, gates and a cattle grid; amd am intimidating and potentially dangerous presence of free-roaming cattle that can - and do - frequently graze on the north-eastern part of the Common for which there is no known ownership and is not part of the area for which HLS payment is currently being made.
     It is high time that this scheme for Carnyorth Common is abandoned and all the new stock proofing removed. Most of these issues are now being assessed by the Parliamentary Ombudsman as part of a complaint of alleged maladministration by the Natural England HEATH project and Higher Level Stewardship agreement.
     Contacts: Save Penwith Moors - Ian McNeil Cooke (Co-ordinator) Tel: 01736-368282 Email: info@savepenwithmoors.com

Edited from The Heritage Journal (24 March 2011)

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